The Project

Cortina Mountains Our first Focus Group Meeting took place in 1992, funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), and that funding continued until 1999. In 1999, with the able assistance of Philippe Crabbé, we secured a NATO Advanced Science grant for a meeting in Budapest, Hungary, while in 1998, Colin Soskolne and Roberto Bertollini co-organized and hosted a meeting at the WHO in Rome, Italy. Since then we have grown to a group of over 250 independent researchers from diverse disciplines, including ecology, biology, philosophy, epidemiology, public health, ecological economics and international law, from a starting group of about 20 persons, including two student assistants. Our group has a unique trans-disciplinary agenda today.

The history of the group's growth and development to the year 2000 is outlined in the multi-authored Chapter 2 from our Island Press book (Ecological Integrity: Integrating Environment, Conservation and Health, eds. David Pimentel, Laura Westra, and Reed Noss; Island Press, Washington, DC, 2000).

Since that time, we have (1) intensified our collaboration with the Earth Charter Initiative, beginning with a conference in San Jose Costa Rica in July 2000; and (2) joined our yearly meetings to those of the IUCN (World Conservation Union) Commission on Environmental Law -Ethics Specialist Group, under the leadership of Ron Engel and Klaus Bosselmann , who are now part of our steering committee, together with Laura Westra and Colin Soskolne. This development coincided with Laura Westra's return to law school to secure a second doctorate in jurisprudence (February 2005).

GEIG projects since 2006 include The Biosphere Ethics Initiative (jointly with IUCN CEL Ethics Specialist Group and Centre for Human and Nature (coordinated by Katy Kintzele) and the Earth Democracy Project (coordinator Klaus Bosselmann).