Europe's environment: the third assessment

Reply Tue 13 May, 2003 08:23 am
This is the third pan-European state of the environment report produced by the EEA. It was prepared for the 'Environment for Europe' Ministerial Conference being held under the auspices of the UN Economic Commission for Europe in Kiev, Ukraine on 21-23 May 2003. This assessment is the most comprehensive up-to-date overview currently available of the state of the environment on this continent. In contrast to previous reports issued in 1995 and 1998, it covers for the first time the entire Russian Federation and the 11 other Eastern European, Caucasus and Central Asian (EECCA) states. The report also analyses how the main economic driving forces put pressure on the European environment and identifies key areas where further action is needed.

Environmental assessment report No 10
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Reply Tue 13 May, 2003 12:47 pm
interesting report, and quite a large one at that. Great to be all in pdf format as well, that way you can go back when you have the time to browse around.
The newsbrief I found good quick reference point to start with:

Just a bit from that here ....


While highlighting wide differences in the environmental situation between and within the different regional groupings, the report confirms that environmental policies, when properly developed and implemented, have in several fields led to significant improvements in the environment and to lower pressures on it.

For example, substantial reductions have been achieved in Europe's emissions of substances that damage the atmospheric ozone layer. Decreases in acidifying emissions to air and in emissions to water from point sources - such as factories - have generally improved the quality of both media. Protection of the habitats of biologically important plant and animal species has brought some improvement in their situation.

In contrast, environmental policies to curb waste have made no significant headway, and pressures are still increasing on some natural resources, especially fish stocks, top soil and land. Emissions to water from diffuse sources such as agriculture remain a problem.

Economic and social transition since the early 1990s - with western Europe developing into a more service-oriented society and the rest of the continent moving towards a market economy, albeit at different speeds - has resulted in environmental improvements in some fields but degradation in others.

Europe, overall, has seen reductions in its emissions of greenhouse gases. In Central and Eastern Europe and EECCA there has been less pressure on water resources from agriculture and industry. In these countries economic restructuring has also been the major driving force behind reductions in emissions of air pollutants.

On the negative side, land abandonment due to economic restructuring in Central and Eastern Europe and EECCA is threatening biodiversity. Economic growth is making it more difficult for many western European countries to meet their national targets for limiting greenhouse gas emissions.

Urban development and transport infrastructure is covering over large areas of productive soil and fragmenting major animal and plant habitats in many places across the region. Overfishing is threatening marine natural resources.

As environmental improvements in these areas are mainly determined by the general economic situation, much of the progress seen to date is unlikely to be sustained under conditions of continuing or renewed economic growth. At the same time, many of the negative impacts are likely to be exacerbated.

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