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


Many congratulations and thanks to all participants who made the 26th annual gathering of the Global Ecological Integrity Group a great success. GEIG would like to give particular thanks to Professor Virginia Zambrano, Matteo Bruno Scannapieco, and our hosts at the University of Salerno, with the support of the European Law Students Association. The theme was, "Ecological Integrity and Land Uses: Sovereignty, Governance, Displacements and Land Grabs." Papers have been selected for a June 2019 publication.

Keynote addresses were given by Maria Gabriella Stanzione and Klaus Bosselmann. The panels included:

Plenary 1 - Land Grabs and the Commons
Plenary 2 - Ecological Integrity, the Rights of Nature, and the Commons
Plenary 3 - The Land and the Right of the Commons
Plenary 4 - The Right to the Commons and Indigenous Peoples’ Rights: Aspects of Land Grabs
Plenary 5 - The State and Environmental Disasters
Plenary 6 - Ecological Integrity: Land and Water Uses
Plenary 7 - The Role of Society, Religion, and Traditional Knowledge in Ecological Governance

GEIG 2018
University of Salerno, Fisciano, Italy

26 -30 June 2018

Ecological Integrity and Land Uses: Sovereignty, Governance, Displacements and Land Grabs

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An important component of GEIG events is embracing the people, place, and culture of our meetings - these personal relationships create the professional commitments, and bring heart and context to the discussion. This year we shared our group dinner in beautiful Vietri sul Mare, had a morning guided tour of the ancient Greek and Roman ruins in nearby Paestum, and even celebrated the adoption of a small puppy, Geigy, that jumped into the car of our host, Virginia, on the morning of our final day.
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2016 GEIG Publication
Now Available in Paperback

The Common Good and
Ecological Integrity: Human Rights
and the Support of Life
Eds. L. Westra, J. Gray, and A. D'Aloia
Earthscan from Routledge

The book considers whether present forms of governance support the
common good, or whether they are endangering its very foundations. It
explores the connection between consumerism and capitalism, the
destruction of natural resources and with it, the elimination of many of
the ecosystem services that support life in general, and human life in

"A true understanding of
ecological integrity
human life with the wild,
and the rights of the latter
with those of the former."
2018 GEIG Publication

Ecological Integrity, Law and
Eds. L. Westra, K. Bosselmann,
J. Gray and K. Gwiazdon
Springer Publishing

Ecological integrity is concerned with protecting the planet in a holistic way, while respecting ethics and human rights. Over recent years it has been introduced directly and indirectly in several legal regimes, culminating in international law with the 2016 expanded remit of the International Criminal Court, which now includes "environmental disasters".

This book celebrates the 25th anniversary of the Global Ecological Integrity Group (GEIG), which includes more than 250 scholars and independent researchers worldwide, from diverse disciplines, including ecology, biology, philosophy, epidemiology, public health, ecological economics, and international law. It reviews the role of ecological integrity across a number of fields through inter- and trans-disciplinary engagement on matters affecting and governing the sustainability of life for both present and future generations. These include, ethics, environmental disasters, crimes against humanity and environmental health, and how such issues can be subject to sound governance and be incorporated into international law. The book also looks forward to new applications of the concept of ecological integrity, such as crimes that result in the exploitation of natural resources and the illegal dispossession of land.
 Laura Westra
Founder and Director of GEIG
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.
"Ecological integrity is a precondition for human aspirations and a fundamental principle of law."
 Klaus Bosselmann
Steering Committee, GEIG
Oslo Manifesto of the Ecological Law and Governance Association
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.
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
2017 - 25th Anniversary
The Global Ecological Integrity Group

Ecological Integrity 25 Years On
and Environmental Disasters as Crimes Against Humanity
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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.