This was the fifth symposium of its type. The first was held on the Aegean Sea in 1995, the second on the Black Sea in 1997, the third on the Danube River in 1999 and the fourth on the Adriatic Sea in 2001, all of them under the aegis of Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomaios and all of them aboard ships. The focus of the Patriarchate and its leader’s environmental approach is on the essential element of water, and holding all the proceedings on board a ship traveling through water that has suffered from the effects of human activity has acted as a symbolic link. From the outset, the symposia were put under the supervision of an honorary committee and a scientific team, who jointly formulate the subject of each event. A non-governmental organization called Religion, Science and Environment, which is based in London and Athens, organizes the symposiums. Senior clerics from various denominations, academics, theologians, representatives of environmental organizations and agencies from different countries participate in the organization, the honorary committee and the scientific team, all under the spiritual guidance of the ecumenical patriarch. The symposia are also under the aegis of the European Union, in particular the president of the European Commission, Romano Prodi, who has supported all the symposia that have taken place during his term in office.