In the last few decades of the twentieth century, environmental problems became a higher priority for governments, citizens and other bodies. Liberal democracies now have dedicated environmental ministries and agencies and an imposing array of environmental policies; governments are party to a seemingly impressive range of environmental agreements and regimes at the international level; citizens are generally more sympathetic towards the campaigns of environmental organisations. These developments have emerged in response to the recognition of the importance of environmental values, and yet there continue to be high levels of confl ict around issues such as the release of genetically modifi ed organisms, road building, the destruction of rainforests and climate change.