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Sound and independent information
on the environment

Introduction

This publication summarizes a major report on the European environment which has been prepared by the EC Task Force for the European Environment Agency in cooperation with the UNECE, UNEP, OECD, Council of Europe, WHO, IUCN and Eurostat, together with the individual countries of Europe. Called Europe's Environment: The Dobris Assessment, the report covers the state of the environment in a Europe of nearly 50 States.

The report is aimed at all those concerned with the environment professionally, as well as those with a more general interest. It is intended to provide an objective basis for planners and developers involved in policy making and programming in environment and sectorial fields. It should also serve to inform and raise awareness generally about environmental problems facing Europe today.

This overview has been produced to help make the report accessible, introducing some of the main findings and results which have been reached.

Background to the report

The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), convened in June 1992, stressed that a new responsibility for environmental protection had to be shared by all countries if sustainable development were to become a reality. UNCED's action plan, 'Agenda 21', outlines the actions needed to halt and reverse environmental degradation and bring about sustainable development in all countries.

These concerns have also been the subject of a series of European initiatives. The Bergen Ministerial Conference (May 1990) on sustainable development in the ECE region emphasized the need to improve reporting on the state of the environment. Prompted by the changes occurring in Central and Eastern Europe, a joint meeting of environment ministers from this region, the EU and EFTA was held in Dublin in June 1990. This meeting produced the idea of holding regular European ministerial conferences to address environmental matters. The first of these 'pan-European' conferences took place in Dobris Castle in the former Czechoslovakia in June 1991. It was at this conference that the present report on the state of the European environment was called for. The second conference was held in Lucerne (1993) and the third is scheduled for 1995 in Sofia, with the aim of adopting an Environmental Programme for Europe (EPE) for which this report is a basic input.

 

Form of the report

The report is presented in several parts. Part I introduces the context and the reporting techniques used. Part II assesses the state of the environment in eight different fields. Part III examines the pressures which impact the environment and Part IV describes the sources of these pressures - human activities - in eight different sectors. Part V summarizes twelve major environmental problems in Europe. The major highlights of the report are concluded in Part VI, summarizing for each theme important findings, responses and policy options, information strengths and gaps. A statistical compendium to the report is published separately by Eurostat.

The countries of Europe

Albania
Andorra
Austria
Belarus
Belgium
Bosnia-Herzegovina
Bulgaria
Croatia
Cyprus
Czech Republic
Denmark
Estonia
Finland
France

FYROM

Germany
Greece
Hungary
Iceland
Ireland
Italy
Kazakhstan (partly)
Latvia
Liechtenstein
Lithuania
Luxembourg
Malta
Moldova
Monaco
Netherlands


Norway
Poland
Portugal
Romania
Russian Federation (partly)
San Marino
Serbia-Montenegro
Slovak Republic
Slovenia
Spain
Sweden
Switzerland
Turkey (partly)
Ukraine
United Kingdom
Vatican City

   
 

Geographic coverage

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European Environment Agency (EEA)
Kongens Nytorv 6
1050 Copenhagen K
Denmark
Phone: +45 3336 7100