The Responsibility of Ecologists (EN)

A responsabilidade dos ecólogos
During the first day of EEFLisbon2019, we had a debate dedicated to the role of ecologists on the sustainable development goals. The discussion created the basis for the moderator to resume all the main ideas and to produce the attached document. It aims to be a fundamental deontological document to guide the professional activity of ecologists and their relationship with society. 


Science in general, and the scientific domain of Ecology in particular, have helped us understand that the extraordinary development humankind has experienced in recent centuries came at a heavy price to the biosphere: degradation of the atmosphere, land and ocean, climate change, accelerating reduction of biodiversity and extinction of species. We know that since the advent of agriculture, human activities are playing a prominent role, and risk driving one million species to extinction in coming decades. This path is unsustainable and has to be reversed in the next decade with a sense of urgency and forceful determination.


This document was written as a summing up of the debate held during the 15th European Ecological Federation Congress, which took place in Lisbon from July 29th to August 2nd 2019, under the title “Embedding Ecology in Sustainable Development Goals”.

These conclusions include the views expressed by a panel convened under the title “How is Ecology contributing to the accomplishment of the SDG’s?” that had the participation of:


Arjen Wals

Professor at Wageningen University, where he holds the UNESCO Chair in Social Learning and Sustainable Development. Senior advisor at the Gothenburg Centre for Sustainable Development.

David Nabarro

Professor of Global Health, Imperial College London and Strategic Director of 4SD, Switzerland. Previously Special Adviser to the United Nations Secretary-General on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Climate Change (2016–17), and Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Food Security and Nutrition (2010–14).

Humberto Rosa

Director for Natural Capital in the Directorate-General for Environment of the European Commission.  Previously, Secretary of State for the Environment of the Portuguese Government (2005-11).

Laura Airoldi

Associate Professor at Bologna University and Co-leader of the Green Engineering Working Group of the global network World Harbour Project. Regional Coordinator for the Mediterranean Sea at the global Kelp Ecosystem Ecology Network.

Osvaldo Sala

Julie A. Wrigley Chair, Regents' and Foundation Professor, founding director of the Global Drylands Center at Arizona State University and President of the Ecological Society of America.


The panel was moderated by José Vítor Malheiros who was also the author of the report that is now presented to the public discussion under the title "The Responsibility of Ecologists".




"The Responsibility of Ecologists"


The document is open to discussion by the scientific community. If you want to contribute with your feedback, please send it to Este endereço de email está protegido contra piratas. Necessita ativar o JavaScript para o visualizar.

Download the press release here (in portuguese).