Press reactions to the Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment (see also 'News and comment' on page 359) were, perhaps un>avoidably, mixed. Many laid most stress on such features as the absence of the Russian and other governments, the tons of paper circulated, and the activities of fringe and political groups. Yet a heartening measure of agreement was reached on many issues and, if only the governments of the world translate these into action, real progress might be made. A major topic considered by the n o countries represented was the growing contamination of the oceans and here a number of proposals were adopted, including principles for the control of marine pollution (one aim being to eliminate by the mid-1970's all deliberate discharging of oil from ships), a draft convention on ocean dumping, and international programmes to assess and monitor the extent and dangers of marine pollution. The worries which led to this spate of proposals owed much to the activities of ornithologists in recent years, for birds have proved both on land and at sea one of the best indicators of possible threats. In this connection, therefore, it is appropriate that the first joint conference of the three major British ornithological organisations, to be held in London on 21st November 1972, will be on 'Birds in the Modern Environment' with the aim of explaining to amenity and conservation bodies, industrialists, technicians and the Government just how vital this contribution has been in the past and how much research is
Issue 8

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