Samos Conference - 2006

From July 4 to 9, 2006, a conference was held in Island of Samos, Greece on the topic of The Global Ecological Integrity Group: Fourteen Years Later.

This conference was co-organized by Laura Westra and Colin Soskolne.

Samos Conference Participants

A letter from Laura Westra

Dear Integrity Friend:

We have just concluded what many termed one of our best conferences yet! The unbeatable beach location, perfect weather - sunny and warm with breezes, had something to do with that conclusion, as did the presence of most of our "regulars", plus the addition of several new members from law, health, science and philosophy.

Special thanks are also due to Brendan Mackey and Colin Soskolne who manned the temperamental machines that permitted us to give our Power Point presentations. The whole Group will be able to access most of the presentations from the conference as Colin and Brendan have laboured to ensure that the Power Point presentations and at least one Word paper are added to our website (this should happen within the next few weeks). Of course, this posting does not preclude possible publication of the papers, and Brunetto Chiarelli, Editor of Global Bioethics, has proposed publishing them with Colin and myself as co-editors. This has yet to be confirmed because Colin is too consumed right now with the book project to consider taking on another major editing assignment.

Our "business" meeting emphasized the location of our 2007 conference: Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada (with thanks to Tarah Wright for hosting), and that information should also soon be on our website. For 2008, the present plan is to meet jointly with (or just prior to) the IUCN meetings in Barcelona, Spain, and you will be informed in plenty of time with details.

We held a panel presentation to address how the group started with our emphasis on science and ethics, then health through Colin and the WHO meeting in Rome (1998), then with the Earth Charter (Costa Rica, 2000), and finally joined informally with the IUCN-CEL Ethics Specialist Group through Ron, and decided to start again to hold self-funded yearly meetings.

For the future, we envision more of the same, but we also propose various ways to add some form of activism to our usual agenda of research/discussion/publication. I have invited Captain Paul Watson of Greenpeace to our 2007 conference in Halifax, as well as Elizabeth May (formerly of the Sierra Club, Canada) presently and we hope - Canada's Green Party's new leader. Colin also suggested some other way to have our views heard, and Ron Engel proposed making the importance and value of religion explicit in some of our future presentations, and I concur.

The only glitch occurred (a "first" for our conferences) when the bus that I had booked for an island tour failed to materialize. I refunded most of the money set aside for that purpose (and still owe refunds to a couple of people), then offered the wine when part of the group decided to walk to Pythagorion (the village close to the Doryssa Bay Resort) for a "farewell dinner" of sorts (and the picture you see is of that occasion).

Anyway, I thank all participants for their wonderful presentations: they make each meeting new and exciting. I hope to see all of you next year in Halifax!

Warm Regards!
Laura Westra

Samos Conference Dinner

Samos Presentations