Mr Graeme Kelleher
Despite the implications of the title of this theme, 'living
resources', the presentations did not treat the ecosystems
in which people live as entities that are separate from them
and available for indiscriminate use by our species. Rather,
this theme, as did the others, recognised the physical and
spiritual inseparability of humanity and nature.
Richard Chartres and Paul Erhlich dealt with
humanity in nature on a global basis. They showed how, spiritually
and materially, modern society has become disconnected from
the intimate relationship with nature which lay at the root
of earlier civilisations and which still pervades the thinking
and attitudes of some less developed communities, particularly
some of those called indigenous communities. The long term
consequences of the modern attitude, both for humanity and
nature, were described; already clearly visible throughout
the world, many of them were quantified.
Yuvenaly Zaitsev, Ulrich Niermann and Boris
Alexandrov focused on the Black Sea. They summarised the
present condition of the Sea and the creatures that live in
it and show how human activities have contributed, and continue
to contribute, to the deterioration in its ecological quality.
Possible solutions to the many evident problems are identified.
It was clear from everything discussed that a profound change
in human attitudes and commitment to nature is vital if the
Black Sea and the human communities that depend upon it are
to survive and prosper. It is also clear that this change
is not going to occur with sufficient commitment from the
people in the 17 countries that affect the Black Sea unless
the change is of the degree of profundity that normally flows
from religious conviction, rather than from the intellectual
conviction that arises from science. The same conclusion applies
to the global environment and the world's human population.
This theme illustrated the need for religion to inspire people
and for actions to be based on scientific knowledge and methods
so that the living resources of the biosphere can be protected
for the immediate and distant future.
Sacrifice and covenant, Prometheus and Noah (The Rt Revd and Rt Hon Richard J.C. Chartres)
A holistic approach to the role of human beings in ecosystems (Professor Paul R Erlich)
The Black Sea: status and challenges (Professor Yuvenaly P. Zaitsev)
Black Sea fisheries: restoring, protecting and sharing (Dr Urlich Niermann)
The function of wetlands (Dr Boris Alexandrov)