Fourth B.I.O. International Conference, Athens, January 1991
Launching the International University for the Bio-Environment
At the end of the Fourth B.I.O. International Conference on the International University for the Bio-Environment (l.U.B.E.), held in Athens January 10-14, 1991, the following resolutions were unanimously accepted by the participants:
The survival of humanity has reached a critical juncture, and much depends on our willingness and determination to maintain life in all its diverse forms. To successfully do so entails no less than the intelligent and effective management and utilisation of earth’s finite resources, guided by an appropriate and globally relevant moral-ethical system that is bio-sensitive. Technology will continue to be of high priority in our ceaseless search for solutions to the challenges of survival and material improvement yet, at the same time, it must be a technology tempered by wisdom. The evidence available points to the urgent need for both national and international action to arrest and, better still, reverse the destructive processes set in motion by decades of unrestrained misuse and exploitation of life-supporting systems throughout the world. New values must be created and new perspectives formulated to harness the benefits of technology to direct humankind safely into the next millennium.
The Rationale Behind the I.U.B.E.
Recognising the cumulative threats to bios (life) and the urgent need to promote a global and holistic approach to addressing them, the Biopolitics International Organisation (B.I.O.) arranged the Fourth International Conference to discuss, plan and initiate the establishment of the I.U.B.E. This initiative to create a formal educational structure to promote, facilitate and implement the objectives of the B.I.O. represents a logical and tangible step forward to safeguard the earth for generations to come. The international representatives gathered at the conference were unanimous in their support of the initiative and pledged their continual commitment to the goals of the B.I.O.: (i) To promote international co-operation for better understanding bios. (ii) To promote the development of international legislation on Bios Rights. (iii) To promote the bio-assessment of technology, a dialectic approach to examining potential perspectives in all fields of human endeavour in an effort to improve the quality of life. Greece has been proposed as an ideal meeting place for the dialectic exchange of ideas and search for values for the new millennium. Scientists, academicians and philosophers, as well as every individual, may bequeath their thoughts to a Bank of Ideas. (iv) To sensitise public opinion to the ramifications of the biological sciences, and the impact this progress may have on other fields of study (bio-diplomacy, bio-law, bio-economics, bio-art, bio-literature, bio-environment, etc.). (v) To introduce educational reforms internationally so as to shift from an anthropocentric to a biocentriccurriculum and place the better understanding and appreciation of the bio-environment as the core of an integrated educational system.
The Educational Dimension of the I.U.B.E.
Humankind’s current existence seems to be underlined by paradox. On the one hand, technological progress holds great promise for a more secure future, positioning humankind to enter the next millennium with confidence. On the other, however, there is great moral-ethical uncertainty as to how technology may be fruitfully enhanced to fulfil humankind’s material and spiritual needs. In other words, technology has been both life-enhancing and life-threatening.
The key to overcoming this predicament without a doubt lies with education, and must rest on two basic premises: (1) it must increase, improve and extend humankind’s technological competence to enable us to seek viable and appropriate solutions to maintain life in all its diversity; (2) it must create a system of moral-ethical values that can serve as a guide for technology and its application. The latter would require a fundamental shift or re-alignment of currently accepted ways of thought and action with respect to bios. The educational practice today is characterised by excessive specialisation resulting in the fragmentation of thought or a distorted vision of reality. Science and technology have become purely instrumental and utilitarian, out of harmony with basic life-sustaining processes. To reverse this trend there- fore requires a new educational vision – one that is holistic and bio-sensitive and yet capable of addressing the continually evolving needs of humankind as a whole. Such an approach to education recognises no artificial boundaries based on geography or ideology. The unifying feature of this new educational approach is life itself – its preservation, protection and enhancement in all its variety and forms. Humankind must be made to recognise that life is an interdependent and harmonious whole and, having realised its nature, we must formulate ideas and initiate actions in order to preserve it.
This would require effective international co-operation for a better understanding of bios and the bio-environment and the institution of a global educational philosophy that stresses the value of life in all its diversity.
The International University for the Bio-Environment
In consideration of bios in the next millennium and in consideration of the need to create, transmit and internalise a shared value system conducive to the protection of bios, a formal educational structure designated as the International University for the Bio-Environment (I.U.B.E.) was proposed and adopted by the Conference. The decision to establish the I.U.B.E. gives full credence to the activating role of education in the creation of a meta-university model, one that embraces the needs of the future generations and assures the respect and preservation of the bio-environment. The I.U.B.E. will not only offer educational alternatives but will also actively engage educational institutions throughout the world as partners in the process of effecting desirable and necessary changes of curricula and teaching to promote bios.
Structure and Governance
The I.U.B.E. will be guided by the traditional functions of a university with respect to teaching, research and public service, as well as co-operating with other universities, international organisations, environmental institutions and industries. The I.U.B.E. aims to influence decision makers at every level, so as to impress upon them the need to incorporate respect for the bio-environment in their short- and long-term planning. However, its central concern will be to formulate and disseminate new educational alternatives with a view to instituting a value system that is bio-sensitive. In doing so, it will avoid duplicating efforts initiated by other organisations. Therefore, its main aims are: (i) To propagate educational reforms principally by identifying and developing a model global bio-education to meet the needs of the meta-industrial era, and infuse original models for existing educational institutions to implement bio-environmental education. (ii) To identify, develop and implement trans-disciplinary educational strategies on bios. (iii) To construct and develop needed concepts for the effective teaching of bios and bios-related subjects at all educational levels. (iv) To educate and train experts in all fields of bio-environmental education. (v) To initiate regional co-operation principally in developing feasible systems or models for bio-environmental protection and the implementation of plans and programmes requiring trans-national co-operation. (vi) To facilitate the establishment of an international information system on the bio-environment through the media, and especially satellites. (vii) To initiate an international exchange for scholars and practitioners in bio-environmental education. (viii) To propose and initiate needed legislation and policy reforms in bio-environmental protection. (ix) To encourage the creation of a clearing house for both dedicated individuals and established organisations to provide, through the use of computer link-ups, a network of people wishing to co-operate and contribute towards saving the bio-environment. (x) To generate environmental action groups, drawing from the enthusiasm of youth and the experience and know-how of retired people to tackle local bio-environmental issues. (xi) To set the foundation for bio-cultural models.
To achieve the aforementioned aims over the short and long terms, the following recommendations were made: (i) The B.I.O. should establish a Scientific Council composed of eminent scientists to help identify issues and problems threatening bios and recommend individuals of merit and stature from a broad spectrum of expertise who can be involved in addressing them. (ii) Holding consultative meetings to formulate educational and research programmes relevant to the pursuit of B.I.O. objectives. (iii) Proposing policy changes that will facilitate the implementation of decisions adopted.
To ensure that the I.U.B.E. attains the optimum outreach, it was proposed that political leaders, community groups, and corporate interests be sensitised to the objectives of bios. Furthermore, media must also be engaged in the cultivation of public opinion and the dissemination of relevant information on issues pertaining to bios. Indeed, for the I.U.B.E. to become fully effective, a quadripartite relationship involving the B.I.O., universities, industry and labour must be instituted so as to place the required linkages. Clearly, for the I.U.B.E. to make the expected impact, it has to communicate effectively and adequately, using all appropriate media including networking and satellite communication. Similarly, it will have to explore and develop original methods of conveying bio-environmental information, including the construction of informational models and programmes to be aimed at groups and communities with special needs, particularly youth, the aged, and the deprived.
The Conference adopted a tentative scheme to actualise the concept of the I.U.B.E. under the aegis of the B.I.O.: (i) The institution of a Governing Board. (ii) The establishment of a central facility incorporating the I.U.B.E. secretariat, library and facilities for sabbaticals, student internships, workshops and meetings. The central facility will also function as a data base listing industry, academic institutions and environmental groups throughout the world. (iii) The creation of a body known as the Club of Athens. The member- ship of the Club will be composed of eminent and influential individuals, particularly those sympathetic to the objectives of the B.I.O. and whose presence would contribute to the growth of the I.U.B.E.
The Conference adopted the proposal to draw up a legal charter for the I.U.B.E. It also accepted the recommendation to create a Fund Raising Committee with the appropriate status and authority to solicit seed money for the implementation of the I.U.B.E. The Committee’s immediate task is to plan the realisation of this objective. Finally, it was proposed that the I.U.B.E. should take immediate steps to set up the administrative headquarters in Athens to undertake the task of co-ordination and implementation. The administrative headquarters’ main task is to lay the foundation for the formal incorporation of the I.U.B.E. at the appropriate time under the B.I.O. auspices.
The Conference took note of the need to move with caution and realism in implementing the goals of the International University for the Bio-Environment (I.U.B.E.). The Conference also recognised the importance of mobilising more support from the international community. At the same time, the participants understood the need for commitment and hard work and pledged their full assistance to the Biopolitics International Organisation (B.I.O.). To that end, they pledged their support to Dr. Agni Vlavianos-Arvanitis, B.I.O. President and Founder, in her efforts to promote the objectives envisaged for the I.U.B.E, in Athens. The I.U.B.E. will serve as the prime vehicle for both the pursuit of B.I.O. objectives as well as in the implementation of the proposed programmes and projects on a global basis.
Conference themes and participants
Bio-Education as a Pathway to Bio-Culture
Greece: International University for the Bio-Environment – a New Vision, Dr. Agni Vlavianos-Arvanitis, President and Founder, Biopolitics International Organisation
Singapore: Higher Education and the Bio-environmental Challenge, Professor Tham Seong Chee, University of Singapore
Turkey: Towards an International University for the Bio-Environment, Professor Necdet Serin, President, Ankara University
USA: Environmental Codetermination: From the Biopolitics Thesis to Praxis, Professor Climis A. Davos, Associate Dean for Student Affairs, School of Public Health, UCLA
Belgium: Man-Education-Industry, Dr. Stefan Klein, President, International Society for Research on Civilisation Diseases and on Environment
Romania: How to Educate People for a Better Attitude Regarding the Bio-Environment, Dr. Pia Elena Mihnea, Romanian Marine Research Institute
USSR: Environmental Education in Modern Society, Professor Jaanus Kiili, Tallinn Teachers Training Institute, Estonia; Equilibrium Between Natura and Homo – The Leading Role of the I.U.B.E., Andrew Belkovsky, Center of Human Sciences, Presidium of the Academy of Sciences
Australia: Education for Survival and a Better World, Professor Stephen Boyden, Center for Resource and Environmental Studies, Australian National University
Bio-Culture, from Mythos to the Present
Turkey: Biospherical Anthropocentirsm: Persisting Development of the Most Advanced Species, Professor Yaman Ors, M.D., Medical Faculty, Ankara University
Greece: Ideologies and Ecological Crisis, Professor Megas L. Farantos, University of Athens; Some Approaches to Environmental Issues in Societies of the Past, Dr. Richard Witt, New York College, Athens
UK: Environment East – Environment West – Choices for an Environment Syllabus, Dr. David Watts, Dean, School of Geography and Earth Resources, University of Hull
Sri Lanka: The Formulation of a Societal Value System for Bios in the Next Millennium, Kumaran Fernando, Secretary General, UNA
The Philosophical Quest
UK: Environmental Competence: The New Educational Challenge, Professor Andrew Brennan, Philosophy Department, University of Stirling; The Problem of the Definition of Bios, Professor Rom Harre, Department of Philosophy, Oxford University
USSR: Russian Culture and the Synthesis of Ecological Thought, Maxim V. Provotorov, Medical Institute of the Soviet Union; Bios and the Metamorphosis of Human Consciousness, Dr. Nadezhda Shulenina, Philosophy Department, Lomonosov University, Moscow
Greece: Space, Time and Kairos, Professor Evanghelos A. Moutsopoulos, Department of Philosophy, University of Athens, Member Academy of Athens
The Quest for Bio-Ethics
Belgium: Bioethics, Professor Frederic A. Lints, Catholic University of Louvain
France: How Far to go in Genetic Engineering and Genetic Manipulation, Professor E.E. Creppy, Laboratory of Toxicology and Applied Hygiene, University of Bordeaux II
Belgium: The Bio-Environment – a Gift to be Managed, Dr. Huberte Hanquet, Senator, President of the Commission of Foreign Affairs
Turkey: The Meaning of Life from the Christian Point of View, His Eminence the Metropolitan of Philadelphia, Dr. Meliton Karas, Secretary of the Holy Synod, Ecumenical Patriarchate
The Biotechnological Challenge
USSR: Industrial Biotechnology and Biopolitical Problems, Professor Michail N. Manakov, Moscow Mendeleyev Chemico-Technological Institute Professor N.B. Gradova, Moscow Mendeleyev Chemico-Technological Institute; Supraorganismic Biological Structures in Biopolitical Terms, Professor Mikhail V. Gusev, Dean, Faculty of Biology, Professor Vitaly Samuilov, Deputy Dean, Department of Biology and A. V. Oleskin, Department of Biology, Moscow State University
Austria: Biosociety – a Sustainable Society Using Technical Bioprocessing in Natural Cycles, Professor Anton Moser, Technical University of Graz
Poland: Biomedical and Ecological Conditions in the Creation of Bio-Environment, Edward Kamienski, Director, Center for Building Biology and Environmental Energy Action
Bio-Legislation – Past and Present Challenges
Greece: The Embryo in Byzantine Canon Law, Professor Spyros Troianos, Faculty of Law, University of Athens
Israel: The Protection of Biotechno-logical Inventions, Mayer Gabay, Civil Service Commissioner, Former Director General, Ministry of Justice
Bios and Business
Germany: Towards a “World Budget.” Thoughts on a World Resource Tax, Professor Udo E. Simonis, Director, International Institute for the Environment and Society, Science Center Berlin; Motivation of Personnel for more Environmental Protection in Practice, Dr. Georg Winter, Chairman of the Board, B.A.U.M. Environmental Management Association
Greece: Bios and Business, Kitty P. Kyriacopoulos, Chairman of the Board, Bauxites Parnasse Mining Company S.A.
Turkey: Bios and Developing Economies, Orhan Karakullukcu, Industrialist, f. Mayor of Trabzon
UK: Tropical Rainforests and Sustainable Use: The Need for Global Education, Dr. David J. Chivers, Scientific Director, Department of Veterinary Anatomy; The I.U.B.E., An International Awareness Center , William J. Cairns, Chairman, W.J. Cairns and Partners Belgium Views on the I.U.B.E. Structure, Dr. Rene van Essche, Director, Scientific and Regulatory Affairs for the EEC
Turkey: Bio-Diversity in Turkey, Professor Aykut Kence, Chairman, Department of Biology, Middle East Technical University
Canada: Restoration of the Coast: Positive Technology at Work, Dr. Colin D. Levings, Research Scientist, West Vancouver Laboratory
The Philippines: ASEAN Coastal Management: Paradox Emerging from the Philosophy of Need, Dr. Miguel D. Fortes, Marine Science Institute, University of The Philippines
The Netherlands: A Quantitative Method for the Description and Assessment of Ecosystems: The AMOEBA Approach, B.J.I. ten Brink and F. Colijn, Tidal Waters Division, Ministry of Transport and Public Works
Israel: Perturbations in the Marine Environment and their Impact on Living Resources, Professor Baruch Kimor, Faculty of Agricultural Engineering, Israel Institute of Technology
CSSR: The Oceans: Exploitation of Resources and Pollution, Professor Vaclav K. Mejstrik, Director, Environmental Ecology Institute, Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences
USSR: Ecological Monitoring of Seas and Oceans The Eco-Aqua Project, Dr. Vladislav Souponitsky, General Director of the Eco-Aqua Consortium, Structure of the International University for the Bio-Environment
France: Has the Time Come for the I.U.B.E.?, Georges Martin, Agronomic Consultant
Greece: I.U.B.E. Financial Structure, H.E. Ambassador Achilles Exarchos; The Role of the International University for the Bio-Environment, Professor Basil C. Papadias, National Technical University of Athens
France: Remarks on the Conditions for the Creation of the I.U.B.E., Professor Michel Despax, Honorary President, University of Social Sciences of Toulouse
Ghana: The Structure of the I.U.B.E., Mike Awua-Asamoa, Director, Deputy Secretary General, WFUNA Africa Regional Office
Poland: Sailing University, Captain Krzysztof Baranowski, International Class Afloat Foundation
USA: A Strategic Approach for Environmental Education, Professor Nicholas A. Ashford, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Turkey: The I.U.B.E.: Its Goals and Clients, Professor Rusen Keles, Director, Center for Environmental Studies, Ankara University
Portugal: The I.U.B.E.: Education and Behaviour, Professor Antonio Manuel de Sousa Otto, Director, Ministry of Industry and Commerce
The Framework of the I.U.B.E.
Ghana: Re-directing Societal Values and Attitudes for the Respect of the Bio-Environment Bernard Kwami Kuma, Honourary President, WFUNA
Israel: The Strategy Behind Environmental Education, Professor Lev Fishelson, Tel Aviv University
Belgium: Human Ecology as an Example of Interdisciplinary Cooperation, Professor Charles Susanne, Laboratory of Human Genetics, Free University of Brussels
Turkey: Some Views on the I.U.B.E., Professor Ahmet Samsunlu, I.T.U.
Greece: Priorities and Urgency of Environmental Problems, Professor John Papaioannou, Adviser, Athens Center of Ekistics
UK: The B.I.O. and the International University for the Bio-Environment, Professor Andrew A. Brennan, Department of Philosophy, University of Stirling
Germany: Think Globally Act Locally, Professor Erich Taubert, Member of the Board, UNA
USA: Systems Human Ecology: Towards a new Paradigm, Professor Stephen L. Chorover, Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Turkey: Establishment of the I.U.B.E. to Provide Global Cooperation Professor Hunay Evliya, Cukorova University
Poland: The Conception of the I.U.B.E. Bio-Environment, Professor Jan W. Dobrowolski, Deputy Dean, Institute of Management and Protection of the Environment, Polish Academy of Sciences
The Netherlands: The Sum of Billions of Individual Decisions Can Mean Change, Albert T.H. Ten Houten, Member of the Dutch National Advisory Council for Research on Nature and Environment
Sri Lanka: B.I.O. and the I.U.B.E., Observations on Goals and Objectives, Kumaran Fernando, Secretary General, UNA
The Philippines: The I.U.B.E. – Goals and Priorities, Dr. Liduvina R. Senora, Executive Secretary, United Nations Association
The Views of Youth
Greece: I.U.B.E. – the Involvement of Youth, Christos Efthimiopoulos, University of Athens and Alexis Coscoros, Athens College
The Role of the Media
USA: The Alliance Network for Environmental Education, Professor Terence John Mills, Director, Center for Environmental Education, Oklahoma State University; The Importance of Context: Environmental Education in the United States, Dr. David W. Shapiro, Media Specialist
UK: Study of Environmental Science at British Universities, Dr. Robert T. Taylor, British Council, Athens; Biopolitics and the Peace Studies Curriculum, Terence Duffy, Senior Tutor in Peace Studies, University of Ulster
USA: One Week Programme in Bio-Habitability, Professor Giulio Pontecorvo, Director, Center for Business and Government Studies, Columbia University
The Netherlands: A Bio-Syllabus: Cleaner Production – Theory, Concepts, Practice, Professor Donald Huisingh, Erasmus Center for Environmental Studies
Israel: The B.I.O. Curriculum: The “Beyond” Curriculum, Professor Edna Aphek, The Seminary of Judaic Studies
Hungary: Bio-Environment Courses in the Economics University Professor Gyula Bora, Rector, Budapest University of Economics
Turkey: The I.U.B.E. – A Special Subject Model, Professor Zafer Erturk, Dean, Technical University Karadeniz
USSR: On the Problem of Anthropocentrism and Biocentrism, Professor Mikhail V. Gusev, Dean, Faculty of Biology, Moscow State University; Majoring in Biopolitics in the I.U.B.E., Dr. Boris A. Gontarev, President, Academy of World Civilizations, Moscow
Israel: Curriculum Format of the I.U.B.E., Dr. Uri Marinov, Director General, Ministry of the Environment
The Philippines: Global Environmental Scenario a Concern of the I.U.B.E., Gloria Castro Gatchalian, Project Director, Eulogio Amang Rodriguez Institute of Science and Technology
Turkey: Bio-Diplomacy and the Bio-Environment H.E., Ambassador Gunduz Aktan
Colombia: Bio-Diplomacy: The Colombian Dimension, Ambassador Eduardo Barajas
Morocco: Aspects of Environmental Policy in Morocco, Ambassador Abdelaziz Laabi
Sudan: The African Dimension, H.E. Ambassador Tagelsir Mohamed Abbas
Israel: The Challenge of Protecting the Bio-Environment, Ambassador Moshe Gilboa
Egypt: Egyptian Policy, Environmental Protection and International Co-operation, Ambassador Ahmed Shaban El-Zant
USA: Educational and Political Outreach by the I.U.B.E., Jordan A. Horvath, Board of Directors, UNA and James P. Muldoon, Jr, Director, Model UN and Youth, UNA
Nigeria: The Bio-Syllabus African Dimension: The Need for International Education, Tina Uwechue, Barrister at Law, Vice-President, UNA
China: A Quick Glance at a Developing Country’s Bio-Environmental Education, Liu Chun Yu, Deputy Director, Pollution Control Department, Environmental Protection Agency
Japan: Approach to Global Environmental Issues, Prof. Jiro Kondo, President, Science Council of Japan, Director, Research Institute of Innovative Technology for the Earth
Israel: The Israeli Environmental Scenario for the Year 2025, Dr. Amram Pruginin, Deputy Director General, Ministry of the Environment
Poland: Ecodevelopment-Education-Politics, Professor Stanislaw Radwan, Academy of Agriculture, Institute of Physical Planning; Bio-Environmental Protection, the Present and New Vision, ProfessorKrzysztof Korzeniewski, Institute of Oceanography, University of Gdansk and Professor Janina Ewert, Faculty of Mathematics and Sciences, Pedagogical University, Slupsk
USSR: Protection of the Environment – a Part of the Soviet Union’s Science Policy, Professor Y. Karabasov and Professor A. Shlikov, State Committee for Science and Technology
Germany: Ecological Urban Restructuring, Professor Udo E. Simonis, Director, International Institute for the Environment and Society, Science Center Berlin and Dr. Ekhart Hahn, Research Fellow, Science Center of Berlin
CSSR: Political Decisions on Ecological Problems: Anthropo-Ecological Approach, Dr. Jaroslav Stoklasa, Chairman of the Federal Committee for the Environment, Academy of Sciences
Yugoslavia: Environment, Survival and Bioethics: The Drama of Contemporary Civilisation, Professor Dusan Kanazir, President, Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts.