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Foreword by HRH Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh

I know that everyone connected with the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), and indeed everyone who is concerned about the future of the world's natural environment, warmly welcome this important initiative. I very much appreciate the honour of acting as co-patron of this Symposium together with His All Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch, Bartholomew I.

It is my firm belief that the health and vitality of our globe is the most critical and challenging issue of our times. Human communities have always tried to improve their conditions of life, and this had always involved the greater use of natural resources for food, clothing and shelter. They are also essential for transport, communications and cultural activities. Better conditions tend to encourage the population to increase, so the demand for resources becomes even greater. Meanwhile our planet Earth does not get bigger.

Since Noah saved the living things of this earth in his Ark, it is perhaps apposite that this Symposium is taking place in a ship. Is it too much to hope that this might mark a turning point in humanity's treatment of its threatened biosphere?

The choice of the 1900th anniversary of St. John's recording of the 'Apocalypse' as the occasion for a symposium on 'Revelation and the Environment' could not be more appropriate. Humanity is facing an apocalypse of its own making and it is only going to be avoided by the revelation of the facts of the critical situation we have created for future generations. It will also need inspiring leadership.