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In early June 2003 we visited an almost entirely enclosed, extremely fragile water body. The Baltic Sea borders on, and receives pollution from, nine countries that have widely disparate natural resources, economies, social structures and mores. The end of the Cold War has allowed the regeneration of political, economic, social, cultural and religious ties within the region. Symposium V called attention to the problems of the Baltic Sea and their causes and promoted the dialogue between Religion and Science, which started in the previous symposia. Its intention was to generate practical initiatives that support on-going efforts to protect the Baltic Sea and apply lessons learned from other environmentally threatened parts of the world.

The Symposium, held between the 1st and the 8th of June 2003, passed through five countries in eight days, with stops in Gdansk, Kaliningrad, Tallinn, Helsinki and Stockholm. Plenary and working groups were held on board, with numerous shore visits.

The Symposium brought together two hundred and fifty participants - theologians, scientists, policy makers, environmentalists and journalists - under the patronage of His All Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch and HE Mr Romano Prodi President of the EC. Invited speakers included HM The Queen of Denmark, President Prodi, Hans Kung, Commissioner Wallstrom, Claus Topfer, and HM The King of Sweden. The shore visits and on-board plenaries involved many more distinguished individuals. The Symposium again included fifty members of the international media.

The purpose of the Symposium was to draw lessons from the Baltic - its diversity, problems and history - in order to illustrate the challenges faced by humankind. Furthermore, it aimed to examine the role and application of codes of environmental ethics in moving towards a wisdom-based ethos for a world drowning in information, a world on the cusp of the 'knowledge society'.