IMCC4 delegates invited to discuss how we can greatly expand support for marine conservation


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Dear Marine Section Members and IMCC 4 Attendees—

You are invited to a focus group on how we can greatly expand support for marine conservation.

        On Sunday, 31 July from 11:00 to 13:00 in Salon G

the Working Group on Conservation Biology and Religion will discuss how cooperation between scientists, NGOs, and religious institutions and communities can bring about more positive results from decision making institutions.

The oceans continue in serious decline. For most people they are out of sight and out of mind; they are considered distant and often too huge to be injured by people. Many of the assumptions about water—that it purifies symbolically and materially—undercut the motivation to act.

Religions institutions offer an enormous potential for action. They are already organized. Many clerical and lay leaders recognize the problem from declining species populations to acidification and recognize the need and in many cases the duty to act. Religious leaders can literally bring the pressure of millions of people to bear. They can bring pressure at the local, regional, national and other scales. They can take direct steps from “bearing witness” to protest to boycotts.

Scientists, NGOs and religious institutions are often motivated by different views and values, but no great cause has succeeded without working across these differences. We must do so as well, combining insight into how the world works, a reality-based strategic understanding, and differently based passions that tell us that biodiversity is good, healthy oceans are good, and we should care.

Although cooperation is not new, in another sense we are just beginning to explore new options. Time is short. Join us. You won’t be lectured; the organizers want to hear from you.


Look forward to seeing you.

Focus Group Organizers,

Julie-Beth McCarthy,, Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Jame Schaefer,, Associate Professor of Theology and Ethics, Director of Interdisciplinary Environmental Ethics.

David Johns,, Portland State University & Marine Conservation Institute


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