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Why are we so slow to tackle the 'root causes' of environmental
degradation? The problem is that nobody has found a way to
tackle them that does not involve an element of sacrifice
- unless we are prepared to modify our lifestyles and reconsider
our values, it is unlikely that we will make significant advances
to tackle the most serious problems threatening humanity and
the rest of nature. An element of sacrifice can improve the
quality of our lives: in the seventh and final session, perhaps
we will discover how. Venice, La Serenissima wedded to the
sea, was a great maritime trading empire at the centre of
events which shaped the relationships of Islamic, Orthodox
and Catholic worlds. Venice is depicted as a place that is
gradually drowning as sea levels inexorably rise. In the short
term, a large number of engineering solutions have been proposed
and hotly debated. These may prove to be only a temporary
respite in the longer term, however, if the root causes of
global warming and pollution are not properly addressed. Threatened
also is the Venetian Lagoon, one of the major wetlands in
the Mediterranean. Here, near where the Po pours the filth
of an advanced and successful society into the Adriatic, stands
Venice as a summation of the questions raised by our Symposium.

Seventh Plenary

On board in Venice - Italy. Chaired by: The Rt Revd & Rt Hon Richard John C. Chartres, Lord Bishop of London

Presentations
Welcome by the Patriarch of Venice and the Mayor of Venice (HE Angelo Scola & Mr Paolo Costa)
Options for quality coastal tourism (Dr Biliana Cicin-Sain & Dr Charles Ehler)
The Venetian lagoon (Professor Roberto Frasseto)

Presentation of symposium conclusions (Mr Thomas Spencer)

Closing Ceremony

Palazzo Ducale, Venice - Italy.
Chaired by: HE Roger Cardinal Etchegaray

Sacrifice: the missing dimension (HAH Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew)

Joint Signing of the Venice Commitment
Basilica San Marco - Venice
HH Pope John Paul II and HAH Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew

Prayers for the protection of the environment

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