Rationale and Objectives

Global environmental awareness is a comparatively recent phenomenon that which emerged with the development of mass air travel and the introduction of new technologies after the Second World War. At the same time our ideas about the Earth were radically transformed by the space programme that furnished images of the earth as a blue and white globe floating in the deep darkness of space. Modern electronic communications now link the world as never before and consequently the local and global are becoming increasingly intertwined.

We are also aware to the extent that the modern world is fractured and divided with especially marked disparities between modern industrialised nations and the countries of sub-Saharan Africa. Additionally, there are long-term regional conflicts in some areas which it can be argued are signs of environmental stress and political inequality. People have always moved around the world throughout human history but the current pressure of human numbers and the signs that economic growth means that migration and the movement of refugees is a highly contentious issue for the local and global communities.