Ecological policies’ (over 20200 internet quotations) became throughout times, a constant attitude of the world governments, as much as the ecological and the biodiversity interferences of the regional, national, trans-national and global interdependencies, affect all nations. In Europe, the year 1972, marked the first common European ecological and pro-environmental attitudes and the European Single Act, adopted in 1987, introduced a special chapter dedicated to the environmental protection as ecological European policy, establishing the institutional, legal and principles needed framework.

‘Ecological Diplomacy’ or the ‘Eco-Diplomacy’ (3300 internet quotations), is mentioned by Richard N. Gardner, professor on international relations at Columbia University, USA, senior adviser to United Nation for the Rio Summit in 1992, in a Los Angeles Times article, published on 16th of June 1992. In the article titled: ‚ The Era of Eco-Diplomacy Is Born; Will It Survive?: Environment: Even in its compromises, the Earth Summit is a matrix for cooperative global problem-solving.’, Gardner professor Gardner stated that The just-concluded U.N. Conference on Environment and Development has launched the world into a new era of international Eco-Diplomacy, Eco-Negotiation and Eco-Lawmaking. We will be pondering its meaning for months, but here are one observer’s provisional conclusions: First, eco-diplomacy can be even harder than the diplomacy of peace and security. When dealing with Iraq, Cambodia or Yugoslavia we have a Security Council of 15 countries that can lay down the law for the whole world community. Moreover, the United States is protected by its veto power. But in the new world of “sustainable development” negotiations, there is no equivalent to the Security Council and no way to create one.”

The North-American academic developments are important and opens new ways of reflections, on 21st -23rd of October 2011, the Vermont University in USA, founder of the EcoDiplomacy Academy[1] and of the IEDS-Institute of the Environmental Diplomacy and Security, organizes the Inaugural Conference on Environmental Diplomacy and Security. Conference sections for debates are:

  • Polar Diplomacy: Energy, the Environment and Security in the Arctic and Antarctic
  • The Social Ecology of Borders: Environmental Regionalism and Globalization
  • Beyond African “Exceptionalism”: Ecological approaches to improving the African Union
  • Bridging Eurasia: Energy Infrastructure, Conservation and Culture
  • Chemical Diplomacy: Negotiating the Global Mercury Treaty.

The initiators of the Inaugural Conference on Environmental Diplomacy and Security, considers that: “Environmental issues are often framed as a source of conflict in terms of resource scarcity. Yet they tend to be relegated as “low politics,” in the larger scheme of international relations. This conference aims to consider ways by which environmental issues can be raised to “high politics of war and peace” to ensure ecological, economic and social sustainability. The conference is the inaugural event of a new research and practice center on the emerging discipline of environmental diplomacy and security at the University of Vermont. The conference is broadly arranged around 5 short symposia, each of which is targeted towards developing a product for research and educational purposes. These “products” can range from edited volumes to new educational web sites to video documentaries. Topics have been chosen based on the relevance of these efforts to mandate of the institute’s three thematic areas:

a) Borderlands Boundaries: in physical and cognitive space can be defining themes of diplomacy. IEDS
explores[2] how human territoriality can be constructively configured so geopolitical boundaries work within ecological principles.

b) Pragmatic Peace: Public policy has often been polarized between “hawks” and doves”, with each side dismissing the other’s motives and methods. IEDS works to reconcile these differences by promoting a practically implementable vision of peace.

c) Resource Values: Natural resources have values in both economic and ecological terms, and often a disjuncture in these values leads to conflict. IEDS works to find effective mechanisms for ascribing, communicating, and implementing values that minimize conflict.” To the valuable ideas of the IEDS experts, an European new approach on Eco-Bio-Economy and Eco-Bio-Diplomacy as a Smart Sustainable Integrated Diplomacy of future – that also considers the “Europe 2020 a smart, sustainable, inclusive growth strategy”, insertion, can open a bridge for future educational and scientific cooperation.

 


[1] http://www.uvm.edu/ieds/node/353
[2] http://www.uvm.edu/ieds/projects