Abstract:The Global Ecological Integrity Group (GEIG) has been meeting annually since 1992. In 2010, the meeting took place at the University of British Columbia, hosted by William Rees. For this meeting, the GEIG returned to its roots. The chosen focus for 2010 was precisely the initial impetus of the Group's research from 1992 to 1999, that is, the quest for a fuller understanding of the role of ecological integrity in the various fields of human endeavour.
The GEIG quest started with an attempt to find a more thorough and explicit understanding of the scientific meaning of ecological integrity. The most recent thinking of the GEIG is presented in this book and, forease of access, is divided into seven parts.
We were fortunate to have with us, James Karr, who joined us to address, once again, several of the issues that were central to our research at the start, focussing on the complete dependence of the human enterprise on the integrity of all living systems. Part I of this book is devoted to the “Science of Ecological Integrity”, starting with a chapter by James Karr. The work of Pavel Cudlín then traces the interface between ecosystem services and citizens’ responsibility for just governance. In the next chapter, Robert Goodland explains the importance of ecological integrity in relation to some of the gravest problems of our times: climate change and hunger. Both this chapter and the next one, by Heather McLeod-Kilmurray discuss the necessity for a radical change of diet on a planetary scale, to ensure sustainability and ecological justice.
In Part II, we return to yet another aspect of ecological integrity, that is, its relation to ethical norms. Donald Brown analyses the ethical implications of the Copenhagen Accord regarding climate change. Peter Brown goes even further, seeking a moral foundation for all governance based on ecological principles. Helmut Burkhardt outlines the main imperatives to be followed to achieve sustainability, and Sheila Collins traces possible scenarios to preserve the “global commons”.