Global Ecological Integrity Group

Sustaining Global Ecological Integrity and Human Health Through Science, Ethics, and Law


The 25th gathering of GEIG took place at the Faculty of Law of the
University of Windsor, June 27-30, 2017. Experts from around the world
and across disciplines gathered to discuss the intersection of
ecological integrity with science, ethics, and law. They were then warmly welcomed for a celebration at the home of Laura Westra.

A Letter of Thanks
from Laura Westra, Founder and President of GEIG
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Our keynotes included (left to right):

Kathleen Mahoney, "Reparations for Mass Violations: The Need for Reform"

Sheila Collins, "The Reactionary Turn in Environmental Policy: The Trump Effect"

Richard Westra, "Foundations and Pathways to a Redistributive, Ecosustainable Future"
Our Plenaries Included:

Plenary 1 - Crimes Against Humanity and Pubic Health
Plenary 2 and 3 - Environmental Disasters and Ecological Integrity
Plenary 4 - Ecological Integrity and Ecological Law
Plenary 5 - The Commons and Territorial Rights
Plenary 6 - Environmental Disasters and Policy Choices
Plenary 7 - Environmental Disasters and Ethical Approaches
Plenary 8 - Environmental Disasters and Ecological Governance
Plenary 9 - Democracy and Global Governance
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A Special Session: Democracy at a Tipping Point?

Participants at this special session explored whether we are experiencing the end of democracy as we know it. What are the prospects for preserving the integrity of Earth’s ecological systems in a world occupied with fear, xenophobia and nationalism? This session was dedicated to exploring the identity crisis in the US and Europe and ideas for a renewed democratic culture capable of tackling the big issues of our time.

Participants agreed that further attention and partnerships were needed to expand the topic, and committed themselves to continue to keep the conversation alive. A meeting report will be posted here.
2017 GEIG Publication

The Role of Integrity in the
Governance of the Commons
Eds. L. Westra, J. Gray, and F. Gottwald
Springer Publishing

This book explores the impact of disintegrity on various aspects of governance, as the disregard of ecological conditions produce grave direct effects to human rights (to water or food) and, indirectly, also to human security in several ways. International legal regimes need to be reconsidered and perhaps re-interpreted, in order to correct these situations that affect the commons today. 

Some believe that our starting point should acknowledge the impact we already have on the natural world, and accept that we now live in the "anthropocene". Others think that the present emphasis on sustainable development needs to be re-defined. Finally, many believe that reconnecting with moral principles both in professional life and in governance in general represents a necessary first step.
"A true understanding of
ecological integrity
human life with the wild,
and the rights of the latter
with those of the former."
 Laura Westra
Founder and Director of GEIG
2017 GEIG Foundational Publication
On Hunger: Science, Ethics
and the Law

Laura Westra
BrownWalker Press

Most of the existing literature on hunger and food does not address the harm that current practices inflict on people globally. Laura Westra’s On Hunger focuses on the interface between food and public health and on the flawed regulations intended to protect us. Food not only represents nourishment for the body; it also possesses other valuable aspects that are protected by international legal instruments. Westra argues for the importance of effecting radical changes: to protect and improve the present system of food production and distribution.

Dr. Westra presenting on the topic
at the GEIG 25th Anniversary Conference
"Ecological integrity is a precondition for human aspirations and a fundamental principle of law."
A Call for Action
World scientists’ warning to humanity:
a second notice

Dear Scientist,
Twenty five years ago, in 1992, the Union of Concerned Scientists and over 1500 scientists published the famous declaration entitled “World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity”. They called on humanity to curb environmental destruction, warning “all humanity that a great change in our stewardship of the earth and the life on it is required, if vast human misery is to be avoided.” Now, on the 25th anniversary of their famous call, we looked back at their warning and evaluated the human response over the last quarter century. This 25-year update will soon be published by BioScience.

To see the in press article “World scientists’ warning to humanity: a second notice” and add your name as a co-signatory, click: 

This short article is only 1,000 words long and can be read in 6 minutes. If you are a scientist, we invite you to endorse this article by adding your name to the co-signatory list. In doing so, when the article is published by BioScience, you will be included in the full list of co-signatories in the article’s online supplemental material.

Please forward this email to other scientists that may also be interested in signing.  If you use Twitter, consider inviting your colleagues to add their signatures by including #ScientistsWarningToHumanity in a tweet.

Thanks for helping get this message to world leaders. The deadline for signing is August 18, 2017.

Thank you,

William J. Ripple
Distinguished Professor of Ecology
Department of Forest Ecosystems and Society
Richardson Hall #321
Oregon State University
Corvallis, OR 97331
541 737 3056
 Klaus Bosselmann
Steering Committee, GEIG
Oslo Manifesto of the Ecological Law and Governance Association