The pan-European region: environmental challenges
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'Europe's environment — The fourth assessment'
By: European Environment Agency
The latest in a series of assessments of the pan-European environment published over the past 15 years by the EEA, the report assesses environmental progress in 53 countries — an area with a total population of more than 870 million people. The region includes: Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia (EECCA), South Eastern Europe (SEE), as well as Western and Central Europe (WCE). The report highlights priority areas such as:
- environment-related health concerns (issues related to air quality, inland waters, soil, hazardous chemicals);
- climate change;
- biodiversity loss;
- overuse of marine resources;
- the current patterns of production and consumption; and
- pressures caused by economic activities (agriculture, tourism, transport, energy).
Improved implementation of existing policies and the setting of clear, realistic targets is a key recommendation of the report. However, a shared environmental information system is also urgently required to deal with a prevailing lack of reliable, accessible and comparable environmental information across the pan-European region.
Policies for a better environment — Progress in Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia
This is an assessment of progress in achieving the objectives of the EECCA Environment Strategy since 2003 — focusing on actions taken by EECCA governments. The report covers 12 countries.
The main message is that, in a still difficult context, the EECCA countries have made some progress in improving environmental management, but a major implementation gap persists. In an increasingly diverse region, progress is not even across countries or environmental policy areas. Finance is a barrier in all areas, but it is not always the most important one: creating a more effective incentive structure for environmental improvement through policy and institutional reform is also essential.
Environmental policy in South East Europe
This report reviews progress in the development and implementation of environmental and sustainability policies in South East Europe (SEE), a region which includes six countries and territories. It shows that national environmental action plans and other sectoral strategies dealing with the environmental dimension of sustainability have been developed and adopted. New environmental legislation was adopted aiming for compliance with EU directives and international agreements, but its implementation is still in its early stages.