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A Green Attica for a Sustainable Environment

Preserving the Planet and Protecting Its People


June 5-8, 2018

The Saronic Islands, Attica, Greece


This international ecological symposium organized by the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Regional Prefecture of Attiki will convene theologians and scientists, political and business leaders, as well as activists and journalists from all over the world. Participants will explore the pressing environmental problems of the region and its islands, examining the connections between ecology and economy, particularly in the context of pressing social and environmental challenges of our time.





Dear friends,

We are delighted to announce an international ecological symposium entitled “A GREEN ATTICA FOR A SUSTAINABLE ENVIRONMENT: Preserving the Planet and Protecting its People” to be held in Athens, Greece, from June 5-8, 2018. The symposium is jointly sponsored by the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Region of Attica. The President of the Hellenic Republic will be in attendance, while the President of the French Republic has been invited to open the symposium of some 250 distinguished governmental, environmental and religious leaders.

As you are already aware, over the last three decades, the Ecumenical Patriarchate has highlighted the religious and spiritual roots of the ecological crisis, while emphasizing that the necessary spiritual transformation of human beings and their attitude toward creation requires the collaboration of all social sectors and scientific disciplines. Moreover, we have pioneered diverse international, interdisciplinary and interfaith initiatives for environmental sustainability, organizing symposia, seminars and summits, while inspiring and motivating theologians and scientists, political and business leaders, as well as activists and journalists from all over the world. This is why we were personally involved in the process leading up to the historic Paris Agreement adopted in December 2015.

At the same time, the current Administration of the Region of Attica has emphasized environmental and public health issues in national and European level, participating in numerous environmental EU projects concerning the awareness raising issue and taking part in the COP 21 conference. Furthermore, the Region of Attica, having in mind the great importance of the migration/refugee phenomenon for the local societies, tries to address the issue of reception and social integration of migrants/refugees in terms of respecting democracy, human rights, and the rule of law. Both the government and people of Greece have extended their hospitality to refugees from the Middle East and Northern Africa as a result of war, violence and poverty.

Therefore, the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Region of Attica are organizing this symposium in order to explore the pressing environmental problems of the region and its islands, examining the connections between ecology and economy, particularly in the context of pressing social and environmental challenges of our time. Our aim is to affirm a collaborative response to the ecological crisis, while advocating for a sustainable planet as a sacred legacy for all people and especially our children.

Prayerfully yours,

Archbishop of Constantinople-New Rome and Ecumenical Patriarch






         June 5, 2018


         7:00 – 10:00 PM                    Concert and Art Exhibition


         June 6, 2018

         10:00 AM – 12:00 PM           SESSION I: OPENING

                           Irene Dourou, Regional Governor of Attica
                            Political Leaders
                            Faith Leaders
                            Special Guests
                  Keynote Addresses
                            HAH Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew

Sailing the Saronic Islands


         4:00 – 6:00 PM                      SESSION II

                  Setting the Scene: Religion, Science, and Environment
                            Doing the Math
                            Feeling the Pulse
                            Inspiring Change

Sailing the Saronic Islands

Special Presentation


         June 7, 2018

         10:00 AM – 12:00 PM           SESSION III

                  Global Trends: Economy, Ethics, and Spirituality
                            The Way of the Market
                            Philosophy and Practice
                            The Way of the Heart

Sailing the Saronic Islands


         4:00 – 6:00 PM                      SESSION IV

                  Local Impacts: War and Migration, Refugees and Poverty
                            Moving People
                            Feeding People
                            Sheltering People

Sailing the Saronic Islands


         June 8, 2018

         10:00 AM – 12:00 PM           SESSION V: CLOSING

                  Mapping the Future: Leadership and Transformation
                            The Role of Faith
                            The Role of Economy
                            The Role of Government

                  Closing Remarks
                            Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew

                            Irene Dourou, Regional Governor of Attica






His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew is spiritual leader to 300 million Orthodox Christians worldwide. Born in Imvros (Gokçeada), Turkey (1940), he is 270th Archbishop of the 2000-year-old Church founded by St. Andrew, serving as Archbishop of Constantinople-New Rome, and Ecumenical Patriarch since 1991.

His All-Holiness is as comfortable preaching about the spiritual legacy of the Orthodox Church as he is promoting socio-political issues of his immediate cultural environment and praying for respect toward Islam or for global peace. The Patriarch’s consistent vision to promote reconciliation among Christian churches, his tireless efforts to promote human rights and religious tolerance, together with his pioneering work to advance international peace and environmental protection, have placed him at the forefront of global visionaries as an apostle of love, peace and reconciliation.

Moreover, His All-Holiness has visited many Orthodox and particularly Muslim countries seldom visited by worldwide Christian leaders. Since the 1990s and especially after the tragedy of September 11, he has tirelessly addressed the specter of international terrorism and the importance of interfaith dialogue. To this end, he organized a series of conferences on religious tolerance in Berne (Switzerland) and Istanbul (Turkey) and Thessaloniki (Greece), publishing influential declarations against extremism, violence and war in the Balkans, the Middle East and throughout the world. One of his favorite catchphrases is: “War in the name of religion, is war against religion.” For these achievements, in 1997, he was awarded the Gold Medal of the United States Congress.

Affectionately known as the “Green Patriarch,” His All-Holiness has been a trailblazer on the issues related to the protection of the natural environment, organizing numerous symposia, summits and seminars on the ecological crisis. He was named one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World for “defining environmentalism as a spiritual responsibility,” while The Guardian in London recognized him as one of the world’s leaders in raising environmental awareness.

As “first among equals” within the family of Orthodox Churches, the Ecumenical Patriarch has facilitated and coordinated unity among the sister Orthodox Churches throughout the world. In June 2016, he convened and presided over the long-awaited Holy and Great Council, which had been planned and prepared for almost one century. His All-Holiness has also presided over the restoration of the Autocephalous Church of Albania and the Autonomous Church of Estonia, proving a constant source of spiritual and moral support to those traditionally Orthodox countries emerging from decades of wide scale religious persecution behind the Iron Curtain.

The Ecumenical Patriarch studied at the Theological School of Halki in Turkey (1961), the Pontifical Oriental Institute of the Gregorian University in Rome (1966), the Ecumenical Institute in Geneva (1967) and the University of Munich (1968). He holds numerous honorary doctorates throughout the world, including the universities of Athens and Thessaloniki (Greece), Georgetown and Yale (USA), Flinders and Manila (Australasia), London and Edinburgh, Louvain and Bologna, Moscow and Bucharest (Europe). He speaks contemporary Greek, Turkish, Italian, German, French and English; he is also fluent in classical Greek and Latin.

Rena Dourou is the elected Governor of the Attica Region, following the May 2014 regional elections.

She received a teacher’s degree from the University of Athens and pursued post-graduate studies in France, Turkey, and Great Britain. She holds a Master’s degree in Political Science. Ms. Dourou speaks English, French, and Turkish.

Twice member of the Greek Parliament and then appointed on behalf of the then opposition party now governmental, SYRIZA, for foreign affairs, she has also been elected as an Alternate Secretary-General of the Interparliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy (a trans-national, inter-parliamentary institution promoting the principles of Christianity and democracy among parliamentarians).

Ms. Dourou has worked as a consultant in publishing and political marketing. Her books and articles have been appeared in Greek and international media. Currently, she is a member of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe (both as a representative of the Chamber of Regions and a full member in the Current Affairs Committee).


Organizing Committee


Rev. Dr. John Chryssavgis (co-chair, Ecumenical Patriarchate)
Kosmas Papachrysovergis (co-chair, Region of Attica)
Nicholas Anton (symposium secretary)
Eleni Tserezole
Christos Karamanos