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Environmental issues


The fall of the communist regime brought the shutting of old factories, leaving behind many derelict buildings. A high number of second-hand vehicles were imported, contributing to significant air pollution. The number of cars increased rapidly over the years, most of them being old, diesel vehicles. The fuel used contains high levels of sulphur and lead. Burning of trash is also contributing to air pollution. The problem is acute in the capital Tirana, where noise pollution is becoming an issue as well.


Deforestation remains a significant environmental problem in Albania, despite government afforestation programs. Forest and woodland account for 38% of the country's land use. Soil erosion is also a cause for concern. Illegally dumping trash remains a serious problem, often affecting parks and forests. A total of 2.9% of Albania's lands is protected by environmental laws. As of 2001, 17 of the 3,000-plus plant species in Albania were endangered.


Climate change in Albania is expected to result in temperature increases, resulting in milder winters, warmer springs, hotter and drier summers and drier autumns. It is expected that this will lead to more frequent and severe droughts, and heat waves along with an increased risk of fires.


Water issues


Coastal erosion can be observed in several places on the Adriatic coast in Albania with the most visible effects near Shëngjin and Golem beaches.


The post-communist period witnessed an increase in water pollution. There has also been an increase in consumption and, as a result, more illegally dumped waste, as well as industrial and domestic effluents in the rivers, sea and waterways. Trash in the water is not just esthetically disturbing, but also gives rise to harmful and dangerous bacteria and algae. While Albania has a comparatively small amount of renewable water resources at 26.7 cu km, 99% of its urban population and 95% of its rural population have access to pure water.


Climate change in Albania is expected to result in precipitation decreases. A rising sea level will lead to salinization of coastal areas.


Carbon emissions 


Albania ratified UNFCCC in 1995 and has the status of a non-Annex I Party. In 2004 it ratified the Kyoto Protocol as well.


Albania is a relatively low net emitter of greenhouse gases, with relatively low CO2 emissions per capita, mainly due to the fact that over 90% of electricity is generated by hydro-sources. Albania has made no commitments to reduce GHG emissions. It is estimated that by 2020 total emissions will rise by more than five times. GHG emissions per capita were 2.47 t CO2 eq., 4 to 5 times lower than the average of industrialized countries. The main contributing sectors were Energy (44.0%), followed by Agriculture (27.1%) and LULUCF (21.6%). Among energy subsectors, transport is the fastest growing sector.


Albania has addressed the mitigation and adaptation measures through the National Climate Change Strategy, which integrates climate change concerns into economic development plans. The Strategy for the Development of the Energy Sector recommends changes by 2015 that must be undertaken to increase the security and optimization of the energy supply. Policy objectives and strategies for forest development also exist. Other political documents that address climate change issues are:

-          National Strategy for Development and Integration (2007-2013)

-          Intersectorial Environmental Strategy 2007-2013: improve energy efficiency in all sectors

-          First and Second National Communications for UNFCCC.


Renewable energies


The share of renewable energy sources (excluding hydro power) is negligible. Almost 97% of the electricity produced in the country is generated by hydropower plants (large and small scale). Fuel wood is used as a recourse for the households for ambient heating and domestic hot water. The use of solar energy is a new tendency which is developing slowly in recent years. Policies and or production of energy from the agriculture sector or wind energy are lacking.


The law on ‘Energy Efficiency’ deals with the renewable energy issues in a broader perspective and has provided the regulatory framework for the Albanian Electricity Regulatory Entity. In the National Strategy of Energy the most important objectives directly or indirectly connected with the use of renewable energies are outlined. The new Minister on Energy mentioned as important the support to develop the RE resources especially from hydro, wind, solar and biomass.


The promotion of the use of RE sources is done mainly by different international donors rather than the Albanian Government. The most important supporting programs are:

-          The Program on “Promotion of Renewable Energies and Energy Efficiency” in Albania

-          The Project on “Solar Water Heaters - Training of Solar Experts & Professionals and Improvement of Technology & Production”.


Sustainability targets


Albanian Prime Minister affirmed that his government “is committed to sustainable development.”


The National Strategy for Development and Integration 2007-2013 is the main document that includes elements referring to sustainable development. The priority that specifically addresses these elements is “Achieve rapid, balanced and sustainable economic, social and human development”:


-          Improvement of transport infrastructure

-          Development of energy system. The increased capacity will cover demand at a minimal social and environmental cost

-          Development of water supply and sanitation sector to improve living conditions, conserve the environment, and develop economy in a sustainable manner

-          Protection of environment from pollution and degradation: fuels will meet European standards; regional landfills will be constructed; a national air quality monitoring system will be implemented; sanitary landfill sites for municipal waste will be established; existing landfills of urban waste will be closed and the contaminated land of identified hot spots rehabilitated.

-          A good quality, inclusive, flexible education system

-          Implementation of an integrated model of spatial planning, in the service of sustainable development and tourism promotion

-          An integrated and coherent policy aiming to achieve balanced regional development

-          Consolidated public programmes that support agricultural and rural development, to support sustainable development in this area.


Environmental issues

The continuing deforestation of already scarce forest resources, much of which illegal, presents a significant environmental threat. The energy blockade has been a contributor as trees were cut for firewood. The problems of treatment, storage and disposal of industrial and municipal waste create concern as well.

Air pollution is another significant problem. Transport remains the main atmosphere polluter. Ararat cement and gold-mining factory, the nuclear power-station and the international airport are all sources of air, water and agricultural land pollution. In the Ararat plain ground erosion and pickling initiated desertification. Land degradation, soil pollution by chemicals including DDT and waste management are serious threats.

The restarting of the Metsamor nuclear power plant, after being shut down in 1988, causes concerns.

The major threats to biodiversity include mining, illegal logging, poaching and illegal wildlife trade, overgrazing and overfishing, infrastructure development and pollution of rivers and wetlands. As of 2001, 7.6% of the total land area in Armenia is protected.

Caucasus region already suffers serious consequences of climate changes on biodiversity and deposition of ice and snow. One of the effects on nature will be landscape zones shift towards higher altitudes. Species extinction within the region is reaching alarming rates. An increase of the draught rate is also expected. As part of the region, Armenia will also experience these stresses.

Water issues

The Lake Sevan is the high-mountain reservoir of drinking water, which has significant national and regional importance. The quality of water and the degree of pollution by domestic wastewater flow remains alarming. Absence of the drainage station, new construction around the lake and agriculture aggravate the situation.

A wastewater treatment plant exists only for Yerevan. The quality of water in the rivers is not always up to normative indices. DDT was an important source of pollution. The cases of exceedance for heavy metals, Ph, ammonium ions, oil products are very frequent. The most polluted transboundary rivers are the Debed, Agstev, Araks, Voghji, Hrazdan, Akhuryan and Vorotan Rivers and their river basins. Water systems are in unsatisfactory technical condition. The risk of infectious diseases outbreak is not excluded.

Major problems to wetlands and waterbirds are water loss, water balance disturbance, soil deterioration, pollution, garbage dumping, over-exploitation, invasive species.

Climate change is expected to reduce river flow, precipitation in continental regions and increase draught rate, precipitation in Sevan lake area, as well as expander of habitats of natural carriers of malaria and plague. The country will face consequences of Caucasus range ice sheet melting, water reserves and biodiversity loss.

Carbon emissions

The Republic of Armenia ratified the UNFCCC in 1993 and the Kyoto Protocol in 2002.

In 2000, the total GHG emissions reduced by 80% compared to the baseline (1990), due to the energy and economic crisis of 1992-1995 and the consequent significant changes in the economy. The Energy sector accounts for the major part of the total GHG emissions in 1990-2006, followed by Agriculture and Waste. Rapid changes in emission/removals balance have taken place in the LULUCF sector due to an increase in forest logging and loss of quality of arable lands and meadows. GHG emissions per capita have dropped from 6.9 tons in 1990 to 1.6 tons in 2000 with slight growth to 2.0 tons in 2006.

As a non-Annex I Party, Armenia does not have quantitative commitments for reducing GHG emissions. However, it has passed a number of laws and is implementing national and sectoral development programs, which contribute to the reduction of GHG emissions. Some of the key ones include: Law on energy (2001), Law on energy saving and renewable energy (2004), Forest Code (2005), Sustainable Development Program (2008), Second National Environmental Action Plan (2008). Measures contributing to GHG reduction by sectors are planned in the sectors of energy, transport, waste, forestry, water, agriculture, climate change vulnerability, biodiversity, settlements and human health.

Renewable energies

Armenia has no natural fuels. Hydropower is the only local energy resource, covering 20-35% of the demand.

Wind resources monitoring projects began as early as 1990. Studies indicate that more than 1,000 km2 of Armenia's territory has good to excellent wind resource potential. However, there is only one operational wind farm in Armenia. Armenia also possesses significant solar energy potential but presently there are only a few, small pilot-type solar panel installations. In 2005 the development of geothermal power was declared high priority by the Ministry of Energy. The gathering of methane from municipal waste disposal sites could contribute to RE development. Armenia is the only Caucasian republic where active works on hydrogen economy is currently carried out, with up to 500 W hydrogen based commercial fuel cells produced and sold worldwide.

A review of RE potential in Armenia ranked small hydropower plants and solar hot water heaters as the most economical in the short to medium term, followed by wind farms and the use of heat pumps. Photovoltaics, geothermal power, and bio-fuels are ranked as more costly. Biomass is also a viable source for heat and electricity production in the short term.

Policy documents:

- Energy Sector Development Strategies in the Context of Economic Development in Armenia

- National Program on Energy Saving and Renewable Energy of Armenia

Sustainability targets

The Sustainable Development Programme 2008 is the main document that includes elements referring to sustainable development. The strategic priorities are:

- Improvement of the living conditions of the population, including the overcoming of human poverty or, in the wide sense, to ensure sustainable human development.

- Restrain the deepening of existing economic growth disproportions through development and introduction of the targeted territorial policy ensuring the accelerated development of weak regions.

- Ensure sustainable and rapid economic growth; implement the targeted social and income policies aimed at the active and vulnerable social groups; modernize the country’s administration system. These will be complemented by measures aimed to ensure environmental protection and effective management of natural resources.

- Sustainable and continuous improvement of the labor force competitiveness; mitigation of imbalance between the labor force demand and supply; creation of job opportunities for young people; expansion of programs for noncompetitive groups; building social cooperation and partnership.

- Advanced development of fundamental social services, particularly education and health through increase of their efficiency and accessibility.

- Increase of public governance efficiency at all levels

- Increase of the state financing capacities and keeping the deficit within safe limits.

The document also includes dedicated chapters for environment, education, agriculture and rural, regional and urban development.


Environmental issues

Land erosion, salinization, contamination of soil with hazardous waste, desertification are some of the acute environmental challenges facing the country. Around 43% of the Republic's territory is exposed to erosion processes of various intensities. The country has a low share (11%) of woodland; inadequate energy supply led to felling of timber for fuel. Inadequate handling and utilization of waste, especially in big cities, exacerbate the environmental pollution.

Severe air pollution is a problem in the major cities due to emissions from petroleum and chemical industries. During the Soviet period, dangerously high concentrations of fertilizers and pesticides such as DDT were used. Due to the severity of pollution on all levels, the country's wildlife and vegetation are also seriously affected. Although the people of Azerbaijan are generally aware of the need to protect the environment, the republic’s environmental issues have not received significant attention from the government.

The impacts of climate change are already being seen in Azerbaijan. Changes already occurring include increasing temperatures and an upward shift of the snowline. Within the last 10 years there has also been an increase in extreme weather events, such as landslides and forest fires, resulting in significant economic losses and human casualties.

Water issues

The principal water related problems of Azerbaijan are: the pollution of water resources by way of introduction of contaminated water, including transnational pollution, the supply of low-quality water to inhabited regions, the loss of fresh water prior to it delivery to the end consumers and insufficient development of sewer systems.

The country has limited water resources. Its main rivers, Kura and Araz, are extremely contaminated by transboundary, as well as internal public and industrial waste. The combination of industrial, agricultural, and oil-drilling pollution have contaminated 100% of the coastal waters in some areas and 45.3% of Azerbaijan's rivers. In 2001, only 78% of the total population had access to safe drinking water.

The contamination of the Caspian Sea from oil drilling in Baku has been a problem since the 19th century, when the Russian Empire began to rapidly exploit oil reserves. Although oil production waned during the Soviet period, petroleum waste was routinely dumped into the Caspian. The Caspian also suffers from the discharge of untreated sewage, and pollution has depleted the stocks of sturgeon.

The impacts of climate change are shrinking glaciers, sea level rise, redistribution of river flows, decreasing snowfall. Flooding and coastal erosion are also more frequent.

Carbon emissions

The Republic of Azerbaijan ratified the UNFCCC in 1995. In 2000 the Kyoto Protocol was ratified.

Emissions in 2005 constituted 70.6% of the 1990 baseline level. GHG emissions per capita have dropped from 10 tons in 1990 to slightly over 6 tons in 2006. The main sources of CO2 emissions are the energy and industrial sectors. The principal carbon sinks are the agriculture and forestry sectors, as well as land use change.

One of the main factors that ensured dynamic development of the country was the allocation of oil revenues to the non-oil sectors and infrastructure development projects. Unfortunately the growth in oil and gas extraction and the increased demand for power also results in greater GHG emissions.

A number of international and regional programmes were implemented towards raising the awareness of climate change and capacity-building toward implementation of projects aimed at GHG reduction. As most energy in Azerbaijan is generated from burning hydrocarbons, a reduction in emissions might be possible through gains in efficiency, energy saving and the use of alternative energy sources.

Examples of policies that have been adopted in order to mitigate the effects of climate change:

- The State Programme on the Use of Alternative and Renewable Energy Sources (2004)

- The National Programme on the Rehabilitation and Expansion of Forests (2003).

Renewable energies

The nation's abundant petroleum resources are the backbone of its economy. But now the country says it wants to start taking advantage of its alternative energy assets. For starters, Azerbaijan plans to develop wind power. Under the State Program of Use of Alternative & Renewable Energy Sources, Azerbaijan is planning wind generators with a total capacity of 250 megawatts of power. The pursuit of solar and geothermal is also on the agenda.

The potential is very considerable, especially for wind, hydro and solar, with some elements of biogas and thermal energy entering the picture as well.

Hydro power plants are by far the largest renewable contributor constituting 11.4% of overall electricity generation in 2003. The present involvement in wind-energy power generation is represented by the two wind turbines, with a capacity of 1.75 mw. The climate condition of Azerbaijan opens great opportunities for production of electric and heat energy using solar power. Some 250 mw were envisaged by the Government that would help light schools, traffic signals etc. Biogas industry remains in its infancy in the county.

The Laws on Energy and Energy Utilization are, among others, governing the development of RE in Azerbaijan.

Sustainability targets

The State Program on Poverty Reduction and Sustainable Development for 2008-2015 is the main document that includes elements referring to sustainable development. The following strategic goals were identified:

- ensuring sustainable economic development through maintaining macroeconomic stability and balanced development of the non-oil sector;

- increasing income-generating opportunities and achieving substantial reduction in the poorest sections of the population;

- reducing social risks for low-income families, old age and vulnerable groups, by developing effective social protection system;

- continuing implementation of activities improving the living conditions of refugees and IDPs;

- improving the quality of and ensuring equal access to affordable basic health and education services;

- developing social infrastructure, improving public utilities system: reliable water supply system, aeration and sanitation services, households gas supply, heating to residential and non-residential buildings, meeting energy demands through internal resources and uninterrupted electricity supply, domestic household wastes service, etc

- improving environmental situation and ensuring sustainable management of environment: increase the proportion of forest and share of protected land, decrease the conditional fuel used for energy, achieve complete sewage treatment, recycling and neutralizaiton of solid household wastes

- promoting and protecting gender equality;

- continuing institutional reforms and improving good governance.

Participatory process involving joint activities of government, civil society and international organizations is an important factor in implementation of the program.


Environmental issues

The most serious environmental issue that Belarus still faces is the 1986 accident of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Almost 70% of the nuclear fallout from the plant landed on Belarusian territory and about 20% of the land remains contaminated. Government restrictions are not strictly enforced, and in 2004 plans were even announced to increase agricultural production in contaminated regions.

Belarus faces significant air pollution largely because of the development of heavy industries. Although some cities in Belarus are heavily polluted, especially industrial centers such as Salihorsk and Navapolatsk, the situation is not as dramatic as in most of the polluted industrial centres of former USSR. In recent years automobile exhaust is becoming the source of about half the air pollution in the cities.

The soils also contain unsafe levels of lead, zinc, copper and the agricultural chemical DDT. Belarus has vast forest areas but little of the country’s woodland is protected, in total 4.2 percent of Belarus’s land area.

Being locked between other European countries, with flat terrain suitable for agricultural use, Belarus is already suffering consequences of climate changes reflected on yield and average annual temperature rise. Heavy storms occasionally occur, forcing evacuations and causing great damages.

Water issues

Belarus faces water pollution from industrial sources. Water pollution is less serious than in most of the successor states to the Soviet Union. A serious problem is, however, posed by salification of the water supply by the potash mining industry in the south of the country. However, all urban and rural dwellers have access to safe drinking water.

Belarus is already suffering consequences of climate changes. Today, floods represent a great problem for the country. Sudden and premature dramatic seasonal changes (transition from winter to extremely warm spring, already in March) cause snow pack to melt and river overflow, flooding the surrounding terrain.

Carbon emissions

Belarus ratified the UNFCCC in 2000 and in 2005 became a full party to the Kyoto Protocol. In 2006, the Republic of Belarus was included in Annex B to the Kyoto Protocol undertaking greenhouse gas reduction commitments in the amount of 92% to the 1990 emissions for the first commitment period 2008 - 2012.

The aggregate СО2 equivalent GHG without the LUCF sector is 74,306.56 Gg and decreased in 2004 by 41.66% compared to 1990 levels. The largest amount of greenhouse gases is emitted by the energy sector – 74.07%, agriculture – 16.6% and waste – 6%.

Since the accession to the Kyoto Protocol, the country has embarked on a mission to create conditions for meeting commitments undertaken by the country. Legislative, institutional and technical frameworks are being developed for full and effective participation of Belarus in the flexible mechanisms stipulated by the Kyoto Protocol. The NAP on Climate Change has been approved; the National Sustainable Development Strategy and the Fourth National Communication have been developed.

The Government plans respective activities designed to stabilize emissions and increase GHG removals during the period of economic growth. In accordance with the 2005-2012 Action Plan for the Implementation of the Kyoto Protocol, this strategy should include development and integration of GHG emission reduction and sink expansion activities in sectoral programs.

Renewable energies

There are practically no sources of energy in Belarus other than those of renewable character. So far emphasis has been placed on the use of wood and wood waste. The potential of other renewable sources of energy is not taken advantage of to a significant degree.

Currently, the Belarusian power grid uses water plants with the installed power of approximately 20 MW. The wind energy sector is growing rather slowly in Belarus: there are only two regular wind turbines in Belarus at present but the government has commenced a development program for the years 2008–2014. The solar power sector has no industrial significance at the moment: only experimental systems exist and no use on a wider scale is planned. The major directions in the production of energy with the use of biomass are: crop waste; animal breeding waste gas; wood and wood waste; plant biomass and municipal waste. The construction of the first geothermal station is planned.

As policy framework, the Act “On non-traditional and renewable sources of energy“, The Concept of Energy Security of the Republic of Belarus and The five-year National Program of Local and Renewable Energy Sources Development are worth mentioning. However, at present, a complex bureaucratic system is in place that constitutes an obstacle for the growth of the renewable energy sector and the effectiveness of the concepts and programs drawn up is rather doubtful.

Sustainability targets

The National Strategy for Sustainable Development for the period to 2020 is the main document that includes elements referring to sustainable development.

The strategic goal of sustainable development in Belarus as the dynamic improvement of public welfare, enrichment of culture and morals of people on the basis of intellectual and innovative development of economy, social sector and spirituality, conservation of environment for the present and future generations.

The objective of stage one (until 2010) was to further improve living standards and quality of life based on the development and wise use of human capacity, enhancement of economy’s efficiency and competitiveness.

Stage two (2011–2020). It is at this stage that the groundwork of a new post-industrial information society will be laid, with a new technological basis designed to ensure a smooth transition to resource-saving production.

The principal elements of sustainable development are social sector, economy and ecology, related activities and policy areas which ensure their steady and mutually supportive progress.

In social sector, the primary objective is to achieve scientifically grounded parameters of living standards, improve the living environment of people, rationalization of personal consumption scales and patterns, providing equal access to education and medical assistance; social protection, etc. It is envisaged that the environmental awareness of the population should be raised to mould a responsible attitude to the biosphere and observe its laws and restrictions.

Economic imperative is about transforming the national economy into an effective, competitive, socially-oriented, resource-saving, energy-efficient and environmentally friendly system.

The ecological imperative includes the following requirements:

• the man has the right to lead a healthy and fruitful life in harmony with the nature;

• equal opportunities for the development and conservation of environment;

• environmental protection should become an integral part of the overall socio-economic process and cannot be considered in isolation from it;

• the emphasis should be shifted to eco-awareness raising activities relating to economy, to eliminate the causes, not effects, of negative technogenic impact;

• socio-economic development should be given a clear sense of direction toward the improvement of people’s living standards within the allowable boundaries of ecosystems’ economic capacity;

• bringing ecology into minds and world perceptions of people, their education systems.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Environmental issues

A specific post-conflict situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina concerns land mines and unexploded ordinances. Until they are cleared, the opportunities for reconstruction and agriculture will be limited. Use of pesticides in agriculture has declined.

Soil erosion, due to deforestation, poor land management practice and overgrazing of livestock is an important contributor to environmental degradation. 10% of the territory is badly damaged by erosion. Soil is additionally degraded by industrial and household waste dumps. Industrial waste presents a major threat to the land. Urban landfill sites are limited.

Air quality problems have been observed in major urban and industrial areas. Metallurgical plants contribute to it. The last decade witnessed an increase in the pollutant emissions from non-stationary sources, specifically from traffic.

In Bosnia and Herzegovina forestland covers 52% of the territory. Despite having biodiversity of global significance, Mountain Vlasic has been exposed to deforestation activities. As of 2001, only 0.5% of the total land area is protected.

Under the impact of climate change it is expected that the average annual temperature will increase, and average net precipitation will decrease. Erosion, soil deficiency, and an increase in water temperature will occur in coastal areas. There is also an increased risk of landslides.

Water issues

Not more than 32% of the urban population in Bosnia and Herzegovina is supplied with safe and treated water. Specific data on the quantity of lead, pesticides, nitrates and microorganisms in drinking water samples is limited or not available in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Groundwater remains polluted, with uncontrolled use of fertilisers and chemicals, untreated sewage and leaching from contaminated soils. The contamination of surface waters downstream of towns, by household waste and faecal pollution, pose a serious risk to health. One of the major threats to water concerns inadequate treatment of industrial (cement, leather, textile, wood processing, chemical, fertiliser, oil and gas processing, mining) pollutants. Data shows that only 3% of all rivers in Bosnia and Herzegovina are clean and free of pollution, while 30% of rivers suffer from varying levels of eutrophication.

Due to climate change, rising sea levels are likely to make dramatic changes to the coastline. Water supplies are also expected to change due to alterations in river flow. Additionally, more severe weather is expected to create more flooding and landslides.

Carbon emissions

Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) ratified the UNFCCC in 2000 as a Non-Annex I Party. After this, BiH has made a serious effort to establish an appropriate political, institutional and legal framework to meet the commitments of the convention. The Kyoto Protocol was also ratified in 2008.

Total CO2 equivalent emission in Bosnia and Herzegovina without LULUCF was 34,043.49 Gg in 1990. The most significant source of CO2 emissions is certainly the energy sector, which contributes 74% of total CO2 emissions, followed by agriculture (12%) and industrial processes (11%). According to the collected data, forests in BiH represent a significant CO2 sink: 7,423.53 Gg CO2 for the base year of 1990.

Two main strategic documents are dealing with addressing climate change issues and GHG reduction: the Economic Development Strategy of Bosnia and Herzegovina (which included a discussion of the realization of national sustainable development and poverty reduction for the period 2003-2007 based on the Millennium Development Goals, emphasized the consequences of climate change and noted several priority activities with respect to climate protection) and the National Environmental Action Plan (contains a concrete list of the main existing problems and proposes measures to address them).

Renewable energies

The major part of electricity is produced by big hydro-energy power plants, which together with small dams use only 35% of BH hydro-potential. The main sources of RE are hydro-energy and firewood.

Potentials for exploitation of geo-thermal, wind, solar and bio-mass energy have not been sufficiently explored, but the share of these energy sources in the overall consumption will certainly remain modest. The estimated potential for renewables is:

- Total hydro potential: 7,477MW versus the actual 2,085MW,

- Wind potential: 600MW,

- Biomass potential: 14% of the total energy supply versus the actual 6.5% of the total energy consumption,

- Geothermal potential: 33MW.

- The solar potential is moderate.

The National Energy Strategy for BH has not been developed yet. This means that a National policy for RE is not defined and prepared. The main focus of current programs is the reform of the whole sector in order to enable establishment of a common energy market. Until now fundaments of the new sector structure are established by the Law on Electric Power Transmission, System Regulator and Operator of B&H. This law is supported by two Entity laws on energy.

Sustainability targets

The Center for Sustainable Development emerged as an initiative of Bosnian experts in this field. It is a non-profit knowledge-based professional organization that believes sustainable development is a promising opportunity for Bosnia and Herzegovina and aims at raising awareness about the issue.

In the Center’s opinion, even though there is some legislation dealing with sustainable development in BiH, the entire institutional framework covering this area is still underdeveloped. While the government is involved in environmental protection, it seems to be completely unaware of the environment's interconnection with the economy and society.

One document that refers to development is the Medium-Term Development Strategy (as a Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper). Despite the strategy addressing the years 2004-2007, its goals can still give a perspective on the subject:

1. Create conditions for sustainable and balanced economic development of all parts of BiH

2. Reduce poverty

3. Accelerate EU integration

General priorities for attainment of these goals:

- Achieve a general consensus regarding the reform program to be implemented

- Maintain macroeconomic stability

- Implement fiscal system and public administration reforms

- Secure faster growth of the export-oriented private sector

- Establish an adequate system of social assistance

- Implement sectoral reforms, in particular: education reform, liberalization of the electric power market, securing greater support for agricultural production.


Environmental issues

Urban areas are particularly affected by air pollution mostly due to energy production from coal-based power plants, outdated factories, metallurgy works and automobile traffic, especially due to a rapid increase in motor vehicles.

Soil pollution is also present due to contamination from industrial by-products and the heavy metals that are produced by the metallurgical plants.

Severe deforestation, mostly caused by illegal logging and forest damage from air pollution and resulting acid rain is another significant problem. Almost 25% of Bulgaria's forests have been damaged by airborne pollutants. Only 4.5% of the country's total land area is protected.

In addition, Bulgaria remains the only EU member which does not recycle municipal waste, although an electronic waste recycling plant was put in operation in June 2010. The situation has improved in recent years, and several government-funded programs have been initiated in order to reduce pollution.

Climate change is likely to affect Bulgaria. Over the last years there have been unprecedented floods, while average summer temperatures have risen considerably. There is evidence of a trend towards desertification, along with signs of gradual northward migration of various species. The climate in Bulgaria is likely to become sub-tropical by the period from 2050 to 2080.

Water issues

Bulgaria's rivers and the Black Sea are seriously affected by industrial and chemical pollutants, raw sewage, heavy metals, and detergents. Pesticide usage in the agriculture and antiquated industrial sewage systems are the main contriburors. However, nearly 100% of the population have access to safe drinking water.

Climate change: Over the last 6-7 years there have been unprecedented floods in Bulgaria. There is evidence of a trend towards desertification and pressure on water resources, especially in southern regions of the country.

Carbon emissions

Bulgaria ratified the UNFCCC in 1995, as an Annex I Party. In 2002 it also ratified the Kyoto Protocol, thus committing to cut its emissions by 8% compared to 1988.

The 2008 GHG inventory shows that overall GHG emissions in CO2 equivalent came to 75,196 gigagrammes (Gg) without LULUCF. Net emissions, taking account of LULUCF sinks, were 64,183 Gg. The energy sector was the source of more than 73% of aggregate GHG emissions, followed by waste (almost 14%) and agriculture (about 8%).

The following policy instruments are applied in the Climate Change Policy:

- Legal instruments - international agreements, EU and national legislation for climate change

- Fiscal policy - measures that reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and/or save energy

- Financing - Energy efficiency funds - Kyoto Protocol Mechanisms - EU structural funds

- Education, research and development and awareness raising

- National strategy for the Environment and Second National Action Plan 2005-2014

- Second and Third National Climate Change Action Plan

Although the country has much lower emissions from the admissible, according the Kyoto Protocol, it has potential for additional decrease of GHG emissions. This potential might be realized, in case of extension of implementation of purposive politic for emissions reduction, expressed as implementation of additional measures.

Renewable energies

Bulgarian target: 16% by 2020 (2005 = 9.4%)

Large-scale hydro power is currently the main source of RES-E. Good opportunities exist for biomass. Total wind energy capacity of around 2,200 – 3,400 MW could be installed. Solar potential exists in the East and South of Bulgaria, and 200 MW could be generated from geothermal sources.

EU statistics showed that wind power capacity reached 336MW in 2010, and is expected to reach 1,250MW by 2020. Meanwhile, solar energy capacity grew to 15MW in 2010. According to the NREAP, solar capacity in Bulgaria is to reach 330 MW by 2020. Wind and solar power have a much smaller share in the production of energy from RES in Bulgaria as compared with hydro power and biomass, which account for about 31% and 36%, respectively.

A new act on RES was adopted in 2007 for diversifying energy supply, environmental protection, to set the terms for sustainable local and regional development. The National Renewable Energy Action Plan (NREAP) was finalised in 2010. According to the NREAP paper, in 2010 the overall share of renewable energy sources (RES) used in heating and cooling, electricity and transport stood at 10% of total consumption, up from 9.4% in 2005, which is used as a base year.

Sustainability targets

The first draft of the Bulgarian National Sustainable Development Strategy is currently developed. The process is coordinated by the Inter-Departmental Advisory Council for Sustainable Development. After a period of broad consultation (September 2007 – September 2008) – including public authorities, stakeholders, academia, NGOs, etc – a decision for further analysis and improvements in the draft text was taken before the NSDS was submitted for adoption by the Council of Ministers. Currently, a draft NSDS is available in Bulgarian only.

The challenges in front of National strategy for sustainable development of Republic of Bulgaria are:

- Climate change

- Increase in prices of energy and restricted possibilities for new energy sources.

- Growing social and regional misbalance

- Accelerated regional integration in condition of global economic competition, increasing dependence between regions and counties worldwide.

- Influence of expansion over economic, social and territorial cohesion

- Influence of aging of population and migration processes over labor market, offering of services of common interest and market of homes

- Increase of transportation traffic

- Overexploitation of ecological resources and loss of biodiversity, more particularly the urbanization territories and depopulation of some regions.


NB: Numbers in square brackets refer to sources listed under each subsection. Quote marks have been used where information is directly copied or directly translated.

General: Government Responsibilities

General: International Conventions

  • “The country is a signatory to many international conventions on the environment, notably the Convention on Biological Diversity, the United Nations Convention on Countries Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification, particularly in Africa (1997), the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (2004).” [3]

General: Regional Initiatives

  • “Congo basin countries are coming together to harmonize their climate policy, hence the crafting and implementation of the Convergence Plan of the Central African Forest Commission (COMIFAC).” [3]

General: Business/Industry

  • “The general census of businesses in 2009 revealed that only 15% of businesses on average have put in place a plan for environmental protection. It is particularly in the agricultural sector and in extracting industries that these plans are more frequent.” [1 - translation]

Biodiversity: Concerns

  • Loss of biodiversity: “Cameroon’s biodiversity and biological resources have been under intense pressure: 27.5% of its forests have been degraded; its 0.9% annual deforestation rate is the highest in Africa and the area of arable land per capita is decreasing continuously.” [3]
  • Bushmeat: “The trafficking of bushmeat thrives in Cameroon in conjunction with the timber industry. Logging workers supplement their incomes by hunting wildlife and sending meat to urban centers.” [2]
  • Endangered species: “Some 38 mammal species and 24 bird species are thought to be endangered (2012).” [17]
  • Fishing: alleged fishing malpractice [20]
  • Poaching
    • Ivory: Many reports of elephant poaching by armed gangs. International-scale problem recognised by INTERPOL [22]
    • Large scale massacre: 300 elephants killed by armed poachers in March 2012 in the Bouba N'Djida National Park [22]

Biodiversity: Progress

  • Law on Forests, Wildlife and Fish (January 1994) [4]
    • Protected areas: “This legislation has allowed Cameroon to develop an important network of protected areas which currently covers a surface of around 8138800 ha or 18.8% of the national territory” [4 - translation]
    • Management of natural resources regulated by this law [4]
  • Forest areas with a development plan in place: increase from 10.6% in 2005 to 16.5% in 2010 (includes Forêts Communautaires, Forêts Communales, UFA, Parcs, Réserves de faune) [4]
  • Poaching:
    • Eco-guards have been deployed in national parks, and on occasions the military has been used [24] However, poachers are often armed and there are reports of eco-guards being killed. [22]
    • WWF has praised the government’s promise in 2012 to recruit 2500 new eco-guards and to create a new authority to manage national parks [23]
    • Cross-border agreements on animals & poaching: Cameroon has signed several agreements [4]; after the massacre in Bouba N’Djida National Park it held an emergency conference in Yaoundé organised by the Economic Community of Central African States (CEEAC) which recognised the need for international and coordinated efforts [25]

Biodiversity: Challenges

  • Inefficiency: “Cameroon currently lacks an effective protected-areas system. Eight percent of the country is under some form of protection on paper, but enforcement is weak and timber is illegally harvested from reserves and wildlife is poached.” [2]


  • “In total, between 1990 and 2010, Cameroon lost 18.1% of its forest cover, or around 4,400,000 ha” [18]
  • Causes
    • Domestic logging: Domestic logging increased following the devaluation of the CFA Franc in the late 1990s, “pushing rural populations to clear additional forest for subsistence crop production while encouraging the government to grant more logging concessions”. Additionally, “building and public works projects increased domestic demand for timber products” during the economic recovery [2]
    • Logging companies: “According to published reports, foreign loggers—the vast majority of logging companies operating in Cameroon are foreign-owned—have aggressively and unsustainably logged their concessions without much concern over prosecution by corrupt forestry officials.” [2]
    • Fuel wood collection [2]
    • Subsistence farming [2]
  • Effects
    • “Deforestation is beginning to have a significant environmental impact in parts of the country. In the north, deforestation has been blamed for increasing soil erosion, desertification, and reduced quality of pastureland.” [2]

Climate Change: Effects

  • Increasing temperatures and decreasing rainfall: “Average temperatures in Cameroon have been increasing since 1930 with a net increase between 1930 and 1995 was 0.95°C [7]. Average rainfall has also decreased by over 2% per decade since 1960 [8], although the dense rainforest region continues to include some of the wettest places on earth.” [6]
  • Effects of decreasing rainfall: “increased desertification in the north and a falling water table to reduced recharge. In addition, previously permanent wells are drying late in the dry season.” [19]
  • Regional variation: “The Northern Sudano-Sahelian region is experiencing increased incidences of drought and desert advancement that have scorched large expanses of land, whilst the Southwest coastal and rainforest regions have experienced increased periods of prolonged rainfall that have led to flooding. Cameroon is a country of extreme contrasts and climate change is expected to make these differences more pronounced.” [6]
  • Northern Region: “Increased temperatures and prolonged drought in the Northern regions of Cameroon have already resulted in the migration of local populations into neighbouring countries or further south in search of water and arable land. Crop yields have been affected by a shortened rainy season and an increase in temperature. Communities dependent on Lake Chad for their livelihoods, either as farmers, fishermen or herders, have similarly had to migrate to other areas as a result of the continuous dwindling of the lakes water supply [10][6]
  • Expected future changes:
    • “Average annual temperatures are predicted to increase between 1.5°C and 4.5°C by 2100 with a 1.6°C to 3.3°C rise in coastal zones and a 2.1°C to 4.5°C [9] rise in the Soudano-Sahelienne region.” [6]
    • “It is predicted that Lake Chad will be nearly completely dried up by 2060 [7][6]
    • Sea level rise, coastal flooding, salination of agricultural land, increased soil erosion [6]

Climate Change: Progress / challenges

  • Low priority: “Climate change is not a priority for the Government of Cameroon and is unlikely to become so in the near future as Cameroon focuses on improving job creation and reducing widespread poverty. Awareness of climate change, both inside and outside of government, is largely limited to an understanding of environmental and climate related impacts at the local levels.” [6]
  • Responsibility: “The coordinating responsibility for climate change is currently located within MINEP although it does not benefit from higher level support within government”, leading to difficulties [6]
  • Action: “Cameroon is currently [2011] undergoing a process of “positioning‟ in order to prepare the country for future access to climate change financing for addressing mitigation and adaptation challenges at the national level. The ongoing REDD RPP and NAPA processes are expected to increase awareness and focus on climate change across government, but long-term momentum will require a much stronger political commitment than is currently present.” [6]
  • Desertification: “Cameroon has adopted a National Desertification Control Action Plan which highlights the vulnerability of coastal and semi-arid (sahelian) zones to climate change.” [3]


  • Declining oil production [15]
  • Wood: Wood energy very significant source for households, particularly in rural areas [15]
  • Electricity generation: conventional thermal – 26%; hydro – 73%; other renewables – 1% [12]
  • Industry: “more than 90% of the overall energy requirements are covered by energy from biomass” [21]
  • Renewables
    • According to a ministry report, “The share of renewable in the energy mix is less than 1 %. The ambition is to step up this rate to 5 % by 2020. Several projects are in progress.” [13]. However according to an IRENA profile, renewables constitute 69.1% of primary energy supply (2009) [11]. This second figure possibly includes wood fuel, which would account for the vast difference to the ministry’s low estimate.
    • Potential: Second largest hydroelectric potential in Africa, but less than 5% of economically exploitable resource developed; huge potential in fuel wood due to forest cover south of Adamawa; significant solar potential [3]
  • Access: “The number of households connected to the power grid remains very low—less than 14% in rural areas, and 57% in urban areas.” [26]
  • Challenges: “Despite great potential, development in the energy sector has been limited, and there are significant energy shortages in the country—exacerbated during times of drought—because of infrastructure problems and the inability to keep pace with increasing power demands.” [14]
  • Efficiency: “the lack of a nationwide grid results in an inefficient system where 20 per cent of the generated power output is lost during transmission and distribution (World Bank 2009). To minimize such losses and enable greater access in rural and isolated areas, the Rural Electrification Agency (World Bank 2009) is promoting micro-hydro schemes” [19]


  1. Report on national consultations on the post-2015 Development Agenda (2013) (in French)Available from:
  2. CEEPA Policy Note, 2006 sourced in [6]
  3. Molua and Lambi, The Economic Impact of Climate Change on Agriculture in Cameroon, 2007 sourced in [6]
  4. UNFCCC first national communication, 2005 sourced in [6]
  5. CDKN 2011 sourced in [6]


Environmental issues;jsessionid=aeLOv_X6IXm5?categoryID=349427

Croatia’s air quality has generally showed significant improvements over the past 10 years. Trends in the emissions of the main pollutants show that a significant drop in the nineties, followed by a slight slow increase in some pollutants. However, despite the improvement, some problems still remain. Air pollution from metallurgical plants causes acid rain that is damaging to the forests. Deforestation is also a threat.

Forest fires, mostly caused by humans, have increased in the areas with Mediterranean vegetation, and pose a pressure as regards soil degradation. Over 90% of the soil surface is exposed to erosion of varying intensity. The situation is particularly severe in the karst area, where erosion has already reached the geological base. Significant contamination of soil exists in certain areas affected by war.

Croatia's protected areas cover 7.4% of the country's natural areas. The most threatened areas are wetland and aquatic ecological systems. These systems were dried out significantly during the past for agricultural purposes. The best example is the Neretva River Delta.

During the 20th century Croatia has shown a trend of decreasing precipitation and increasing temperatures, during most seasons. In the future, Croatia is expected to be hotter and drier, especially in summer.

Water issues;jsessionid=aeLOv_X6IXm5?categoryID=349427

The worst conditions are found in large rivers belonging to the Black Sea River Basin. The Sava River is polluted, especially downstream from Zagreb. Flowing through Croatia, it receives discharges of industrial and municipal waste. Its floodplain’s wetlands are at risk as a result of encroaching agriculture, drainage and land reclamation, and water pollution. Additionally, some of the river’s tributaries have a high nitrogen and phosphorus content, which causes river blossoming and oxygen deficiency. The situation is better with the Drava River. Although it receives agricultural wastewater from neighboring countries, its quality improves on its way through Croatia.

The quality of Croatia’s drinking water is generally good, and the quality of underground water is considered good throughout the country.

The Adriatic Sea along Croatia is generally clean. However, some environmental hot-spots can be identified, like its northern part, polluted from the Po River in Italy. The quality of the sea water decreases in the vicinity of sewage outlets from urban agglomerations and sea ports.

Croatia may face significant vulnerability to sea-level rise. Climate change could result in more droughts, affecting natural environments, especially wetlands. It could also result in decreased river flows, and lower levels of the groundwater for drinking.

Carbon emissions

The Republic of Croatia became a party to the UNFCCC in 1996 and assumed the commitments of countries included in Annex I. In 2007 it also ratified the Kyoto Protocol, taking over the obligation of limiting the GHG emission in the period 2008-2012 to 95% of total emission in the base year, i.e. 1990.

Total GHG emission in 2008 including removals by sinks, was 31,132 Gg CO2 eq., which is emission reduction by 0.9% compared to 1990 GHG emission. The largest contribution was that of Energy (50%), Industrial Processes and Waste sectors. In 2006 GHG emissions per capita amounted to only 6.9 Gg.

The 2008-2011 Air Quality Protection and Improvement Plan for the Republic of Croatia defined 33 measures for climate change mitigation which are currently either in preparation or being implemented. Most of the measures are long-term and their effect will only be visible in the post-2011 period. A number of bylaws aiming at increase in energy efficiency and use of renewable energy sources and efficient cogenerations has been passed, which should indirectly result in mitigation of the environmental impact of Energy sector. The Energy Strategy is a baseline document which defines energy policy and sets targets and measures for the reduction of GHG emissions.

Renewable energies

Croatia has a 10% RES share in final energy consumption, however dominated by energy from large hydropower plants. The share of solar, wind and geothermal is marginal: there are only two wind farms and five photovoltaic installations in the country. The potential for RES is very high, especially regarding biomass, wind and solar energy. The country has pledged to meet at least 20% of its energy needs, in production and consumption, from renewable sources by 2020.

The main legal source for the Croatian energy sector is the Energy Act, which stipulates positive attitude towards renewable energy sources. The legal framework for the field of renewable energy resources, energy efficiency and cogeneration is contained also in the Electricity Market Act, the Act on Regulation of Energy Activities, the Act on Environmental Protection and Energy Efficiency Fund as well as accompanying implementation regulations. The Act on Biofuels for transport has been enacted in 2009. There is no regulation concerning RES for heating and cooling, but provisions from the EU have recently been integrated. Apart from feed-in tariffs, there are also complementary instruments used for the promotion of the utilisation of RES such as direct subsidies, and different forms of financing.

Sustainability targets

The Strategy for Sustainable Development 2009 is the main document that includes elements referring to sustainable development.

Sustainable development implies the realization of three general objectives: stable economic development, social equity and environmental protection. The Strategy defines eight key challenges that also serve as the basis for strategic directions of the development of the Republic of Croatia:

- Encouraging population growth in the Republic of Croatia

- Environment and natural resources:

o Effective protection of biological and landscape diversity

o Implementation of sustainable agricultural production

o Use of forest in accordance with the principles of sustainable forest management.

o Strengthening the spatial development structure and respecting the specificities of natural and cultural heritage as important factors of national spatial identity.

o Reduce harmful emissions into the main environmental components

o Rational use of non-renewable resources and sustainable use of renewable resources

- Promoting sustainable production and consumption: achieve balanced and stable economic growth.

- Ensuring social and territorial cohesion and justice

- Ensuring energy independence and increasing the efficiency of energy use

- Strengthening public health

- Improved interconnection of all parts of the national territory and islands so as to make the transport system sufficient while minimising its undesirable impacts

- Promote sustainable management of the Adriatic Sea, coastal area and islands and preservation of marine ecosystems.


Environmental issues

The major environmental problems in Cyprus are droughts, forest fires, pollution, waste, erosion and coastal degradation and loss of biodiversity. The small size of the island, the dry climate and intense pressures from tourism, etc, result in problems highly specific to the country. However, in recent years the state of the environment has improved due to new legislation in the Greek part. The Turkish part shows more environmental problems than the Greek part, although some pressures are less.

The main air quality issues which the Republic of Cyprus must address include: control of mobile and stationary air pollution sources, establishment of a coordinated monitoring program, implementation of EU air quality and emission standards.

Hazardous waste from mining and other industrial operations, solid waste management including both human and animal waste management, and waste management policy remain unsolved issues.

Another environmental concern is erosion, especially erosion of Cyprus's coastline. Several coastal areas have been zoned to prevent undesirable development. The expansion of urban centers threatens the habitat of Cyrpus' wildlife.

Climate change is having an urgent effect on Cyprus. Due to the lack of rainfall, drought and desertification have become significant problems and are impacting agriculture in the once fertile area.

Water issues

Water shortage and pollution from sewage and industrial wastes, as well as coastal degradation are major environmental problems in Cyprus. The water quality issues which the Republic of Cyprus has to face include ground water nitrate contamination from agricultural sources, surface water contamination, marine environment pollution, water conservation and water quality monitoring.

The purity of the water supply is threatened by industrial pollutants, pesticides used in agricultural areas, and the lack of adequate sewage treatment. Other water resource problems include uneven rainfall levels at different times of the year and the absence of natural reservoir catchments, sea water intrusion to island's largest aquifer, increased salination in the north. All of Cyprus' urban and rural dwellers have access to safe water.

Being an island Cyprus is also exposed to sea level rise from climate change. Rainfall has decreased by 20% since 1972, and water reservoirs are only at 9% capacity or less. Due to the lack of rainfall, drought and desertification have become significant problems. Cyprus has been forced to use reservoirs and desalination to provide water to its residents. Groundwater resources are being overexploited mainly for agriculture and domestic use.

Carbon emissions

Cyprus ratified the UNFCCC as a non-Annex I party, and the Kyoto Protocol as a non-Annex B party. This means that Cyprus did not have any limitations or obligations regarding greenhouse gases emissions under the international regime. However, in December 2008, through the EU climate and energy package, Cyprus has been allocated with the reduction target of 5% compared to 2005 by 2020 for sectors not included in the Emissions Trading. These include among other the sectors of transport, agriculture, waste, buildings etc.

Emission of greenhouse gases without LULUCF increased by 93.6% between 1990 and 2008, which corresponds to GHG emissions of 4,932 Gg CO2 equivalents. 76% of the emissions without LULUCF in 2008 were from the sector of energy. The increase is caused primarily by the increase in the emissions from road transport.

The policies and measures included in the scenarios refer to the electricity generation, residential and tertiary sector, industry, transport and waste. The policies and measures need to be revised within the next few years, to reach the target set by the EU.

Renewable energies

Cypriot target: 13% by 2020 (2005 = 2.9%)

The leading RES in Cyprus is PV and wind power offers high potential. RE amounted in 2007 to 2.4% of the total energy consumption, mainly due to solar energy, at the moment the only substantial contribution of renewable energy sources. The share of RES electricity generation was 0.07 % in 2007 (from PV and biomass). The share of biofuels in the transport sector was 0.1%. Mandatory targets set by the Directive on the Promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources impose at least 10% share of renewable energy of final consumption of energy in transport by 2020. Cyprus energy dependence on imports amounted to 96 % in 2005.

Until 2005, measures that proactively supported renewable energy production were not very ambitious and the contribution of RES was low. In 2006, a New Enhanced Grant Scheme was agreed upon. In order to promote the uptake of RES, the Cyprus government adopted a framework for support measures which included the first Action Plan for the Promotion of Renewable Energy Sources, 2002-2010. The New Support Scheme (2009-2013) provides more generous incentives than the previous Scheme and sets more ambitious targets for the increase of renewable energy sources.

Sustainability targets

The main challenges and strategic objectives of the Strategy for Sustainable Development 2007 are:

- Reduction of climate change impacts on society and environment and promotion of clean energy: Energy Center, Renewable Sources of Energy, Energy Saving

- Encouragement of sustainable transport systems

o Promoting and developing of public transport system

o Completing the already designed urban and interurban network and its GIS

o Introducing Intelligent Transport Systems

o Reduction further noise emissions from airplanes

o Stricter criteria for issuing built-up permits close to the airports

o Promoting of the ETS for airplanes

- Encouragement of sustainable production and consumption.

- Improvement of conservation and management of natural resources

o Establishment of good air quality standards

o Maintaining/increasing the forest area and improving ecological quality of forests

o Sustainable management of water, marine and coastal resources; ameliorate/reverse drought.

o Management, protection and sustainable development of the “Natura 2000” network

o Improvement of the competitiveness regarding trade in local agricultural products

sso Sustainable management of mineral resources and effective restoration of abandoned mines

- Improvement of public health and protection against health threats

- Development of a society that promotes solidarity and improves the life quality of its citizens

- Promotion of a global sustainable development model in all policies.

Czech Republic

Environmental issues

The Czech Republic suffers from air, water, and land pollution caused by industry, mining, and agriculture. Air pollution is a serious problem in many cities, particularly in the region of northern Bohemia. The Czech Republic produces most of its energy by burning domestic coal, much of which is low quality, producing high levels of air pollution. Acid rain, as a consequence of pollution, has also degraded many of the country’s forests. Recent efforts have seen the closing of several lignite mines and stricter enforcement of environmental regulations.

In some areas of the country the nitrate content is high. Land erosion caused by agricultural and mining practices is also a significant problem.

The forest area in the Czech Republic is about 34% of total land area. Reforestation schemes implemented over the last two centuries also determined an increase of forest land. Biodiversity is also threatened modern practices, such as draining wetlands, increasing arable land to large areas, regulating rivers, monocultures.

Climate change in the Czech Republic is expected to have a great impact on agriculture. The occurrence of droughts will increase and the level of water in reservoirs, as well as rainfall will see a significant decrease.

Water issues

Low quality of drinking water, due to water pollution by heavy metals and other industrial and agricultural wastes, was a major problem in the Czech Republic. Due to insufficient supplies of groundwater, 70% of drinking water is derived from reservoirs which have high levels of nitrates originating from sources such as fertilizers. Significant decreases in COD documents an improved situation in the treatment of industrial wastes. However, the marginal decreases in nitrates and the high concentrations of phosphorous indicate a problem of eutrophication and secondary pollution from phytoplankton production. Today both urban and rural dwellers have access to safe drinking water.

Climate change: there are some changes in the temporal and spatial distribution of precipitation. Spatially bounded downpours, flood situations and prolonged droughts are getting more frequent, which relates to the overall increase of the climate extremity.

Carbon emissions

The Czech Republic acceded to the UNFCCC in 1991 and signed the Kyoto Protocol in 1998. As an Annex I country, it committed to emissions reduction of 8% in the commitment period 2008-2012 compared to the baseline year, 1990.

Between 1990 and 2008, the Czech Republic decreased its GHG emissions, by 27.5% to 141.4 Mt CO2eq. (excluding LULUCF emissions and sinks). The Kyoto Protocol commitment has been accomplished. The largest share of emissions is from the energy sector, followed by industry processes and agriculture. GHG emissions per capita reached 13.5 t CO2eq. in 2008.

The Czech Republic is involved in the international activities and treaties aimed at minimization of climate change. The State Environmental Policy (SEP) includes as a priority climate protection and minimisation of the negative impacts of climate change. The strategic framework for climate protection consists of the Climate Protection Policy, the National Programme to Abate the Climate Change Impacts and the State Programme in Support of Energy Savings and the Usage of Renewable Energy sources. A decrease in national GHG emissions can also be achieved with the support of EU structural funds. The Green Investment Scheme is one of the most important upcoming measures. The programme aims to reduce energy consumption and CO2 emissions in the housing sector.

Renewable energies

Czech target: 13% by 2020 (2005 = 6.1%)

The share of RES in total primary energy sources was 4.77 % in 2007. In 2007, renewable electricity accounted for 4.7 % of gross inland electricity consumption, and 3.9 % in gross inland electricity production. Dependence on external energy supplies was of about 27.44 % in 2006.

The Czech Republic’s legislative framework in relation to renewable energy sources has been strengthened by a new RES Act adopted in 2005 and a Government Order regulating the minimum amount of biofuels or other RES fuels that must be available for motor fuel purposes. The use of biomass in particular is likely to increase as a result of the new legislation. A feed-in system for RES-E and cogeneration is also in place.

Between 2005 and 2009 growth of installed solar power stations connected to the grid system increased from under one MW to more than 460 MW. In 2010 the photovoltaic capacity reached 1.400 MW. In 2010 the Czech Republic suddenly changed its approach and passed a series of acts that have restricted and limited the promotion of renewable energy, much to the distress of SME investors.

Sustainability targets$FILE/KM-SFSD_CR_EN-20100317.pdf

The Strategic Framework for Sustainable Development 2010 is the main document that includes elements referring to sustainable development. The priorities and objectives are classified into the following five priority axes:

1. Society, people and health

- Improving the conditions for healthy living: social inclusion and reducing poverty

- Improving the population’s lifestyle and health

- Adjusting policies and services to demographic development

2. Economy and innovation

- Supporting the dynamics of the national economy and improving competitiveness

- Ensuring national energy security and improving the energy and raw-material intensity of the economy: promoting the sustainability of the energy sector

- Promoting human resource development, supporting education, science and research

3. Spatial development

- Fostering territorial cohesion: gradually reducing excessive regional disparities, ensuring sustainable rural development

- Improving the quality of life of the population

- Promoting strategic land use planning more efficiently: creating the conditions for sustainable land use

4. Landscape, ecosystems and biodiversity

- Landscape and biodiversity conservation: sustainable landscape management

- Responsible farming and forestry

- Adaptation to climate change: reducing the impacts of expected global climate change on forest and agricultural ecosystems

5. A stable and secure society

- Fostering social stability and cohesion

- Efficient state, good governance and civil sector development

- Improving the preparedness to cope with the impacts of global and other security threats and strengthening international ties

Dominican Republic

NB: Numbers in square brackets refer to sources listed at end of section. Quote marks have been used where information is directly copied or directly translated.


  • “Deforestation, land degradation and water availability are among the top environmental issues in the country.” [1]

A. Sea level rise [2]

  • “A study by the World Bank states that if the sea continues to rise at the current rate, Santo Domingo will be one on the 5 cities most affected at a global level by climate change in 2050 (after Alexandria, Barranquilla, Naples and Sapporo)
  • “Salt-water erosion and coastal flooding will be just a couple of the most serious consequences of this phenomenon
  • “As well as being of vital importance for the region’s economy, 70% of the Caribbean population also live on the coast.”

A. Extreme Weather

  • “According to Global Risk Index 2014, the DR ranked eighth among countries most affected by extreme weather events between 1992-2013. Being a Caribbean island, the DR is more vulnerable to the challenges of sea level rise, water availability, food security, biodiversity, infrastructure, coastal communities, economic growth and health.” [3]

A. Biodiversity etc.

  • Proportion of the country covered by forest estimated (by the Ministry of Environment and Natural resources) to have increased by 6.8 points from 2003 to 2011 to 39.7% [4]
  • An estimated 98% of the fish population (2011) is said to be within safe biological limits, an increase from 93% in 2008 [4]

A. Atmosphere

  • Carbon dioxide emissions increased from 9.6 million metric tons in 1990 to 21.9 million in 2003, before decreasing considerably in 2004 and then increasing much less rapidly than before (21 million metric tons by 2010) [4]
  • Emissions of gases destructive to the ozone have also decreased in recent years [4]

A. Energy

  • 72.2% of energy provided by oil and derived products, 9% from natural gas, 6.2% from coal, 7.1% from wood and 5.4% from biomass, biodiesel and solar. [5]
  • Energy production associated with the following [5]
    • “Concentration of pollution in urban areas (poor air quality)”
    • “Soil and water contamination”
    • “Greenhouse gas emissions”
    • “Loss of biodiversity”
    • “Pressure on forests and deforestation”
  • There is much energy waste from a lack of social awareness, for example leaving lights turned on unnecessarily. “Around 200,000 homes could save up to 200GWh in air conditioning costs, by using absorbers to increase efficiency (insulation, windows and curtains) and units of high efficiency.” [6-translation]

A. Water issues

  • In 2014, the Santo Domingo area again suffered from a water shortage due to prolonged seasonal drought; this is heightened by increasing demand for water as a result of population growth and degradation of rivers [7]
  • “34% of the country is affected by desertification and drought (arid, semi-arid and semi-humid areas). Drought manifests itself in soil erosion, water shortage and loss, land degradation, increasing poverty and unequal socio-economic growth” [8-translation]

A. Border Area with Haiti

  • “Soil erosion, deforestation and a degraded marine environment are all indicative of growing environmental degradation” [9]
  • The Dominican Republic and Haiti have both expressed their wish to combat environmental degradation in the border area between their two countries [9]

B. ENVIRONMENTAL COMMITMENTS ETC. B. Barbados Declaration on Energy

  • The Dominican Republic committed to doing the following by 2020 [10]
    • 1. “Promote local and sustainable use of biofuels, particularly in the transport sector.” [10]
    • 2. “Plan and promote the development of infrastructure for generation, transmission and distribution of electricity, operating at the standards of quality and reliability of service established by the rules.” [10]
    • 3. “Encourage strict enforcement of environmental regulation in electricity generation aimed at the adoption of sustainable management practices and mitigation of climate change.” [10]
    • 4. “Promote a culture of citizenship and business efficiency, by inducing a wise use practices in electricity and promoting the use of equipment and processes to lower energy use or better use of it.” [10]

B. Quisqueya Verde

  • Project led by the Ministry of Environment started in 1997 [11]
  • Environmental and social focus: aims to combat both extreme poverty and loss of natural resources [11]
  • Includes reforestation projects with the participation of the community, education on the environment, improvement of local infrastructure and housing [11]
  • The project is based on “the conviction that the deterioration of natural resources stems from socioeconomic problems which affect populations which have a direct bearing on natural resources, accompanied by a lack of knowledge on sustainable management of these” [11 - translation]

B. Kioto Protocol

  • Signed by the Dominican Republic [12]

B. Tourism

  • Amongst the values listed by the Ministry of Tourism are “respect for the environment and protected areas” and “commitment to the sustainable development of the sector” [13]

B. Atmosphere etc.

  • “The country, under the Act 1-12 National Development Strategy, has set a target for 2030 of 25% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 2010, in absolute terms.” [3]
  • “we have begun the process of implementing the “Plan for Compatible Economic Development Climate Change” (DECCC Plan), in which we will be working with initiatives to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases in the cement and solid waste sectors” [3]
  • “it is one of the few countries that has its low emissions development strategy called Climate Compatible Development Plan (CCDP), focused mainly on 3 key areas: energy, transport and forestry sectors and a group called “quick wins” which forms the sectors: cement, waste and tourism.” [14]
  • “As part of a national measure, the Dominican Republic has introduced the carbon tax for the transport sector regarding their CO2 emissions.” [14]

B. Energy

  • “In 2007, the Renewable Energy Law 57-07 entered into force and in 2008 the Renewable Energy Regulation No. 202-08 was signed for the application of the Law. Law 57-07 grants numerous incentives and tax exemptions to investors in renewable energy.” [14]

B. Education

  • “In terms of adaptation, climate change education is paramount. With this in mind, we conducted training sessions for 400 teachers in the levels of Media and Basic Dominican Education System issues related to climate change as indicated by our project, “National Strategy for Strengthening Capacities and Human Skills Resources to move towards green development, with low emissions and Climate Resilience” through the UN CC: Learn CNCCMDL coordinated by UNITAR under the supervision and funding of the Swiss Development Cooperation.” [3]

B. Earth Charter in the Dominican Republic (La Carta de la Tierra)

  • Earth Charter materials have been used in the Dominican Republic, disseminated by organisations such as the Earth Charter committee, PRONATURA & the Poveda Centre. [15]
  • At the World Summit on Sustainable Development (Johannesburg), the government declared its support for the Earth Charter’s principles [15]
  • Workshop on Earth Charter organised by Ministry of Education for World Environment Day 2007 [16]


  1. Resumen Ejecutivo Prospectiva Demanda de Energía RD 2010-2030. Available here
  2. ‘La evaluación ambiental estratégica del plan energético national (2010-2025). Available here. Follow > evaluación ambiental > informe final


Environmental issues

The greater Cairo area has the worst air pollution in Egypt. Fumes from Cairo's vehicles, combined with suspended particulate matter (including lead) and sand blown into urban areas from the neighboring Western Desert, create an almost permanent haze over the city. Cairo also has high levels of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide.

Soil fertility has declined because of overcultivation and agricultural land has been lost to urbanization and desert winds.

Only 79% of the population living in rural areas has adequate sanitation facilities. Waste incineration is a common practice, since it is less expensive than treating it, compacting it or removing it from the city.

Centuries of human habitation in the Nile Valley over the centuries has had a negative impact on Egypt's wildlife. Altogether, less than 1% of Egypt's total land area is protected.

Egypt is at risk from climate change in a number of ways. The Nile River delta, already subsiding because upstream damming blocks sediment from reaching the delta, is at risk of salination and inundation by the Mediterranean if sea levels rise even slightly.

Water issues;jsessionid=3977FAF50B45748E53B6BA2A2B248AF1.tomcat1?fromPage=online&aid=5933968

The nation's beaches, coral reefs, and wildlife habitats are threatened by oil pollution. Heavy use of pesticides, inadequate sewage disposal, and uncontrolled industrial effluents have created major water pollution problems. The expanded irrigation of desert areas after completion of the Aswan High Dam has increased soil salinity and aided the spread of waterborne diseases. Half of Cairo's raw sewage is carried to the sea in open sewers and some 100 of 120 towns do not have sewer systems at all. Even the existing sewers are decrepit. With recent improvements, about 97% percent of the population have access to pure water.

Water pollution is seen as serious, and many new factories are being built without sufficient pollution control. While many new institutional and legal steps have been undertaken, most have failed to curb effectively mounting environmental stresses. A rare counter-example is Mediterranean water quality, which is being helped by activation of UNEP's Mediterranean Action Plan.

Some of the threats Egypt faces due to climate change include a rising sea level, changing precipitation patterns, and availability of potable water. In addition, Egypt relies on the annual flow of the Nile for nearly all its freshwater, so changes in rainfall patterns in the Nile watershed could reduce available water resources, decimating the agriculture and undermining the hydroelectric power facility at Aswan.

Carbon emissions

Egypt ratified the UNFCCC in 1994 and the Kyoto Protocol in 2005.

Assessment of GHG emissions for Egypt in the year 2000 revealed that the total emissions in the year 2000 were about 193 MtCO2e, compared to about 117 MtCO2e in 1990, representing an average increase of 5.1% annually. Estimated total GHG emissions in 2008 are about 288 MtCO2e. The energy sector is the primary contributor to emissions of GHGs in Egypt, followed by agriculture, industrial processes and then the waste sector. GHG emissions per capita show 37% increase in the year 2000 relative to 1990.

As a non-annex I country, Egypt is not required to meet any specific emission reduction or limitation targets in terms of its commitments under the UNFCCC or the Kyoto protocol. However, mitigation measures based on national plans are already in progress, and accelerated developments are taking place for introducing renewable sources of energy, fuel switching from oil to natural gas, the implementation of domestic and industrial energy efficiency programs, energy-efficient buildings, and agriculture and plantation schemes with the aim of creating low carbon economic structure that prioritizes energy efficiency.

An Inter- Ministerial Committee on Climate Change was established in 1998 to formulate, implement and promote the Comprehensive Action Plans for Combating Climate Change.

Renewable energies

Egypt’s strategy has adopted a target to meet 20% of electrical energy demand from renewable energy resources by the year 2020, including about 12% from wind power, hydro power with additional contributions from other renewable applications. Egypt— considered a leader in the region on renewable energy and energy efficiency—hopes to realize a 7200 MW wind power capacity by 2020.

Egypt has some of the world’s best wind power resources, especially in the Gulf of Suez area. Egypt had an installed wind capacity of 430MW at the end of 2009. Egypt is also located in the “Sunbelt” area and is endowed with high intensity solar radiation. To date, uptake of solar projects has been slow due to high capital costs, with only 6MW of solar PV currently installed and CSP of 30MW as part of a 150MW hybrid power plant. Egypt has substantial hydropower resource, which is exploited by both large- and small-scale developments, covering 4.75% of demand.

The Government has proposed a New Electricity Act, which is currently under consideration. Egypt is also on the way to develop its own “National Sustainable Development Strategy” and energy is a major component of this strategy.

Sustainability targets

The most relevant strategic paper for sustainable development in Egypt is the “National Environmental Action Plan: Environment at the Centre of Modernizing Egypt 2002-2017“, published in 2001. The primary aim of the NEAP is to provide support for the introduction of a participatory and demand-driven environmental planning process, taking into account sustainable development issues.

The strategy is divided in eight parts:

- Part 1 deals with the most important environmental topics for the country: water quality and management, air quality, management of land resources, desertification, the protection of marine environment, solid waste management, biodiversity, biological safety and environmental hazards.

- Part 2 describes constraints to environmental protection and driving forces form several sectors like energy, tourism, agriculture and fishing, mining etc.

- Part 3 defines the action agenda for the eight priority topics developed in Part 1.

- Part 4 identifies several cross-cutting issues for societal sub-groups (youth, women, disabled persons, etc) and economic issues related to the environment (globalisation, natural resource accounting, economic instruments).

- Part 5 outlines issues of institutional capacity-building and legislation.

- Part 6 focuses on Egypt´s international, regional and bilateral cooperation and partnerships.

- Part 7 concentrates on the financial aspects of the NEAP.

- Part 8 offers an overview of the implementation plan by breaking the NEAP in three five-years plans and monitoring measures.


Environmental issues

Air, water, and land pollution rank among Estonia's most significant environmental challenges. One of the worst environmental offenders was the Soviet army. Across military installations the army dumped jet fuel into the ground, improperly disposed of toxic chemicals, and discarded outdated explosives and weapons in coastal and inland waters. The worst damage has been done to Estonia's topsoil and underground water supply, for which the clean-up operations entailed great efforts and costs.

The combination of dust and sulfur dioxide from the burning of oil shale by power plants in the northeast part of the country and airborne pollutants from industrial centers in Poland and Germany poses a significant hazard to Estonia's air quality. However, the amount of pollutants emitted to the air has fallen steadily.

As of 2001, 11% of the total land area was protected, including 10 Wetlands of International importance.

Estonia already has very high climate variability. An increase in the annual mean temperature is being seen primarily in the period from January to May, causing the end of winter and start of spring to occur earlier. While certain agricultural crops may benefit from a warmer climate, pests populations are expected to increase.

Water issues

Estonia's water resources have been affected by agricultural and industrial pollutants, including petroleum products and chemicals at former Soviet military bases, which have also contaminated the groundwater. Some rivers and lakes within the country have been found to contain toxic sediments in excess of the accepted level for safety. Coastal seawater is also polluted at certain locations.

In connection with the start-up of new water purification plants, the pollution load of wastewater decreased.

Climate change: It is predicted that the number of stormy days will increase, and heavy rain falls and spring droughts will occur more frequently.

Carbon emissions

In 1994, Estonia ratified the UNFCCC, and in 2002, the Kyoto Protocol, committing to 8% GHG emissions reduction during the years 2008 - 2012 compared to 1990.

GHG emissions decreased by 47.49 % between 1990 and 2007. This decrease was mainly caused by the transition from a planned to a market economy and the successful implementation of the necessary reforms. In 2007 the total emission of GHGs, measured as carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2-eq), was 14,115.63 Gg. Without CO2 from LULUCF the total was 22,018.68 Gg. The Energy sector accounted for 86.69 % of total GHG emissions, followed by agriculture, 6.05% and industrial processes, 4.09 %.

In April 2004 the Government approved the National Programme of Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction for 2003-2012. This is the only programme where reaching the Kyoto target has been set as a main objective. Other relevant policies are, among others:

- Estonian National Strategy on Sustainable Development

- National Environmental Strategy until 2030

- National Energy Efficiency Programme for 2007-2013

- Development Plan 2007−2013 for Enhancing the Use of Biomass and Bioenergy

- National Development Plan for Energy Sector until 2020

- Transport Development Plan for 2006–2013

- Estonian Rural Development Plan 2007–2013.

Renewable energies _Review_09_Final.pdf

Estonian target: 25% by 2020 (2005 = 18%)

Estonia's potential lies mainly in biomass, biogas, wind and cogeneration from biofuels. Small-scale hydro-electric is being developed. By end-2005, 36.2MW were produced from hydro-electric and wind. Although the proportion of wind and hydro energy is still relatively small in electricity generation, making up less than 3% of total output, a significant development took place in 2009. In 2006 the percentage of biofuels in the transport fuel mix was just 0.12%. The share of CHP in total electricity generation increased from 8.6% in 2008 to 9.2% in 2009. The share of RES in the gross electricity consumption was 1.75% in 2007.

New RES-E regulation in force since 2007 includes three support options (feed-in tariff, premium and certificate of origin) and is valid for RES-E production from facilities with capacity less than 100MW. There is a single feed-in tariff level for all RES-E technologies. District heating law promotes the use of indigenous sources and RES for heat production. Biofuels used for transport or heating have been exempt from excise tax since 2005. In 2006 a development plan to promote the use of biomass and bioenergy for 2007-2013 was drawn up.

Sustainability targets

The National Strategy on Sustainable Development Sustainable Estonia 21, published in 2005, is the main document that includes elements referring to sustainable development. The four development goals proposed by SE21 are:

- Viability of the Estonian cultural space

Sustainability of the Estonian nation and culture is expressed through the preservation of the Estonian cultural space. This is assessed using the following criteria: extent of the Estonian cultural space, functionality and temporal continuity and plasticity of the Estonian culture.

- Growth of welfare

Welfare is divided into three components that can be regarded as sub-goals: economic wealth; level of security and diversity of opportunities.

- Coherent society

Achievement of social cohesion means both social and regional balance, overcoming of the excessively large in-country differences in Estonia. There are 3 sub-goals: social inclusion; regional balance and strong civil society.

- Ecological balance

Maintenance of ecological balance in the nature of Estonia is a central precondition for sustainability. The main function of environmental protection is to achieve balanced resource management in the interests of the society and local communities. The goal is broken down into three components: use of natural resources in ways and quantities that ensure ecological balance, reduction of pollution and preservation of biological diversity and natural areas.


NB: Numbers in square brackets refer to sources listed under each subsection. Quote marks have been used where information is directly copied or directly translated.

Overview: Policies

  • Environment Management Act (EMA) – 2005: “grants broad new powers to government agencies to control environmentally harmful activities.”; “requires environmental impact assessment of a wide range of development activities, and establishes a new legal framework for waste and pollution control.” [14]


  • “Fiji is located in one of the most vulnerable and highly at risk location to disasters in the world. About one or two cyclones hits the country every year and floods and flash floods because of climate change has become a common occurrence” [9]
  • Effects are already being felt in Fiji “As a predominantly agricultural based economy, the impact is being felt more by the rural populace who depend on the agriculture sector for their livelihood. The increasing incidence and intensity of droughts, cyclones and flooding is taking its toll on the economy and the lives of ordinary citizens.” [9]


  • Threats to marine environment:
    • “Climate change, coral bleaching, tourism, unsustainable fishing practices such as explosives, night spear fishing and modern and traditional poisons for fishing, development activities, introduction of invasive alien species” [5]
    • “Point source pollution(e.g. sewage, mining, industrial discharges, litter refuse disposal sites); drainage of ballast water” [5]
    • “Non point source pollution (fertilisers, herbicides, urban runoff);siltation of waterways and coastal areas from agricultural practices; logging and clearing of vegetation” [5]
  • Tourism development: “Habitat destruction in the coastal areas for tourism development is a major threat to Fiji’s biodiversity in the mangrove, estuaries, reef and foreshore ecosystems. Unplanned and uncoordinated tourism activities can become a major threat to Fiji’s biodiversity.” [10]
  • Mangrove ecosystems: The role of mangroves includes protecting coastal areas from erosion and storm surges and providing a nursery ground for fish and other marine life. They are threatened by coastal tourism developments, reclamation, firewood collection, waste disposal amongst others [11]
    • Role of mangroves: “Mangroves perform a coastal stabilisation role by trapping sediments which both controls the erosive action of waves and current as well as reduces silt loads that can potentially reach and kill coral reefs (Watling 1985). Mangroves also reduce the impact of waste water released into coastal waters by efficiently absorbing excess nutrients from treated sewage effluents (Fiji Department of Environment 2007). Mangroves also play a vital carbon sequestration role which contributes to climate change mitigation. These functions are particularly vital to the protection and sustainable management of coastal areas from the projected impacts of climate change and sea level rise.” [12]
  • Coral reefs: Coral reefs are diverse ecosystems, protect coastal communities, provide food and income, are home to much marine life and are rich and diverse ecosystems. According to WWF “Fiji reefs are historically healthy”, but threats include “bleaching, pollution, physical damage from unsustainable fishing practices, coastal development, harmful land-use and ocean acidification” [11]
  • Contamination from litter / waste: “Beach pollution from carelessly dumped rubbish, makeshift garbage sea walls and human and animal waste, especially in urban centres, seriously compromises the quality of coastal areas. The serious lack of civic and corporate responsibility, coupled with limited garbage collection services, has contributed to litter covering beaches and coasts. Approximately half of the country’s population is serviced by municipal garbage collection services, with those excluded comprising of most rural, peri-urban and squatter settlements (Fiji Department of Environment 2005). Hence a significant amount of waste is dumped in rivers, streams and mangrove areas eventually to be carried and deposited on beaches.” [12]
  • Dredging: flood management strategy; threatens coastal ecosystems [12]
  • Tourism: “The tourism industry is a major generator of waste in Fiji with a relatively higher proportion of plastics, packaging and cans (Fiji Department of Environment 2005). Due to the industry’s coastal orientation, much wastewater from hotel sewage systems as well as cruise ships are released into coastal waters (Fiji Department of Environment 2006).” [12]
  • Shipping: Marine activities and Fiji's importance as a transport hub poses threats such as effluent discharge, oil spills (an almost daily occurrence around the major ports), shipwrecks, abandoned marine vessels [12]
  • Agricultural and bush burning: this practice continues, despite awareness camptains and policy, as it is often seen as an easier method of land clearance. “Agricultural and bush burning significantly reduce soil quality and is the biggest threat to native birds and the endemic ground frog (Thomas 2007, Fiji Department of Environment 2007, Davies 1998)” [12]

Coastal / Marine Areas: Challenges

  • Litter: “The many community initiated ‘clean-up’ activities and newly introduced litter legislation have not been able to reduce the problem and are limited in promoting waste separation and recycling which are more sustainable solutions to the current problem (Fiji Department of Environment 2005). There is clearly a need for stronger enforcement of currently relevant legislations such as the Litter Decree and the Waste Disposal and Recycling Regulation as well the development of more comprehensive legislation includes provisions for separation and recycling, minimisations and landfill site selection and management.” [12]

Coastal / Marine Areas: Progress

  • Integrated Coastal Management Framework [12]
  • Ecotourism & coastal environments: Ecotourism and conservation initiatives by resorts and tourism operators have been beneficial. Development of ecotourism promoted in the Fiji Tourism Development Plan 2007-2006. “The Fiji government has facilitated the establishment of several significant ecotourism initiatives such as the Colo-i-Suva Forest Park, Sigatoka Sand Dunes, Bouma National Heritage Park and Taveuni Hill Fort while privately initiated ecotourism ventures are emerging such as Rivers Fiji who leased “buffer zones” around the Navua River Canyon for conservation with the intention of protecting the quality of their scenic tours and rafting activities.” [12]
  • FNBSAP (Fiji National Biodiversity & Action Plan): “endorsed by Cabinet in 2003”; “Realizing the objectives of the NBSAP has been slow and hampered by a lack of capacity.” [10]
  • Mangrove Ecosystems for Climate Change and Livelihoods (MESCAL): “The MESCAL is concentrated mainly on saving Fiji’s Mangrove ecosystems which will be a part of the overarching ICM framework.” [10]
  • Mangrove projects: “In recognition of the importance of and threats to Fiji’s mangroves, various organisations such as JICA, OISCA, WWF, USP, PCDF, FLMMA, Live and Learn Environment have initiated mangrove replanting projects as well as community-based mangrove protection plans over the past 20 years.” [12]


  • “the proportion of land area under forest has increased, although environmental challenges remain a serious threat to forestry resources” [1]


  • “Fiji has an abundance of water resources, however, there are persistent problems of supply of piped water. Approximately 75 percent of Fiji’s population has access to piped water while the proportion of population having access to sewerage facilities is about 25 percent.“ [9]


  • Particular sources of air pollution: vehicle emissions, open burning, industrial emissions, agricultural burning, incinerators, open stoves, shipping vessel emissions, dust from gravel roads [8]
  • Particulate emissions: “Assessment of the Kyoto Protocol have found that particulate emission is a major concern for Fiji. Second hand vehicles of low grade and older diesel engines emit high level of particulates. Vehicles owners were, to some extent, not aware of costs linked to emissions and the way to reduce such emissions. More over, diesel is taxed less as compared to petrol since diesel is considered the working fuel.” [9]


  • Demand: Increased energy demand over past decade [13]
  • Energy mix: high reliance on imported fuels, significant use of biomass/wood for cooking in rural area, also use of hydropower for electricity [13]

Energy: Progress

  • Renewables
    • Renewable energy share in electricity generation 2011: 56% (FEA annual report 2011) [13]
    • Renewable energy share in total energy consumption 2011: 13% (from figures from Fiji Islands Bureau of Statistics & FEA) [13]
    • “Over 50% (FEA annual report 2011) of Fiji’s electricity is already generated from hydropower, but there are still likely a number of medium size undeveloped hydro sites and significant unexplored geothermal, solar, and wind resources.” [13]
  • Biofuels:
    • “There have been attempts to reduce petroleum imports through the use of bio-fuels, but research and development both locally and abroad has shown that its economic viability is uncertain at best.” [13]
    • Other reports vary however. According to Fiji’s 2010 National Assessment Report, “There is strong growth in the use of bio-fuels. Fiji has wealth of natural raw materials for bio-fuel. Coconut Natural Oil in transport has been applied successfully in blends with kerosene and diesel in the region during the past years, in adapted vehicles” [9]
  • Energy efficiency: “The government’s initiatives relating to demand-side energy efficiency have so far focused on appliance labelling for refrigeration technology, the development of training material for a programme on energy efficiency in schools, and public awareness campaigns. There is clearly potential to expand these initiatives and make more of an impact on energy efficiency, including by ramping up the labelling awareness campaigns and targeting improvements in the public sector.” [13]
  • Transport: “Recently, governments are encouraging car pooling, restrictions on car access and parking capacity and encouraging alternative forms of travel such as public transport, cycling and walking. However, stronger incentives are required to discourage car use.” [9]

Energy: Challenges

  • Governance: Issues with effective governance of energy plans [13]


14. Government information on the Environment Management Act of 2005

FYRO Macedonia

Environmental issues

Air pollution in Macedonia is mainly derived from energy production and transformation, fuels combustion, heat production for industry and residential and administrative buildings heating. Metallurgical plants in particular are well-known sources for air pollution. Furthermore, the traffic also claims a part of the blame.

The problems causing soil degradation in rural areas are poor agricultural practices, especially inefficient irrigation schemes, the overuse of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, and mining operations. In urban and industrial areas soil is contaminated with heavy metals and organic chemicals.

Waste is another significant problem. Often it is left in open dumps. There are large numbers of illegal dump sites and so far none of the existing landfills in the country complies with the EU standards.

Forests fires are a hazard. Illegal logging and hunting are also an area of concern. Several threats, such as agricultural activity, industry and mining lead to loss of biodiversity and loss of ecosystem services. As of 2001, approximately 7.1% of Macedonia's total land area was protected.

Climate change will lead to temperature rise, mostly in summer periods, with intensive decrease of precipitation in all seasons except winter. The high mountain ranges would suffer snow and ice melting and loss of biodiversity. Forest fires are likely to intensify and become more frequent.

Water issues

Water quality of most surface waters and groundwater is low. Major polluters of surface and ground waters are households’ and industrial sewage systems, while in agricultural areas polluters are livestock waste from farming. There are limited wastewater treatment plants in the industrial sector. Waters are directly discharged without treatment. Zinc, lead and cadmium are recorded in Vardar River, downstream from smelter facilities. Cadmium was found in several other rivers, as well as phosphorus and nitrates. However, all urban dwellers have access to safe drinking water.

Although the country is fairly rich in water resources due to its great lakes, it is considered to be water stressed. The uneven precipitation and supplies of surface waters imply that the water demand for food production is not totally met.

The quality of wetlands and natural lakes is endangered by uncontrolled waste water discharge and water abstraction, tourist activities and unfavourable weather conditions. Even protected lake Ohrid suffers from euthrophication, due to waste water inflow.

Reports on climate change consequences show expectations of decreased precipitation in all seasons except winter, amplifying existing stresses, particularly water scarcity. It is estimated that water run-off could decrease by up to 25% in some areas by 2100.

Carbon emissions

Macedonia ratified the UNFCCC in 1997 and the Kyoto Protocol in 2004. As a non-Annex I Party, it is not bound to any reduction targets.

The total CO2-eq emissions in Macedonia for the period 1990-2002 range from 11.9 to 14.4 Mt CO2-eq. Emissions for the base year 2000 amount to 14,318 kt CO2-eq, i.e. 7.16 t CO2-eq per capita. The main contributor to the total CO2-eq emissions is the energy sector with about 70% of the total emissions. The second biggest contribution comes from the agricultural sector with about 10-15%, while all other sectors are contributing with less than 10% each.

Activities concerning Climate Change are divided on a strategic level, legislative and institutional levels, and bilateral, regional and international cooperation. The Second National Communication on Climate Change was adopted in 2008, and the First in 2005. One of the most important documents - National Strategy for Sustainable Development - identifies the climate change issue as one of the key cross-cutting issues affecting several sectors. Other strategic documents dealing with climate change include the Second National Environmental Action Plan, National Strategy for Approximation with EU in the area of environment, National Strategy for Environmental Investments, etc.

Renewable energies

The share of the RES in Macedonia is very low. Main renewable energy sources that can be exploited are hydropower, wind, solar power, biomass and geothermal energy.

The most exploited renewable energy for electricity generation is hydropower. 1088 GWh of electricity could be generated by SHPPs, representing 17.5 % of the technically available hydropower potential. Wind is the second best energy source for electricity, but currently there are no wind capacities in Macedonia. The other renewable energy sources are still not considered for electricity production.

The geothermal energy has a long tradition in Macedonia. The share in heat production is 2.4%. The solar energy potential of around 10GWh per year can satisfy at least 75-80% of the annual needs for heating and for hot water. Currently its usage is limited to water heating, with only 15000m² installed solar panels. The share of the biomass in the primary energy supply is around 6% and is used primarily for heating (mainly firewood).

In absence of a National energy strategy and Renewable energy strategy, the electricity production by renewable energy sources is regulated by the Energy Law. Under political pressure of EU, the government has drafted most of the secondary legislation needed to ensure implementation of the EU legislation on electricity production by RES.

Sustainability targets

The National Strategy for Sustainable Development of the Republic of Macedonia 2007 sets a vision, mission and objectives for economically, socially and environmentally balanced development. The key challenges for SD correspond to the challenges identified in the EU Strategy for SD, along with some specific Macedonian challenges:

- Climate Change and Clean Energy: reduce dependence on energy import, ensure reliable energy supply and reduce energy-related pollution

- Sustainable Transport: the government recognizes that development of a sustainable transport system is a key challenge for Macedonia

- Sustainable Consumption and Production

- Conservation and Management of Natural Resources: the government will recognize the environment as a priority in its politics

- Promote Public Health: health is both an input and an outcome of sustainable development

- Social Inclusion, Demography and Migration

- Global Poverty and Sustainable Development Challenges

- Good Governance and Better Policy-Making: ensure achievement of a sustainable economy; accomplishment of a strong and just society; sustainable use of the resources

- Diversification of Income in Rural Regions and Sustainable Development Challenges

- Economic Prosperity and Job Creation

- Human Sustainable Settlements: improve the social, economic and environmental quality of human settlements

- Cross-Cutting Policies contributing to a Knowledge Society: knowledge as the most important factor determining wealth generation and sustainable development.


Environmental issues

Air pollution is a problem in the major cities, particularly in Rustavi, which has a giant steel plant and other metal and chemicals production. Traffic is another great contributor to air pollution.

Pesticides and fertilizers from agriculture have significantly contaminated the soil. Significant amounts of agriculture lands have been lost in land erosions. The protection of upland pastures and hill farms from soil erosion is still a pressing issue. Hardship and low life quality forced people to over use natural resources, particularly firewood.

The war in Abkhazia did substantial damage to the ecological habitats unique to that region. In 2001, 2.8% of Georgia's total land area was protected.

Industrial waste has significantly decreased during late 1990s and early 2000s, however at the moment there are no industrial waste treatment facilities, therefore all the waste produced is being disposed into the environment without a treatment. Municipal waste is disposed in poorly managed landfills.

Today, life in Caucasus is threatened with both direct human activity and global its consequences, such as climate change. Glaciers in North Caucasus have retreated for 50% in the 20th century, with most drastic changes since 1998. Followed by habitat and ecosystem changes, biodiversity of Caucasus is vanishing.

Water issues

Beginning in the 1980s, Black Sea pollution has greatly harmed Georgia's tourist industry. Inadequate sewage treatment is the main cause of that condition. In Batumi, for example, only 18 percent of wastewater is treated before release into the sea. An estimated 70% of surface water contains health-endangering bacteria to which Georgia's high rate of intestinal disease is attributed.

Furthermore, the Mtkvari and Kura rivers are also polluted with industrial waste. As a result of water pollution and the scarcity of water treatment, the incidence of digestive diseases in Georgia is high.

Climate change: Melting of snow and ice sheet changes the water regime within the region, where most people depend on reserves of water preserved in glaciers over winter, which are being released during the summer, depending on hydropower of rivers formed by glaciers. Avalanches on Caucasus always posed a threat, however, with the higher average temperatures, melting snow may cause these catastrophes to occur much more frequently.

Carbon emissions

In 1999 Georgia ratified the Kyoto Protocol. As a non-Annex I Party, Georgia is not bound to any emissions reduction targets.

In the Initial National Communication, the base year was 1990, while in the Second National Communication, the base year was 2000. In 2006 emissions amounted to 11,750 Gg CO2-eq. The energy sector was the greatest contributor, followed by agriculture and waste. After 1987 emissions have fallen steadily until 1995 and then began to fluctuate around the value of 2006.

The CDM is regarded as an efficient tool for the practical implementation of the GHG Mitigation Strategy. In 2002, the Ministry of Environment Protection and Natural Resources was appointed as the Designated National Authority (DNA). Four CDM Project Idea Notes (PINs) have been prepared for submission to the DNA.

Renewable energies

An estimated 68 TwH from hydroelectricity is technically feasible but currently only 11% has been developed in Georgia. Ten areas favorable for the development of the wind energy have been identified but several important parameters are still being analysed. Some solar panels have been set in the villages of the mountainous regions of Georgia but they make up a modest figure. Experts believe there is a good potential in the sector of solar water heaters. However, the solar radiation atlas is not yet finally compiled.

Georgia has a potential for geothermal resources. The temperature of existing geothermal waters does not allow for the electricity generation but it can be used for heating. In terms of bioenergy, bio-digesters have been introduced in some areas to enable the population to produce individual free sources of biogas. Bio-fuel production was also found competitive by some studies.

At this stage, the conditions for supporting the development of renewable energies do not exist in Georgia (except for small hydroelectric stations). The 2006 resolution Main Directions of Georgia’s State Energy Policy recognizes the necessity of maximal utilization of renewables (hydro, wind). Nowadays, the development of renewables in a competitive environment is impossible, thus hindering the possibility of development for renewables in Georgia.

Sustainability targets

The Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper, published in 2003, is one document that includes elements referring to sustainable development. The goal is to raise the welfare of the population of Georgia. This means improving the quality of life of each person along with the sustainable socio-economic development of the country.

To achieve the goal, two strategic objectives have been defined: fast and sustainable economic development and reduction of poverty. And to achieve these strategic objectives, the following priorities have been identified:

- Improvement in governance;

- Macroeconomic stability: ensures favourable conditions for economic initiatives, entrepreneurship and investment;

- Improvement in the structural and institutional environment: effective market infrastructure, and economic and social mechanisms and institutions;

- Development of human capital: improving health condition endeducation levels;

- Social risk management and social security improvement: improved living standards for those below the poverty line and reduction of vulnerability levels;

- Development of economic priority sectors: energy, transport and communications, industry, tourism, agriculture and food.

- Improvement of natural environment condition: exercising a caring approach to the environment and natural resources;

- Socio-economic rehabilitation of post-conflict zones;

- Development of science and information technologies.


Environmental issues

Industrial smog and traffic-related air pollution in big cities are among the most significant problems in Greece. Over half of all industry is located in the greater Athens area, while the increased traffic led to a high level of congestion. Although the coverage of public transport is satisfactory, it still has a negative image due to delays and low frequency.

Acid rain is a widespread problem throughout Greece, which affects the environment as well as the man-made buildings, such as the Parthenon and other Ancient Monuments in Athens.

In the summer of 2008 Greece suffered heavily from arson induced forest fires which stripped the country of a significant proportion of its forests.

As a result of the droughts, in addition to uncontrolled use of fertilizers and soil erosion, the quality of the Greek soil has also been affected. This has caused great desertification in many agricultural areas, resulting in many farmers’ losing their business.

When it comes to climate change, Southern Greece could be one of the regions most affected by increase in year-to-year variability in summer climates and thus a higher incidence of heat waves and droughts. Mediterranean droughts would start earlier in the year and last longer.

Water issues

Water pollution is a significant problem due to industrial pollutants, agricultural chemicals such as fertilizers and pesticides, and sewage. The Gulfs of Saronikos and Thermaikos are two of the most polluted areas, where untreated industrial wastes, sewage, and municipal wastewater are discharged.

Acid rain is a widespread problem throughout Greece, which affects the health of Greece's lakes.

The quality of water in the Meditteranean area has declined, and Greece plays a major role in this matter, due to disposing of the waste from the factories directly into the sea.

The climate change in Greece could result in sea level rise and water stress.

Carbon emissions

Greece ratified the UNFCCC in 1994 and the Kyoto Protocol in 2002. As an Annex I Party, the EU, of which Greece was a member, assumed the reduction of emissions by 8% for the period 2008-2012 jointly by EU Member-States. The Burden-Sharing agreement between all Member States allowed Greece to limit its GHG emissions increase for the period 2008 – 2012 to +25% compared to base year emissions.

Base year GHG emissions in Greece were estimated at 107.71 Mt CO2 eq. In 2007, greenhouse gas emissions (without LULUCF) were 131.85 Mt CO2 eq, showing an increase of 22.4 % compared to base year emissions. This increase testifies that Greece is in compliance with the +25 % Kyoto Protocol target. Between 1990 and 2007, GHG emissions in Greece decreased in all sectors, except transport and energy. Significant reductions in greenhouse emissions have been achieved between 1990 and 2007 from existing measures in the sectors of waste and agriculture.

Greece’s climate change policy, strategy and programme plans are set out in the National Climate Change Programme’. The First National Programme was adopted in 1995, the Second in 2002 and revised in 2007.

Renewable energies

Greek target: 18% by 2020 (2005 = 6.9%)

In the first semester of 2011, the total installed capacity of RES stood at 2022.2 MW, 75% of which came from wind, 11.5% from solar, and the remaining 13.5% from biomass and hydro-electric production units. Greece’s target is to produce electrical energy from RES at a 40% share of the total electrical power by 2020.

Hydropower has traditionally been important in Greece, as well as geothermal heat. The wind resources in Greece are among the most attractive in Europe. It is estimated that today 1400 MW of wind farms are operating. Greece has a superb sun radiation capacity: installed PVs capacity has reached 340 MW. 99% of private construction utilise solar energy to generate hot water. Current installed capacity from biomass is 43 MW. Due to the increased interest in green energy, the biomass and biofuels market is expected to grow considerably.

General policies relevant to RES include a measure related to investment support, a 20% reduction of taxable income on expenses for domestic appliances or systems using RES, and a concrete bidding procedure to ensure the rational use of geothermal energy. The administrative burden associated with RES installations was reduced and technology-specific feed-in tariffs were introduced to stimulate the growth of RES-E. Fuel taxes are not applied to biofuels.

Sustainability targets

The National Strategy for Sustainable Development 2002 establishes the framework for an Action Programme capable to meet global challenges, compatible to EU guidelines and adaptable to national particularities.

The National Strategy for Sustainable Development aims at a balanced approach of all parameters which define social prosperity in harmony with natural environment:

- The economic parameter, focused on the support of entrepreneurship and competitiveness and the rational use of natural and manmade resources.

- The social parameter, focused on poverty alleviation and the support of social cohesion and solidarity.

- The environmental parameter, focused on the natural resources and the confrontation of pressures from human activities.

The objectives towards social solidarity are: access to labour market for all groups, access to common public goods (health, education, etc), poverty alleviation, protection of vulnerable social groups, focus on geographically disadvantaged areas, prevention of illiteracy, etc.

The targets of the environmental dimension are: climate change abatement; reduction of air pollutants; reduction and rational management of solid waste; water resources management; combating desertification; protection of biodiversity and natural ecosystems; and sustainable management of forests.

Social and economic sectors for the promotion of relevant activities include the sectors of energy, transport, agriculture, industry, tourism, spatial planning and employment.


Environmental issues

Emissions from automobiles and electric power plants have created most of the air pollution. Despite improvements following the economic and political changes of the nineties, air quality is still challenge. A significant percentage of the country suffers damage from acid rain.

Soils are also susceptible to pollution from chemical runoff from local industries. Over 66% of the territory of Hungary is dominated by agricultural production. Agricultural practices mostly focus on improving soil in the short term.

The amount of municipal solid waste has increased, a part of which is discharged in an uncontrolled manner. However, the total amount of hazardous waste generated in Hungary has decreased.

Reforestation efforts have allowed the country to steadily gain forestland. About 6.8% of Hungary’s land is protected in parks and other reserves. Intensive agricultural practices, poorly controlled deforestation, invasive species, agricultural, industrial and human pollution are the principal direct causes for biodiversity loss.

Despite having a naturally variable climate, temperature increases have been clearly seen in Hungary over the last 30 years. This warming is occurring unequally, with temperature increases being stronger in the eastern and north-western territories. Hungary has also seen a significant decrease in precipitation in the 20th century.

Water issues

River, lake, and groundwater pollution in Hungary are the result of industrial untreated runoff. Insufficiently treated sewage also contributes to water pollution, as not all the population has access to adequate sanitation facilities. Hungary’s Lake Balaton is severely polluted. Agriculture activities, such as the use of fertilisers, herbicides and pesticides, exert an important influence on water quality. However, in the past years agricultural production has taken on a less environmentally polluting character. The development of water treatment resulted in an improvement of the water quality in the country.

The country's geographical position means that it receives only 11% of the catchment area of the Danube, while 95% of surface water comes from other countries. This water is subject to considerable pollution from foreign sources.

The level of the water table underwent a remarkable decrease in the 70s and 80s as a result of overuse, drought and excessive canalisation. In the Danube-Tisza interfluvial region the water table decreased by 50 mm each year. This process has slowed down and even halted in some areas.

Climate change in Hungary will bring a decreased amount of precipitations in a more intensive pattern which increases the run-off, translating in less rain and more floods.

Carbon emissions

Hungary ratified the UNFCCC in 1994 and the Kyoto Protocol in 2002. As an Annex I Party, Hungary committed to reducing its GHG emissions by 6 %. As of 2008, the emissions were 34 % lower than in the base year.

In 2007, total emissions of greenhouse gases in Hungary were 75.9 million tonnes CO2 eq. Taking into account also the mostly carbon-absorbing processes in the LULUCF sector, the net emissions of Hungary were 71.8 million tonnes CO2 eq. The emissions per capita stand below 8 tons CO2 eq. The energy sector accounted for 75% of total GHG emissions, followed by agriculture with 13 % and industrial processes with 7%. However, the LULUCF result in sinking almost 6 % of the total emissions.

A broad range of policies are adopted by the Government to promote domestic mitigation measures. The National Climate Change Strategy provides a comprehensive framework for all targets and actions with respect to reducing GHG emissions and mitigating the effects of climate change. Various other programmes involve short and medium-term emission reduction targets and actions (Energy Policy Concept, Hungarian Energy Efficiency Action Programme, National Renewable Energy Strategy, Transport Policy). The Hungarian Green Investment Scheme furthers mitigation actions against climate change.

Renewable energies

Hungarian target: 13% by 2020 (2005 = 4.3%)

Geographical conditions in Hungary are favourable for RES development, especially biomass. At present biomass represents almost 90% of renewable energy use, followed by geothermal (8.2%) and hydropower (1.7%). Pellets and other solid biomass are the most widely used resources. The share of RES in the gross electricity production was in 2007 4.3%. The share of biofuels in the transport sector in 2006 was 0.28%. Wind energy is not much utilised and solar energy is even less, however in 2008 it has increased significantly. Whilst environmental conditions are the main barriers to further hydropower development, other RES such as solar, geothermal and wind energy are hampered by administrative constraints. Hungary energy dependence on imports amounts to 63% in 2005.

A new legal framework was approved in 2007. Some measures are: technology-specific feed-in-tariffs for renewables, certificates of origin for RES-electricity, possibility of introducing green certificates in the future. Advantageous tax levels were introduced for bioethanol and biodiesel. In 2008, the government approved the Renewable Energy Strategy for 2008-2020 and the Energy Efficiency Strategy and Action Plan. Other strategic documents that promote the use of RES are: The Environment Protection and Infrastructure Operative Programme, The Operative Programme for Environment and Energy for the period 2007-2013 and The National Energy-Saving Programme.

Sustainability targets

The main objective of the National Sustainable Development Strategy 2007 is to help shift domestic social, economic and environmental processes onto a path that is sustainable in medium and long-term. Since Hungary’s Strategy integrates domestic sectors, it is coherent with the goals of sectoral strategies and programmes.

The main priorities are to:

- create a sustainable population policy: provide requisites for harmonious coexistence of different generations of Hungarians and migrants;

- improve health status

- strengthen social cohesion and improve employment

- protect natural values: preserving the operability of national ecosystems for the sustainability of economy and social life

- combat climate change: reducing greenhouse gas emissions and adaptation to changing climatic impacts

- sustainable water management: a particularly important issue in Hungary

- strengthen competitiveness in a sustainable manner: economic competitiveness integrating the concept of sustainable development

- strengthen sustainable production and consumer habits: reducing the natural resource intensity of production and consumption

- transform Hungary’s energy economy: a system that does not generate greenhouse gases and satisfies energy demands from renewable, local sources

- create sustainable mobility and spatial structure: a transport network providing accessibility at minimum space used and environment loads

- use economic instruments in the interests of sustainable development: encourage economic actors to operate in a sustainable way.


Environmental issues

In India, major environmental issues include forest and agricultural degradation of land; depletion of resources such as water, minerals, forest, sand, and rocks; environmental degradation; public health issues; loss of biodiversity; loss of resilience in ecosystems; and livelihood security for the poor.

According to data collection and environment assessment studies of World Bank experts, between 1995 and 2010, the progress India has made in addressing its environmental issues and improving its environmental quality has been among the fastest in the world. Still, India has a long way to go to reach sustainable environmental quality. Environmental issues are one of the primary causes of disease, health issues and long term livelihood impact for India.

Water issues

India is recognised as has having major issues with water pollution, predominately due to untreated sewerage. Rivers such as the Ganges, the Yamuna and Mithi Rivers, all flowing through highly populated areas, thus polluted. Discharge of untreated sewage is the single most important cause for pollution of surface and ground water in the India. There is a large gap between generation and treatment of domestic wastewater in India. The wastewater generated in these areas normally percolates in the soil or evaporates. The uncollected wastes accumulated in the urban areas cause unhygienic conditions and release pollutants that leaches to surface and groundwater.

According to a World Health Organization study, out of the India's 3,119 towns and cities, just 209 have partial sewage treatment facilities, and only 8 have full wastewater treatment facilities. Over 100 Indian cities dump untreated sewage directly into the Ganges River.

Other sources of water pollution include agriculture run off and small scale factories along the rivers and lakes of India. Fertilizers and pesticides used in agriculture in northwest have been found in rivers, lakes and ground water. Flooding during monsoons worsens India's water pollution problem, as it washes and moves all sorts of solid garbage and contaminated soils into its rivers and wetlands.

Carbon emissions

India signed the UNFCCC on 10 June 1992 and ratified it on 1 November 1993. Under the UNFCCC, developing countries such as India do not have binding GHG mitigation commitments in recognition of their small contribution to the greenhouse problem as well as low financial and technical capacities. India acceded to the Kyoto Protocol on 26 August 2002.

On per capita basis, India is a small emitter of carbon dioxide greenhouse. In 2009, IEA estimates that it emitted about 1.4 tons of gas per person, in comparison to the United States’ 17 tons per person, and a world average of 5.3 tons per person. (IEA)

However India was the third largest CO2 emitter in the world in 2009, following China and the United States and slightly ahead of Russia. Its carbon emissions of 593 million tonnes carbon dioxide (MtCO2) or 2.8% of global emission in 1990 almost tripled to 1 548 MtCO2 or 5.4% in 2009. This is due to increased coal consumption, which represented 67% of the emissions increase from 1990 to 2009.

The Air Prevention and Control of Pollution Act was passed in 1981 to regulate air pollution and there have been some measurable improvements. However, the 2012 Environmental Performance Index ranked India as having the poorest relative air quality out of 132 countries.

Renewable energies

About 70% of India's energy generation capacity is from fossil fuels, with coal accounting for 40% of India's total energy consumption followed by crude oil and natural gas at 28% and 6% respectively. India is largely dependent on fossil fuel imports to meet its energy demands The growth of electricity generation in India has been hindered by domestic coal shortages and as a consequence, India's coal imports for electricity generation increased by 18% in 2010.

Due to rapid economic expansion, India has one of the world's fastest growing energy markets and is expected to be the second-largest contributor to the increase in global energy demand by 2035, accounting for 18% of the rise in global energy consumption. Given India's growing energy demands and limited domestic fossil fuel reserves, the country has ambitious plans to expand its renewable and nuclear power industries. India has the world's fifth largest wind power market and plans to add about 20GW of solar power capacity by 2022. In 2013, renewable energy sources contributed to 12.32 of the total installed energy capacity.

Sustainable targets

Although it was official claimed that India is planning to develop a National Sustainable Development Strategy by 2005, no separate strategy document has as yet been adopted. Therefore, in the absence of an individual strategy, sustainable development principles have been addressed in 2002 in a detailed study, entitled « Empowering people for Sustainable Development » (EPSD), and in the National Five Year Plans (FYPs), which sets the strategic direction for the Government of India during five years. The 12th FYP adopted for the years 2012 to 2017, entitled « Faster, More Inclusive and Sustainable Growth », calls for more attention to be given to problem of sustainability.

One chapter of the FYP is dedicated to Sustainable Development and outlines the orientations for a Sustainable economic growth and Low carbon strategies for inclusive growth. Water, land issues, environment, forestry and wildlife care targets are covered in separated chapters.

The Ministry of Environment & Forests (MoEF) is the nodal agency in the administrative structure of the Central Government for the planning, promotion, co-ordination and overseeing the implementation of India's environmental and forestry policies and programmes.

The broad objectives of the Ministry are:

  • Conservation and survey of flora, fauna, forests and wildlife
  • Prevention and control of pollution
  • Afforestation and regeneration of degraded areas
  • Protection of the environment
  • Ensuring the welfare of animals

These objectives are well supported by a set of legislative and regulatory measures, aimed at the preservation, conservation and protection of the environment. Besides the legislative measures, the National Conservation Strategy and Policy Statement on Environment and Development, 1992; National Forest Policy, 1988; Policy Statement on Abatement of Pollution, 1992; and the National Environment Policy, 2006 also guide the Ministry's work.


Environmental issues

Most air pollution is created by transportation, energy production and industry, and these have increased over the last years. Air pollution is aggravated by the small land area, arid climate and coastal industries near densely populated communities. Stringent emission permits have improved the situation significantly. Traffic is also responsible for the degradation of air quality.

Israel's solid waste is buried in landfills, burned in open-air pits or left to rot in garbage dumps throughout the country. Recycling is minimal. Toxic materials are kept in often leaking containers and are a threat to the Negev aquifer and a potential health hazard. An incinerator capable of handling toxic waste has been installed but the capacity must be enlarged.

Attempts are made to keep pesticide levels to a minimum, in order to avoid exported merchandise to be returned. Reforestation efforts have helped to conserve water resources and prevent soil erosion.

Because of stringent hunting laws and very active protection of wildlife, Israel has become a refuge for many native animals and migratory birds.

Israel is particularly threatened by the warming and drying trend impacts of climate change that may have drastic effects on agricultural production, drainage systems, the energy sector, and the coastal environment.

Water issues

Great strides have been made in the prevention of pollution from oil spills in the Mediterranean. But other pollutants are still being dumped into the sea including sewage and polluted water from chemical plants, and even permitted dumping of chemical waste at sea.

Most of the systems used for the discharge of sewage effluents are old and inadequate and were never designed to cope with increasing population. In some places the raw sewage simply flows into the wadis. The quality of drinking water is unsatisfactory. The quantity of water available is a great concern and efforts have been expended in finding ways to save water.

The Jordan river has been reduced to a trickle, while other rivers have either dried up or become contaminated. Lake Kinneret consistently sinks below the minimum level that it needs to maintain its integrity; even the Dead Sea is reaching record lows. Coastal and mountain aquifers are quickly being drained or polluted.

Climate change threatens Israel with severely decreased water supply, due to reservoirs sedimentation, salinization and the lack of reservoir recharge. Increased runoff will reduce aquifer recharge, and sea level rise and the intrusion of seawater into the coastal aquifer will further damage groundwater.

Carbon emissions

Israel is a party to the UNFCCC 1996 as a non-Annex I country and a party to the Kyoto Protocol since 2004.

Total emissions grew by approximately 23% in the period between 1996 and 2007, to 76,854 tons CO2 eq. Emissions per capita, however, decreased by 3%, to 10.7 tons. The energy sector was the greatest contributor, responsible for 85% of total GHG emissions in 2007. Emissions from industrial processes grew by 29%, while removals from forestry and the land-use change sector grew by 8%.

Five landmarks in Israel's environmental policy during the past decade are noteworthy:

1. Setting a target for assimilation of renewable energy in Israel.

2. Paving the path towards sustainable development policy.

3. Setting responsibilities and obligations for reduction of air pollution: The Clean Air Act

4. Preparing a climate change plan for Israel.

5. Setting a target for 20% reduction in GHG emissions by 2020 compared to a business as usual scenario.

Renewable energies

Renewable energy sources represent only 0.1% of total capacity. The Government has set a goal of generating 5% of the country's electricity needs from renewable energy by 2014, increasing to 10% by 2020. Cumulative installed PV capacity now stands at 61 MW, of which around 88% represents grid-connected systems, owing in part due to the country’s excellent natural solar resources. Israel also boasts relatively good natural resources for onshore wind, with an estimated 2.5 GW of potential. Current installed capacity stands at only 6 MW. There are minimal amounts of other technologies such as small-scale hydro, biomass and geothermal, though small-scale pilot plants are being undertaken.

A feed-in-tariff policy was approved in 2008 covering small domestic and commercial plants for both solar and wind. There are further supporting mechanisms for renewable energy which include tax cuts, tax exemptions, facilitation of land availability and investment grants. Currently, although there are individual programs aimed at promoting RE, there is no overarching national strategy. The Energy Master Plan analyzes alternatives for RE, and makes recommendations for strategies to achieve specific RE objectives. However, rather than developing strategies, the Government has initiated individual programs with a few goals in mind.

Sustainability targets

The national approach of Israel toward sustainable development is based on the elaboration and implementation of individual strategic plans for sustainable development in each of Israel’s ministers. In 2003, a Strategic Plan for Sustainable Development determined that the government’s policy will be based on the principles of sustainable development.

Each ministry has drafted a strategic plan for sustainable development, for the period until 2020, which includes an action plan and measures of implementation. Ministries have also identified their sustainable development practices according to a standard format and according to 16 principles, which were formulated for the national level. Specifically, each ministry has identified: current activities that promote sustainable development; activities that contradict and barriers to promoting sustainable development; areas that had been neglected and require further action.

In parallel, the inter-ministerial committee has identified several cross-cutting issues which are of special importance, including: energy savings and conservation, sustainable building, the potential use of greywater, the rural sector and sustainable transportation.

Today most of the ministries have prepared the strategic plans aimed at promoting the integration of the three components of sustainable development in government policy. However, the process of drafting an official document for an overarching strategy is still not finalized.


Environmental issues

At the site of the former Soviet Union's nuclear testing near the city of Semipalatinsk, the areas have been exposed to high levels of nuclear radiation, and there is significant radioactive pollution. The nation also has 30 uranium mines, which add to the problem of uncontrolled release of radioactivity.

Kazakhstan also faces the problem of urban pollution, particularly in eastern cities. The capital, Almaty, is particularly threatened, in part because of the postindependence boom in private automobile ownership. Other environmental issues in Kazakhstan include soil pollution from the overuse of pesticides in agriculture.

Kazakhstan's wildlife is in danger of extinction due to the overall level of pollution. Acid rain damages the environment within the country and also affects neighboring countries.

Deposition of the salt- and pesticide-laden soil near the Aral Sea on nearby fields effectively sterilizes them. Wind erosion has also had an impact in the northern and central parts of the republic because of the introduction of wide-scale dryland wheat farming.

Kazakhstan is already experiencing rising temperatures and increased duration of heat waves. Rising temperatures will also impact agricultural activities. Mudflows due to increased rainfall and melting of glaciers will present a serious danger to people in certain areas.

Water issues

Most of Kazakhstan’s water supply has been polluted by industrial and agricultural runoff and, in some places, radioactivity. The testing grounds of nuclear facilities remain highly contaminated.

The Aral Sea has shrunk to less than half its former size, in the process breaking into three unconnected segments. Excessive irrigation substantially decreased inflow. This has caused the destruction of fish and wildlife habitat as a result of increasing salinity and desertification. The reduction in the sea has exacerbated regional climatic extremes, and agricultural soil has been damaged by salt deposits and eroded by wind. Efforts to address the crisis have focused on preventing further shrinkage of the Aral Sea, mainly because the damage is so severe that it is practically irreversible.

The Caspian coast faces significant pollution. Its water level has been rising since 1978. At the northern end of the sea, land has already been flooded. Experts estimate that if current rates of increase persist, many of Kazakstan's Caspian oil fields and population centers could be submerged by 2020.

Climate change could result in mudflows due to increased rainfall and melting of glaciers. This could contribue to conflict situations over water supplies, as many of the glaciers border other countries.

Carbon emissions

Kazakhstan ratified the UNFCCC in 1995. In 1999 Kazakhstan signed the Kyoto Protocol as a non-Party to Annex I and a non-Party to Annex В of the Kyoto Protocol and also stated its intent to accede to Annex I.

In 2007 total GHG emissions without LULUCF amounted to 246.74 mln. t CO2-eq. The main contributor was the energy sector (189.71 mln. t), followed by industrial processes (18.52 mln. t) and agriculture (14.35 mln. t). Absorption of CO2 by LULUCF amounted 9.2 mln. t. Thus, net-emissions, taking into account CO2 absorption by LULUCF, were valued at 237.54 mln. t CO2-eq. Total specific GHG emissions in 2007 amounted about 15.8 t per capita. Despite the present growth of GHG emissions, total greenhouse gases emissions in 2007 remain significantly below 1990 year level.

Priority activities for the nearest future:

- Develop a National Energy-Saving Program including creation of conditions for development of renewable energy sources and increase of energy-efficiency of economy sectors

- Develop and approve at the governmental level the National Strategy on Climate Change;

- Start establishing a national system of GHG emissions monitoring;

- Begin implementation and monitoring of all activities aimed to prepare basis for ratification of the Kyoto Protocol.

Renewable energies

Although Kazakhstan possesses substantial renewable energy potential, it is almost completely untapped; renewables only represent about 1 percent of Kazakhstan’s energy balance. In 2008 RES represented 11.84% of total installed capacity in Kazakhstan. Hydroelectricity had an installed capacity base of 2,217 MW generating 9.73% of the total electricity. Wind energy had an installed capacity base of only 1 MW. As of 2008, there was no biomass, geothermal or solar energy capacity in Kazakhstan. In 2009, 500 barrels per day of biofuels were produced in Kazakhstan.

The national programme for transition to sustainable development calls for increasing renewables’ share in Kazakhstan’s energy balance up to 5% by 2024. Wind power could play a particularly important role. However, Kazakhstan’s inexperience in harnessing wind power, and the absence of appropriate legal and regulatory frameworks for wind power, continue to stand in the way.

Sustainability targets

The Concept of Transition of the Republic of Kazakhstan to Sustainable Development for the period 2007-2024, is the main document that includes the concept of sustainable development. The goal is to achieve economic, social, environmental, and political balance of development as a base for improvement of life quality and provision for long-term competitiveness of the country.

The priorities of the transition to sustainable development include:

- Introduction of sustainable models of production and consumption;

- Introduction of innovative environmentally safe technologies;

- Development of sustainable transportation systems;

- Energy efficiency and energy saving;

- Regional problems of sustainable development;

- Improvement of social security of the population;

- Poverty elimination considering the environmental and gender factors;

- Development of science and education for sustainable development;

- Conservation of historical and cultural heritage;

- Prevention and alleviation of environmental threats to the human health;

- Conservation of biological diversity;

- Decrease of emissions, including GHG and ODS;

- Access to the qualitative drinking water;

- Solution of trans-boundary environmental problems;

- Radiation and biochemical safety;

- Waste management.

The following objectives should be addressed:

- Increase of the Resources Use Efficiency

- Increase of the average life interval of population

- Increase of the environmental sustainability index

- Ensuring the successful implementation of internal and foreign policy.


Environmental issues

The soil of Kosovo was extremely degraded in the municipalities by open coal pits, disposal of soot, widespread dumping of household waste, etc. Due to the decrease in industrial activity in Kosovo, these degradations have not increased severely. No rehabilitation or re-vegetation of the waste dumps has been carried out. Another land-related environmental problem is that of mines and unexploded ordnance. Kosovo represents the smallest area of territory affected by landmines in the world.

Due to the decline of industrial activities during the nineties, direct emissions to the air have declined but remain a big problem. Road transport is another major source of air pollution. Burning of firewood and fossil fuels, along with waste set on fire by households or at landfills, also cause a lot of damaging emissions to the air.

The high demand for wood after the war and illegal logging have put increasing pressure on the forests, leading also to increased soil erosion and landslides. Currently 4.3 % of the Kosovo territory is protected area. The biodiversity and ecosystems are threatened by new constructions, illegal deforestation, sand mining, increased water abstraction, illegal exploitation of gravel from the river beds, pollution, etc.

Water issues

Water resources are unevenly distributed in time and space and increasingly scarce. Kosovo is currently facing problems of both inadequate quality and quantity of its water resources. The main causes of water scarcity include, among others, increased consumption, inefficient use and leakages in badly maintained water pipes, and extended irrigation. The regional water supply system is underdeveloped and exists only in urban areas while few of them have a functional sewage system. Chemical and bacteriological monitoring shows that the majority of rivers in Kosovo are badly polluted. Major sources of pollution are mines, tailing areas, municipal dumps and sewers from the bigger cities. The lack of treatment of wastewaters from industries and power plants leads to heavy metal contamination and acidification. Also groundwater and rural wells are badly affected by the lack of sewage and wastewater treatment and by organic contamination.

As a result of the economic embargo against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the political situation in Kosovo throughout the '90s, many industries were forced to reduce their activities, or even shut down, and consequently environmental pollution has decreased. However, the water monitoring system is not consistent in Kosovo.

Carbon emissions

Kosovo is not a member of the UNFCCC and it did not participate in or sign the Kyoto Protocol. Neither is it obliged to adhere to the EU´s 2020 Energy and Climate targets. Kosovo is, however, a signatory to the Energy Community Treaty which commits it to “endeavour” to establish targets and frameworks for significant long‐term reductions of GHGs, in keeping with the goal of the Kyoto Convention.

Also, Kosovo does have environmental legislation which mentions climate change. About 40 laws that are relevant in some way to fighting climate change have been passed, many of which adhere to international standards, although they are mostly unimplemented.

Despite this comprehensive legal foundation on the environment, it lacks any specific legislation or policy on climate change. There is neither a strategy for reducing GHG emissions, nor one for dealing with climate change generally. In fact, Kosovo has a very limited national GHG inventory, and it remains unclear which year Kosovo will choose as its base year to measure and compare emissions, given the lack of information. Further, no national quota or cap for GHG emissions has been determined, and there have not been any assessments of vulnerability and potential mitigation strategies.

Renewable energies

The share of electricity produced from renewable energy resources in the national gross electricity consumption was about 2% in 2005-2008. At present, hydropower and biomass in the form of wood are the only renewable energy sources used, and which contribute substantially to the energy supply in Kosovo. The use of solar energy is still in very early beginning (few pilot projects). Otherwise, there are no purposely grown agricultural crops for production of bio-fuels, no facilities and equipments for biogas and no wind parks in Kosovo. For hydropower, there are technical and economic opportunities for developing at least 18 small plants in Kosovo.

Kosovo’s Plan for Energy Efficiency for the period 2009-16 was approved in 2009, containing plans about the development and promotion of renewable in the next years. The Energy Efficiency Law is the next to be adopted. Based on this law the National Plan for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Sources will be drafted.

The main strategic document is “Energy Strategy for Kosovo 2005-15”. Other important documents are: Law on Energy, “Incentive measures for generation of electricity from renewable energy sources and co-generation in Kosovo for the period 2007-13” and Report of the Implementation of the “Plan for Implementation of the Acquis on Renewables”.

Sustainability targets

The concept of Sustainable Development in Kosovo is supported through the Cultural Heritage Law and the Law on Spatial Planning.

Kosovo’s Development Strategic Plan (KDSP) 2007–2013 is a medium term development framework directed to create a system of governance based on equality, respect of human rights and the rule of law, coherent policy and legal framework, to achieve sustainable economic and social cohesion and competitiveness, fully integrated in the wider Balkans region and the European family.

The long term goal of KDSP strategy is ”sustainable development in a democratic, peaceful and socially cohesive state underpinned by the rule of law and inclusive of all minorities in an EU integrated context”; its overreaching objective “sustainable employment generating growth in a consolidated EU integration process.” Key strategic pillars of KDSP strategic plan 2007–20013 are building good governance and capacity, private sector development and human resource development.

Other relevant strategies

- Agricultural Rural Development Plan

- Strategy for Development of Higher Education in Kosovo

- Strategy for Pre University Education

- Environmental Strategy for Kosovo

- National Tourism Strategy

- Strategy of Private Sector Development in Kosovo

- Energy Strategy of Kosovo

- Strategy of Labour Market Development and Employment


Environmental issues

Latvia's environment has benefited from a shift to service industries after the country regained independence.

Air and water pollution are among Latvia's most significant environmental concerns and are largely related to a lack of waste treatment facilities. Cars and other vehicles account for 70% of the country's air pollution. Acid rain has contributed to the degradation of Latvia's forests. Air pollution in Latvia is particularly heavy during windless, cloudy weather.

Chemicals and petroleum products at military bases have contaminated soil. In addition, the extraction of peat continues to damage wildlife habitats.

Climate change is expected to result in an increased threat to coastal areas of severe storms. Other expected impacts include changes in temperature, vegetation period and change of flora and fauna.

Water issues

Latvia's water supply is polluted with agricultural chemicals, municipal and industrial waste. Water pollution is especially severe in the Daugava River and the Gulf of Riga because of the outflow of untreated wastewater at Riga, which lacks an adequate sewage treatment plant, and industrial discharge from factories along the Daugava and its tributaries. A part of the nation's sewage does not receive adequate treatment. In addition, chemicals and petroleum products at military bases have contaminated soil and groundwater.

In Latvia, one of the most dangerous consequences that may take place as a result of climate change is the increase of sea level in the coastal areas and consequently, overflowing and wash-off of the coastal zones. Other expected impacts include changes in precipitation, river run-off and snow cover.

Carbon emissions

Latvia ratified the UNFCCC in 1995 and the Kyoto Protocol in 2002. As an Annex I Party, Latvia committed to reducing its GHG emissions by 8 %.

The total GHG emission, excluding LULUCF sector in the time period from 1990-2007 had reduced by 55%, reaching in 2007 an amount of 12,083 tons CO2 eq. The energy sector constitutes 73% from the total GHG emissions, followed by agriculture - 17% and waste management – 6.9%.

The climate policy of Latvia is based upon the EU climate policy, the basic principles of which are set down in several political documents, i.e. „Climate Change Mitigation Program 2005 – 2010”, „Strategy for Use of Renewable Energy Sources for 2006-2010”, „The Climate and Energy Package”, „Environmental Policy Guidelines 2009-2015”.

Latvia is implementing cross-sectoral climate change mitigation policies and measures that affect several sectors of the national economy simultaneously. Such cross-sectoral policies include implementation of the EU greenhouse gas emission allowance trading scheme and participation in the flexible mechanisms of the Kyoto Protocol.

For effective implementation of the climate change mitigation policy and to reach the set GHG emission reduction targets Latvia applies a wide range of political (environmental impact assessment procedures, integrated permit regulations, prohibitions and standards) and economic (natural resources tax, excise tax for energy resources, users’ charges – tariffs) instruments.

Renewable energies

Latvian target: 42% by 2020 (2005 = 34.9%)

In Latvia, almost half of the electricity consumption is provided by RES. The role of renewable energy has traditionally been comparatively high in Latvian primary energy balance. Renewable resources as wood and hydroenergy have been traditional sources for production of heat and electricity. Wood constituted 30.4% of the total energy necessary for consumption in Latvia, while hydroenergy stood at 4.7% (3 large and 150 small hydro power plants). There were 15 wind power stations in Latvia in 2007, with the total electricity capacity of 25.2 MW and electricity generation of 53 GWh. The production of biogas from biomass of agricultural origin has just started. Solar energy is used on very small scale in pilot projects in Latvia.

A body of RES-E legislation is currently under development in Latvia. Wind and biomass would benefit from clear support since the potential in these areas is considerable. In addition, biofuels are subject to a reduced excise tax rate. Rapeseed oil and biodiesel are subject to 0% excise tax. The Law on electricity market introduced new support system from 2006 – obligatory purchase of renewable electricity. The interest was so large that the quota had to be increased for electricity from biogas.

Sustainability targets

The Sustainable Development Strategy of Latvia until 2030 is the main document that includes elements referring to sustainable development. The strategy determines the sustainable development priorities of Latvia and recommends solutions for efficient and sustainable use of culture, nature, economic and social capital. The priorities and main directions are given below:

1. Development of culture space: preservation, interaction and enrichment of culture space

2. Long-term investments in human capital: base value and productivity of human capital; equal opportunities and formation of middle class

3. Change of paradigm in education: qualitative and available lifelong education

4. Innovative and eco-efficient economy: mass creative activity and innovation, renewable and safe energy

5. Nature as future capital: sustainable management of natural values and services (preservation, increase and sustainable use of natural capital)

6. Spatial perspective capital: improvement of accessibility (create equal life and work conditions for all inhabitants); settlement (strengthen international competitiveness of Latvia and its regions); spaces of national interest (preserve the diverse natural and cultural heritage, typical and unique landscapes)

7. Innovative government and public participation: increase in the social capital value (establish efficient public administration).


Environmental issues

A UN report on Lithuania stated that air pollution had damaged about 68.4% of the nation's forests. Problems exist mainly in the cities - the sites of industrial facilities, as well as exposed to increased traffic. Forests affected by acid rain are found in the vicinity of Jonava, Mažeikiai, and Elektrėnai, which are the chemical, oil, and power-generation centers.

After the nuclear accident at Chernobyl that contaminated much of Lithuania with excessive radiation, Lithuanians are concerned about nuclear energy development, especially the use of nuclear power generated by plants of the same kind as the one at Chernobyl. The Ignalina nuclear power plant still operates two reactors similar to those at Chernobyl

Lithuania's pollution problems have also affected the nation's wildlife. The country's flora and fauna have suffered from the drainage of land for agricultural use. Although nearly 10% of Lithuania's total land area was protected as of 2001, many of the country's original animal and plant species are now extinct.

The climate is already changing in Lithuania. During the 19th-20th centuries the average annual air temperature in Lithuania increased and is expected to continue to rise.

Water issues

Due to the decline in industry after the fall of the communist regime and the reduced use of chemicals in agriculture, water pollution has decreased considerably, although there are still some concerns regarding the water quality. Existing water pollution results from uncontrolled dumping by industries and the lack of adequate sewage treatment facilities.

High quality groundwater is employed for everyday use in Lithuania; however, in rural areas, the shallow well water that used is often polluted by nitrates. The eutrophication of lakes, the Curonian Lagoon and the Baltic Sea poses another serious problem, even though the process has slowed down nowadays.

Impacts that Lithuania is expected to face from climate change include greater precipitation, warmer winters, and less snow days. These factors are expected to lead to a greater risk of sudden flooding. With an expected sea level rise in the Baltic sea of 0.6 m, coastal flooding and transformation of coastal areas is predicted.

Carbon emissions

Lithuania ratified the UNFCCC in 1995 and the Kyoto protocol in 2002. Under the Protocol Lithuania is obliged to reduce GHG emissions by 8 % against 1990 levels during 2008-2012.

In 2007, GHG emissions amounted to 25.5 million tonnes of CO2 eq., 6 million tonnes of which were CO2 eq. in the European Union Emission Trading Scheme and 19.5 million tonnes in the non-EU ETS. The main contributing sector was energy, followed by industrial processes. In 2007 GHG emissions in Lithuania were down 53 % on the 1990 level. In 2008, total GHG per capita were 7.26 tons, a reduction of almost 55 % compared to the base year.

Relevant policies:

- National Sustainable Development Strategy: keep growth in GHG emissions to a limit that is half of the country’s economic growth;

- National Energy Strategy - the main instrument for the development of energy policy;

- Renewable Energy Sources Act and a Renewable Energy Action Plan;

- Biomass, Biofuel and Bio-Oils Act;

- The Law on Financial Instruments for Climate Change Management;

- Strategy for the Implementation of the UNFCCC until 2012;

- The Law on Financial Instruments for Climate Change Management foresees that a Special Program for Climate Change shall be composed.

Renewable energies

Lithuanian target: 23% by 2020 (2005 = 15%)

In 2007, as compared to 2000, the amount of energy made from renewable energy resources in Lithuania increased by 25%. In these latter years the generation of wind energy and production of biofuel have been rapidly developing. In 2007 the share of energy produced from biofuel accounted for 6.4% of the total energy produced from renewable energy resources and wind energy for 1.1%. At the end of 2008 total wind capacity was 54.4 MW, while solar collectors capacity was 1.05 MW. The utilisation of photovoltaic solar energy is insignificant. There are no considerable hydro-resources: one large and a few tens of small hydropower plants (total capacity of 25 MW, in 2008). The state does not promote hydropower: as it is stated in the legislation, this sector has a negative impact on the natural environment. Currently Lithuania is not connected to the EU power grid.

Aiming to promote the utilisation of renewable energy resources, the following national programmes and strategies have been adopted: The National Energy Strategy 2007, National Energy Efficiency Programme for 2006–2010 and The Programme for Promotion of Biofuel Production and Use for 2004–2010. Excise tax relief was introduced for biofuels and feed-in tariffs for green energy exist.

Sustainability targets

The National Strategy for Sustainable Development until 2020 is the main document that includes elements referring to sustainable development. Lithuanian sustainable development priorities are established taking into account Lithuania's national interests and peculiarities as well as the provisions of the revised EU Sustainable Development Strategy and other programming documents.

Lithuania’s sustainable development priorities:

- moderate and sustainable development of the economic sectors and regional economies

- reduction of the disparities of living standards between different regions, while maintaining their distinctive character

- reduction of the environmental impact of the main branches of economy (transport, industry, energy, agriculture, housing and tourism)

- modernization of multi-apartment buildings and cutting down the costs of thermal energy consumption

- reduction of threats to human health

- mitigation of global climate change and its impact

- protection of biodiversity

- reduction of unemployment, poverty and social exclusion

- landscape management problems

- public education, including environmental education

- sustainable consumption

- development cooperation

- more effective application of research results, design and implementation of environment-friendly production and information technologies.

The general strategic objective of sustainable development is to combine environmental protection, economic and social development concerns, ensure a clean and healthy environment, effective consumption of natural resources, universal economic welfare and strong social guarantees.


Environmental issues

Malta's most significant environmental problems include deforestation and the preservation of its wildlife. The slaughter of migratory birds on migration during unregulated hunting raised concerns.

The number of motor vehicles per person remains very high, leading to road crashes, air pollution and noise. Concentrations of particulate matter and ozone are still high, but concentrations of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide are below the EU annual threshold values. Electricity generation largely requires the combustion of fossil fuels, contributing significantly to air pollution and the emission of greenhouse gases. However, power stations began to use low-sulfur fuels in 2003.

Across the Mediterranean region, climate change is expected to add to existing environmental problems, such as desertification, water scarcity and food production, while also introducing new threats to human health and ecosystems. Among the climate change impacts expected for Malta are: drought, salinization of land, increased risk of forest fires and soil erosion.

Water issues

One of Malta's most significant environmental problems is inadequate water supply. The country's extremely limited fresh water resources have led to increasing dependence on desalination. The nation's agriculture suffers from lack of adequate water for crops due to limited rainfall.

Across the Mediterranean region, climate change is expected to add to existing environmental problems, such as water scarcity. Among the climate change impacts expected for Malta are loss of freshwater resources, including reductions in water availability.

Carbon emissions

Malta ratified the UNFCCC on 17th March 1994, as a non-Annex I Party and the Kyoto Protocol in 2001. However, after acceding to the EU, Malta expressed its interest to move into Annex I.

Total GHG emissions increased by 49 % between 1990 and 2007 to 2,692 Gg. The energy sector is the principal contributor (89%) to Malta’s GHG emissions, followed by the waste sector (6.6%). LUFLUF is estimated to contribute a removal of 2 % of Malta’s emissions, with a mean figure of -58.2 Gg CO2 sequestered annually between 1990 and 2007. Per capita emissions grew by 33 % between 1990 and 2007, from 5.47 tones per capita to 7.25 tons per capita.

As an EU Member, Malta is obliged to take on board all Community legislation that could result in reduction or limitation of GHG emissions. At the national policy level, there has been much activity regarding the promotion of energy efficiency and RES: draft Renewable Energy and National Energy policies, a National Energy Efficiency Action Plan and a revised draft Energy Policy for Malta. The principal climate change mitigation measures are documented in Malta’s biennial programme and measures report. They originate from a number of sectors, including energy, waste and land use.

Renewable energies

Maltese target: 10% by 2020 (2005 = 0%)

The market for RES in Malta is still at an early stage and, at present, penetration is minimal. Only solar energy and biofuels are used. Nevertheless, the potential for solar and wind is substantial. The Government set national indicative targets for RES-E lower than the ones agreed to in the Accession Treaty (between 0.31% and 1.31%, instead of 5%).

The share of RES in total primary energy consumption was of 0.34% in 2007. Solar thermal applications (for hot water requirements) are RES with highest penetration rate in Malta. Photovoltaic grid-connected installations have reached about 240 kWp in 2008, which accounted for 0.015% of total electricity generation of 2008. The share of biofuels in the transport sector in 2006 was 0.52%. Malta energy dependence on imports amounted to 100% in 2005.

A framework for measures to further support RES is currently being examined. Since 2005, excise taxes no longer apply to the biomass content in biodiesel. RES-E is supported by a fixed feed-in tariff and a reduction in VAT on solar systems. Capital grants and subsidies for RES are also available.

Sustainability targets

The Sustainable Development Strategy for the Maltese Islands 2007-2016 is the main document that includes elements referring to sustainable development. The strategy aims to “build upon and harmonise the various sectoral, economic, social and environmental policies and plans that are operating in the country” and to “ensure socially responsible economic development while protecting the resource base and the environment for the benefit of future generations.”

The proposed Strategy includes the following four main headings, each with its priority strategic directions:

- managing the environment and resources: Climate Change, Air Quality, Nature and Biodiversity, Freshwater, Seawater, Wastes, Land use, Transport,

- promoting sustainable economic development: Economic Growth, Employment, Labour productivity

- fostering sustainable communities: Poverty reduction, Labour force participation of women, Health, Education

- cross-cutting strategic issues: Spatial development plan, Economic Instruments, Enforcement

The identified priority areas are warranting foremost attention for the attainment of sustainable development goals in Malta. They are considered to have a direct positive effect on society as a whole, in that they improve the quality of life of the population, are in line with sustainable development goals and could be used to gauge whether Malta is moving towards or away from sustainability.


Environmental issues

The excessive use of natural resources over the last 40-50 years a lack of ecological management of these resources led to overpollution and to significant depreciation of the productive natural capital and to destruction of flora and fauna.

Excessive use of pesticides resulted in heavily polluted topsoil and industries lacked emission controls. In addition, poor farming methods, such as destroying forests to plant vineyards, have contributed to the extensive soil erosion to which the country's rugged topography is already prone.

Industrial production increased since 1998 for about 30%. There are still insufficient data on effects of industry on environment.

Forests cover only 11% of the territory. The state is making efforts to increase forest covered areas, which would improve land and soil quality and protection. As of 2001, 1.4% of Moldova's total land area is protected.

There is concern that climate change could increase the frequency of droughts. Climate change is expected to have a negative impact on production of some crops like wheat, and will certainly have an impact on Moldova's food security.

Water issues

The natural environment in Moldova suffers from the heavy use of agricultural chemicals (including banned pesticides such as DDT), which have contaminated groundwater and soil. Tradition as it was for ex soviet republics, industry waste waters have been discharged without any treatment whatsoever. The increased level of water pollution has negatively affected health of the population and biodiversity. From all reserves of underground water, which are known till now, only approximately 50% can be used for drinking without pre-treatment.

Water resources will be stressed in the future, and scarcity in some parts of the country will increase. Moldova will also see more extreme weather events in the future.

Carbon emissions

The Republic of Moldova ratified the UNFCCC in 1995 and the Kyoto Protocol in 2003. As a non-Annex I Party, the Republic of Moldova has no commitments to reduce GHG emissions under this Protocol.

Within the 1990-2005, the total national GHG emissions (excluding LULUCF) decreased by 72.3%, to 11,883.5 Gg CO2 eq. in 2005. Energy is the most important source of GHG emissions, followed by agriculture and waste. GHG emissions per capita dropped by 70.9% in 2005 compared to 1990.

Under the UNFCCC the RM undertook commitments in four important areas: GHG inventory and emissions mitigation commitments; climate change adaptation commitments; commitments to promote research and systematic; commitments to promote education, training and build public awareness.

Policies and activities envisaged to implement the Convention were adopted in the following sectors: energy (Energy Strategy of the Republic of Moldova until 2020), transport, industry (Industry Development Strategy until the year of 2015; National Strategy for Sustainable Development of Agribusiness for 2008-2015), agriculture (National Complex Program to Enhance Soil Fertility in 2001-2020), forestry (State Program for Re-Generation and Afforestation of the Lands Belonging to the Forest Fund for 2003-2020), waste (Program for Water Supply and Sewerage in the Settlements of the Republic of Moldova until 2015).

Renewable energies;jsessionid=013C57BAE84DE66C65B0C82154AFC8EA.repl21

At present renewable energies represents only 5-6% from the total Energy consumption. Hydro energy and biomass have the largest share, while solar and wind energy have been inadequately explored. Despite the large number of rivers in Moldova, the potential for hydroelectric generation is relatively low, and there are only two significant-size hydroelectric power plants. While there is some experience with small scale rural biomass applications, there is none for larger scale or more efficient use. Moldova has sufficient biomass resource to provide significant generation if utilized. In 2011-2012 a factory producing biogas from sugar beet presses will be built.

Solar energy has no noticeable usage (only as water heaters). The ability to use wind energy in Moldova is very limited due to low wind speed. The usage of thermal water is absent, and there is no national program for geothermal resources. Until 2020, Moldova aims to increase the share of alternative energies up to 20% of the total energy consumption.

Moldova is implementing a state program for exploitation of renewable energy. The Law of Renewable Energy form 2007 governs the legal framework for the renewable energy sector. The Energy Strategy until 2020 and the National Program on Ensuring Environmental Security for 2007-2015 are also important documents in this framework.

Sustainability targets

The National Strategy Sustainable Development (2000-2020) is the main document that includes elements referring to sustainable development. The basic goal is welfare, health and education of the society in conformity with requirements set forward to conserve and regenerate natural resources, as well as guarantees for future generations.

Main objectives:

- Creation of a competitive potential for the revitalisation and stability of economic growth, and human sustainable development;

- Introduction of decent living standards;

- Creation of human capital in conformity with scientific and moral requirements and information techniques;

- Structural consolidation of the social economic system based on sustainable principles;

- Reforming the system of social security;

- Monitoring and continuous adjustment of development indicators for economic, social and environmental achievements.

In the economic sphere the strategic goal will be to ensure the security of economy, the growth of national wealth and social protection.

In the natural a human capital spheres the rational use of the environment, restoration of the regenerative capacity of natural resources, conservation of the main ecosystems, increase in living standards, health protection, access to education and a healthy environment.

In the social democratisation sphere the strategic goal will be to create and consolidate an open civil society, involving wide layers of society in the decision-making process.


Environmental issues

Industrial production in Montenegro is underdeveloped and is characterised by outdated technology, low energy and raw material efficiency and high levels of waste. The existing thermo-power plant has been one of the greatest polluters. In previous year large filters were added, which significantly improved the situation. Land is not over-exploited and the use of fertilisers and pesticides is still low.

Major environmental problems:

 old and polluting industry – contamination of specific locations and negative environmental effects of major pollutants;

 high levels of urban pollution – solid waste, liquid waste, undeveloped infrastructure;

 unsustainable use/over-exploitation of resources such as energy, water and forests;

 increased impact of traffic, unsatisfactory fuel quality, old vehicles, congestion in large cities and poor public transport systems, pollution caused by ships;

 threats to biodiversity due to destruction of habitats of certain species, and excessive exploitation of commercial species;

 problems with the use of land and unplanned construction.

Montenegro has been experiencing warmer temperatures and is getting hit more frequently by extreme events like forest fires, heat waves and droughts. Lingering environmental impacts are expected to compound the problems that will arise due to climate change and make it harder for the country to adapt.

Water issues

The major water-related problems in Montenegro are:

 industrial liquid wastes discharged to rivers by old and polluting industry (technology) leading to contamination of specific locations and negative environmental effects;

 the state of infrastructure and facilities and equipment for water supply being generally poor; large amount of water are lost in the system;

 unsustainable use/over-exploitation of water resources;

 pollution of coastal waters from sewage outlets, especially in resort areas such as Kotor.

As temperatures continue to rise into the 21st century, Montenegro's mountain glaciers will recede, contributing to further hydrological changes in the country. Water shortages are expected to become more frequent in the future.

Carbon emissions

Montenegro became a member of the UNFCCC in 2007 as a non-Annex 1 country. The Kyoto Protocol was ratified also in 2007.

In 2003, the total estimated emissions without LULUCF amounted to 5,320.17 Gg CO2 eq, an increase of 4.93% compared to 1990 levels. The main contributing sector is energy. Total CO2 eq emissions (including the sinks) per capita amount to 7.2 t CO2eq/capita.

Strategic documents in the energy sector are: Energy Law; Energy Policy (2005); Energy Efficiency Strategy and Action Plan (2005); Energy Community Treaty (2006); Assessment of Energy Potential of Renewable Energy Sources (sun, wind, biomass) (2007); Energy Development Strategy until 2025 (2008); Energy Development Strategy and Action Plan 2008-2012 (2008).

In the country’s Initial National Communication strategies and policies are also mentioned for the following sectors: industrial processes, agriculture, land use change and forestry, waste.

Renewable energies

Traditionally, RES have no significant history in Montenegro. The renewable electricity generation is dominated by hydro generation, which is the only renewable source currently used. Large hydro plants have an installed capacity of 649 MW, while small hydro plants only amount for 9 MW. Montenegro has one of the greatest potentials for solar energy in South East Europe, although very little is used. Wind energy potential is relatively low. A study revealed that wind generators could supply 20-25% of total annual energy consumption in Montenegro. Except for traditional uses, biomass has not been adopted as a power source. However, the potential is good, with 42% of the country being forested. In the total production of primary energy, hydro energy participates by 33.6% and wood for heating by 10.0%. Montenegro does not have an official renewable target for 2020; however, it has significant potential in local renewable energy sources.

The Government of Montenegro initiated the preparation activities for elaboration of National Strategy for Renewable Energy Resources. The specific policy relating to RES includes the Energy Law, the Energy Development Strategy by 2025, the Small Hydropower Development Strategy (part of the Energy Development Strategy) and the Energy Efficiency Action Plan 2008–2012.

Sustainability targets

The National Strategy of Sustainable Development is the main document that includes elements referring to sustainable development.

The NSSD defines strategic goals and individual measures for 24 areas, organized in the following five general goals:

- Accelerate economic growth and development, and reduce regional development disparities (Macro-economic developments, Regional development and employment, Transport, Tourism, Agriculture and rural development, Energy, Industry, New technologies);

- Reduce poverty; ensure equitable access to services and resources (Governance and public participation in decision-making, Education, Health care system, Equity and social protection, Culture and media, Urban development)

- Ensure efficient pollution control and reduction, and sustainable management of natural resources (Protection of biodiversity and conservation of natural values, Water, Air, Soil, Forests, Environmental management system, Spatial planning, The sea and the coastal zone, Climate change and protection of the ozone layer, Waste);

- Improve governance system and public participation; mobilize all stakeholders, and build capacities at all levels;

- Preserve cultural diversity and identities.

In addition to the first three visions that represent elements of the basic internationally accepted definition of sustainable development, Montenegro defined two additional pillars – ethical and cultural – as integral parts of its national vision of sustainable development.


Environmental issues

In the 1990s and the first years of this century, a regular fall in emissions of all main air pollutants was observed in Poland. This fall was largely associated with the restructuring and modernisation of the energy and industrial sectors and improvements in the quality of coal. Despite gradual improvement of air quality, several problems remain: excessive tropospheric ozone concentrations in summer and excessive concentrations of particulate matter in winter. In addition, in some agglomerations excessive concentrations of nitrogen dioxide are observed.

The nation's wildlife has suffered from degeneration of its habitats. As of 2001, 9.1% of Poland's total land area was protected. Particularly serious issues include: the strong degradation of the natural environment in areas subjected to increased anthropogenic pressure and the decline in biodiversity in intensively farmed land. Forests have been damaged by airborne contaminants and acid rain.

The increase in temperature is evident in Poland. The expected high air temperatures will contribute to the deterioration of air quality, through an increase in the ozone concentration levels. Prolonged dry seasons and warmer winters may result in an increase in the pest population, leading to a further decline of forests. Higher temperatures in the summer may lead to an increased fire risk.

Water issues

Poland's water resources are scarce. Surface water resources are crucial for water supplies to the Polish national economy. Ground water resources provide good quality drinking water to the public.

The volume of municipal and industry originated sewage has continued to fall, resulting from the rationalization of water consumption for both manufacturing and household applications enforced by the legal and economic instruments. At the same time, large-scale investment projects have resulted in an increase in the number and efficiency of sewage treatment plants. However, the discharge of untreated sewage still remains a problem in large cities.

Water pollution in the Baltic Sea is also a challenge. Still, pollution levels in the country should continue to decrease as industrial establishments bring their facilities up to EU standards.

The anticipated impact of climate change can be seen mainly through changes in the water balance, in particular increased low tides, increased evaporation, the deteriorating quality of inland waters and an increased frequency of extreme hydrological conditions (droughts and floods). Coastal zones will notice sea level changes, and water resources will be threatened with increases hydrological events such as floods and droughts.

Carbon emissions

Poland ratified the UNFCCC in 1994 and the Kyoto Protocol in 2002, undertaking as Annex I country to reduce the GHG emissions during the period from 2008 to 2012 by 6 % by reference to the emissions in the baseline year 1988.

GHG emissions in Poland, without LULUCF, amounted to 398,905 Gg of CO2 eq in 2007. The main economic sectors responsible for the majority of the GHG emissions were fuel combustion (77%), agriculture (8.8%) and industrial processes (8.3%). In the period 1988-2007 the GHG emissions decreased by 29.3%.

The main measures supporting efforts aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions include, first of all, increasing the energy efficiency of the economy, promoting and implementing technologies using renewable energy sources and absorbing carbon dioxide, taking steps aimed at reducing emissions from transport, as well as promoting sustainable forms of waste management, agriculture and forestry.

The government document formulating the state environmental policy, including also as regards climate protection, is the National Environmental Policy for 2009-2012. A decisive factor of the energy policy in limiting any increase in emissions is the introduction of high-efficiency energy generation and transmission technologies, including the modernisation of existing technologies and the increased use of renewable energy sources.

Renewable energies

Polish target: 15% by 2020 (2005 = 7.2%)

Progress towards the RES-E target in Poland is slow. Hydro power plants have not been fully used to date, biomass resources are plentiful in Poland, and landfill gas is promising as well. Solid biomass amounted to nearly 87% of the total domestic production of energy from renewable sources. Liquid biofuels were the next largest (5.4%), followed by water (3.4%), biogas (2.4%) and wind (1.3%). Biomass is chiefly used for the production of thermal energy. Domestic production of biofuels totaled 15.6 thousand tonnes in the first half of 2009. According to experts, photovoltaic energy has huge technological potential. In 2006 the power of photovoltaic systems installed in Poland totalled 440 kW. Wind energy production in 2008 totalled 729 GWh.

The Energy Act of April 2007 states that all energy companies selling electricity to end users have to obtain and present a specified number of renewable energy certificates or pay a substitution charge. An excise tax exemption on RES-E was introduced in 2002. Tradable Certificates of Origin are also in place. A liquid biofuel quality requirement regulation entered into force in 2006. Since 2007, biocomponents for liquid fuels and biofuels have been exempt from excise duty. “Poland's energy policy till 2030” covers a long-term development strategy for the power sector.

Sustainability targets

The Sustainable Development Strategy for Poland up to 2025 is the main framework for sustainable development. It is a multidimensional strategy and the focal point for other plans, programmes and strategies. Due to its longterm perspective, sustainable development is perceived of as a process that allows for a gradual balancing of growth, social cohesion and environmental protection. Insofar, Polska 2025 has an open character - like a compass for the state and society - and is not narrowly concentrated upon some quantified objectives.

Polska 2025 has a relevant time-frame until the year 2025 and tries to include this demand by visions of the future society, economy and environment. The Strategy contains 3 parts:

- Visions for sustainable development, goals and political backgrounds

- Policy fields and measurements in relation to society, economy and state, including environment

- Implementation and monitoring.

The study’s main topics are: dynamics of the economic growth, life standards and level of employment and quality of the environment and rational use of resources.

Quantifiable objectives can be mostly found in related policy programmes. The strategy lists only some objectives like 25% reduction in the energy consumption compared to the year 2000 level.

Since 2009, reform of Polish strategic document has taken place to build a comprehensive System of Management of Poland’s Development.


Environmental issues

Air pollution caused by industry is serious environmental problems in Romania. The country’s factories, chemical plants, and electric power plants depend heavily on burning fossil fuels, emitting carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide - a key component of acid rain. Bucharest, the capital city, also faces serious air pollution, to which the increasing traffic is a big contributor.

Poor farming practices have led to severe soil degradation and erosion. In the 1980s large tracts of marshland lining the Danube were drained and converted to cropland to aid food production. The irrigation of agricultural land has also brought about increased salinization on large areas, while overgrazing has contributed to a decrease in soil quality.

Pollution, the alteration of river courses and hydrotechnical works, mineral resource extraction, wetland drainage and the overexploitation of biological resources have been the main factors involved in loss Romania’s rich biodiversity. As of 2001, 4.6% of Romania's total land area is protected.

A serious effect of changes in a global climate regime is drought that has been predicted to turn Romanian region Dobrogea into a desert, within the next 100 years. In the last few years the number of tornado-force winds has beaten all the previous records.

Water issues

Water pollution caused by industry is a problem in Romania. Much of the nation’s industrial runoff ends up in the Danube river system, making water unsafe for drinking and threatening the diverse ecosystems of the Danube delta. Part of the inland waters are polluted, and the Danube brings pollution from the countries located upstream, with negative impact upon the river's biological diversity, as well as on the Danube Delta and the Black Sea.

One of the most significant ecological changes that have occurred in Romania has been the alteration in the course of rivers and the construction of hydrotechnical works. In most cases, these actions have had major negative consequences, causing the loss of natural ecosystems, as well as of ecological balance on a large scale. The draining of wetlands was promoted by the previous regime as increased areas of arable land. This led to the loss of floodplains, particularly along the Danube river. The embanking of the rivers and the building of the hydropower plants have also had a major impact.

Romania suffers great consequences of climate change in a form of tornadoes, floods and desertification. Floods in Romania also became more frequent, affecting settlements and causing thousands evacuations.

Carbon emissions

Romania ratified the UNFCCC in 1994 and the Kyoto Protocol in 2001, undertaking as Annex I country to reduce the GHG emissions during the period from 2008 to 2012 by 8 % by reference to the emissions in the baseline year 1989.

In 2007 the GHG emissions have dropped with 44.83% in comparison with 1989, to 152,290.07 Gg CO2 eq (without LULUCF). The energy sector is the main contributor (68.3%), followed by industrial processes (14.58%) and agriculture (12.84%). Per capita emissions in 2007 amounted to 7.1 tons CO2 eq. Since the 8% reduction commitment will be met with certainty, Romania adopted no additional measures excepting those required in terms of economic efficiency.

Adopted policies and measures which are influencing GHG emissions:

- National Strategy on Climate Change and the National Action Plan on Climate Change

- National Strategy for Energy Efficiency for 2004-2015

- The Strategy for using renewable energy sources

- Strategies for the railway system, road infrastructure, naval transport and air transport

- National Strategic Plan for Agriculture and Rural Development for 2007-2013

- The National Strategy for Sustainable Development, horizons 2013 – 2020 – 2030

The options include, among others, further fuel switching and energy efficiency improvements and increased share of renewable electricity production.

Renewable energies

Romanian target: 24% by 2020 (2005 = 17.8%)

In 2004, the majority of all RES-E was generated through large-scale hydro power. Small-scale hydropower had an installed capacity of approximately 374MW in 2009. Romania is considered to have excellent wind conditions, with an estimated annual potential of 23TWh. Despite an installed capacity of only 14MW at the end of 2009, the aim for 2020 is 5GW. Installed solar capacity to date is very modest, but increased investment by solar panel producers is already happening. Romania has significant biomass and geothermal resources; however, both are primarily used for heating rather than electricity generation. The biofuel production is at the very beginning. There is a great potential for cultivating energetic crops and using biomass to produce biofuels.

A quota system with tradable green certificates for new RES-E has been in place since 2004. Several laws have been passed to regulate this practice. However, neither can yet be applied. Uncertainty over the stalled legislation continues to be an obstacle for investment in major renewables projects. Mandatory dispatching and priority trade of electricity produced from RES is also in place. Legislation on biofuels was transposed into national legislation in 2005. The use of RES for heating is a prioritiy of the Romanian Energy Efficiency Fund. The 2007 Energy Strategy is one of the main relevant policy documents.

Sustainability targets

The Sustainable Development Strategy 2013-2020-2030 sets the guidelines for action towards the adoption and implementation of the principles of sustainable development. The main national objectives for each priority are separated according to the horizon to which they refer (2013-2020-2030). Below are some examples for each priority:

- Climate change and clean energy: promote and implement measures for adjustment to the effects of climate change and observe the principles of sustainable development;

- Sustainable transport: attain the current EU average level of economic, social and environmental efficiency of transport;

- Sustainable consumption and production: decouple economic growth from environmental degradation;

- Conservation and management of natural resources: narrow the current disparities in relation to other EU Member States by following the concept of sustainable development;

- Public health: improve the structure of the health sector and the quality of medical assistance;

- Social inclusion, demography and migration: framework for reducing the risks of poverty and social exclusion, promoting social cohesion, gender equality and cultural diversity;

- Global poverty and the challenges of sustainable development: implement the required legislative and institutional instruments pertaining to the donor status;

- Education and training: develop human capital and increase competitiveness by linking education and life-long learning to the labour market;

- Research and development, innovation: connect Romanian research to the mainstream scientific and technological developments within the EU.


Environmental issues

Russia's air is very polluted, although its quality has been improving since the 1990s. Major industrial and population centers have the highest concentrations of air pollution. When industrial production declined, emissions of air pollutants also declined, although the amount of motor vehicles on the roads increased. Airborne pollutants have caused damage to vegetation in many areas of Russia. Air pollution is especially a problem in the Urals and Kuznetsk, as well as in the Volga and Moscow regions.

Chemical fertilizers and airborne pollutants have contaminated some agricultural areas. Soil resources have also been adversely affected by mismanagement. Broad areas of land in southern Russia suffer from erosion.

Forests in some parts of the country suffer from deforestation caused by extensive and sometimes illegal logging. Large stands of undisturbed forests are protected in Russia’s extensive network of national reserves and parks. About 3.1% of Russia's total land area was protected as of 2001.

Nuclear power plants in Russia present many dangers to the environment. Several are past their lifespan and have a higher probability of nuclear accidents. The testing and production of nuclear weapons also had an effect on the environment. The disposal of nuclear waste is an issue due to the lack of funding.

Water issues

Land and water resources experienced severe degradation during the Soviet period. Some areas, such as the Tom’ River in southern Siberia or the lower Volga were degraded beyond repair.

Pollutants released into rivers have accumulated in lakes and seas with limited water exchange, including the Caspian Sea, the Sea of Azov, and the Black Sea. A toxic layer of hydrogen sulfide covers the Black Sea, due in part to organic compounds from agricultural byproducts and untreated sewage. Lake Baikal was previously a target of environmental pollution, but cleanup efforts have greatly reduced the ecological strain on the lake. Inadequate or nonexistent wastewater treatment contributes to the degradation of rivers and lakes.

Many hydroelectric dams were built on Russia’s major rivers. A series of dams on the Volga and other rivers has significantly decreased the volume of water they can carry. The rivers therefore retain even more of the pollutants that are discharged into their waters. In addition, many of the dams have affected fish spawning.

Climate change will prove to have profound impacts on Russia’s environment. Climate change related oncerns include fresh water scarcity (due in part to irrational use of water), thawing of permafrost impacting natural ecosystems, and melting of Arctic glaciers.

Carbon emissions

Russia has been an Annex I party to the UNFCCC since 1994 and ratified the Kyoto Protocol in 2004. Its target of GHG emissions reduction under the Protocol is 0%, which means that in the period 2008-2012 Russia can maintain the emissions level of base year 1990, a target already achieved.

Russian emissions have been growing since 1998, and exceeded the 1998 level by some 15% in 2006. By 2008, they had reached 2.192 billion metric tons of CO2-equivalent but were still 33.94% below emissions in 1990. Russia's 2006 per capita emissions rate was 2.99 tC per person.

<Russia’s Fifth National Communication to UNFCCC is available only in Russian, making it difficult to look for GHG reduction policies and strategies.>

Renewable energies

Renewable sources should reach a 2.5% share in the country's electricity generation in 2015 and 4.5% in 2020. Hydropower is one of Russia's greatest energy resources, making up about 21% of total current generating capacity. The potential for wind energy is also high, while the available resource potential of biomass in Russia is practically inexhaustible. The technical potential of solar energy was estimated as 18.7×106 GWh. Russia also has geothermal resources near Kamchatka are good enough to fully supply it with electric power and heat for more than 100 years. Yet potential remains almost completely unrealised. At the end of 2009 just 13 MW of wind and negligible solar capacity was present. And, if large hydropower is excluded from the equation, only around 1% of Russia's power is currently generated from renewables.

A new national Energy Strategy until 2030, approved in 2009, aims to reduce Russia's dependence on fossil fuels by increasing the share of renewable sources. Russia Renewable Energy Program RREP was launched in 2010 and will work with the private sector to encourage project development and generally raise the profile of renewables, especially in regions where it could have a significant early impact.

Sustainability targets

Since 1990s, there have been significant efforts undertaken to develop a new policy for environmental protection and sustainable development. Unfortunately, many of the reforms introduced faced serious implementation problems. The Draft State Strategy for Sustainable Development 2002 states that “The strategic aim of the sustainable development of Russia is to improve the quality of life on the basis of scientific-technical progress, and the dynamic development of the economy and social sphere whilst ensuring the preservation of the reproductive potential of the country’s natural complex for current and future generations.”

“Russia needs a decade of sustainable development, without experiments based on often unjustified liberalism”, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said in his annual address to parliament. According to Boris Gryzlov, the Speaker of the Russian State Duma, Russia will move toward a sustainable growth model in a five-year term. Gryzlov thinks that the government needs to define its social role and alter its attitude in relation to the use of natural resources and raw materials.

The following sustainable policy documents are in effect in Russia today: Sustainable Development Concept, accepted in 1996, Energy Strategy until 2020, Ecological Doctrine (2002) and Energy Efficiency Law. In the Energy Strategy 2003 long-term priorities for the energy policy focus on energy and ecological security, as well as financial efficiency.


Environmental issues

Despite ongoing reform efforts, Serbia still faces serious environmental problems.

Air pollution is a serious problem with ambient concentrations of soot, particulate matter, SO2 and NOx exceeding allowed levels. Facilities for energy generation and industrial plants with deficient air-cleaning technology are key sources of air pollution. Air pollution from transport, manufacturing industries and construction increases; noticeable, leaded petrol and high sulphur diesel continues to be used.

Soil erosion processes are estimated to affect up to 80% of agricultural soil in Serbia leading to loss of agricultural productivity. Soil quality is also affected by use of polluted water for irrigation, inadequate use of fertilizers and pesticides and dumping of waste.

Although statistics reveal an increase in forest coverage, this does not imply sustainable management at all forest sites. Forest quality and growth are threatened by many factors, including over-harvesting, illegal logging, forest fires, and pest infestations.

As result of climate change it is predicted that Serbia could experience an average warming of up to 5 degrees (greatest in the summer) and decrease in annual precipitation by the end of the century. This is expected to result in an increased risk of summer drought. Soil quality is expected to deteriorate.

Water issues

Untreated industrial and municipal wastewater, agricultural run-off, leachate from dumpsites and contamination from transports on rivers are the key sources of water pollution in Serbia. Municipal waste water treatment plants are lacking and part of the industrial wastewater is discharged untreated. Industrial wastes are dumped into the Sava, which flows into the Danube.

The quality of drinking water is generally unsatisfactory. In some areas groundwater cannot be used for drinking purposes without previous treatment. The water supply network is old and inadequately maintained, with huge losses in the system. Most drinking water sources are not sufficiently protected from point and non-point source pollution.

Climate change: there will be more pressure on water resources in Serbia in the future.

Carbon emissions

The Republic of Serbia has been a member of the UNFCCC since 2010 and Kyoto Protocol since 2008, as a non–Annex I country. Therefore, it does not have quantitative GHG emission reduction commitments.

The total emissions of GHG in 1998, without LULUCF, amounted to 66,346 Gg CO2eq, a 21,8% reduction compared to 1990. The greatest share in the total emissions, amounting to 76.19 % was contributed by the energy sector, followed by agriculture (14.32%) and industrial processes (5.46%).

A new legal framework for environmental protection was introduced in 2004 by the Law on Environmental Protection, the Law on Strategic Environmental Assessment, the Law on Environmental Impact Assessment and the Law on Integrated Prevention and Pollution Control. In order to improve the state of the environment, the Republic introduced a new legal framework for environmental protection harmonised with the EU acquis. Thirteen new laws in the field of the environment, were adopted in 2009. Taking into account the provisions of EU Directives and Decisions transposed into these laws, it is expected that their implementation will affect future GHG emission reductions.

Renewable energies

At this moment the share of renewable energy resources in Serbia is about 6% (including big hydropower plants). A significant small-hydro potential exists. It is estimated that at least 3,000 MWs of new hydro capacity could be developed (3% of total potential of renewable energy resources in Serbia). Wind power is expected to become significant in the future. The country’s total estimated wind power capacity is 1,300 MW. Firm estimates of the potential for installation of solar collectors and systems are unavailable. Some 28,000 solar thermal units were in operation in 1998, mainly for water and space heating. Geothermal energy in Serbia is being utilized for balneological purposes, in agriculture and for space heating, with total installed energy use of 74 MWt.

Recently Serbia initiated the elaboration of the National Strategy for Renewable Energy Resources. The National Program of Energy Efficiency, including a Program for utilization of renewable energy was also introduced. The reform of the energy sector is based on the Energy Law (2004) and the Energy Sector Development Strategy by 2015. Although renewable energy is becoming more and more important on the Governmental level, there are no subsidies or other defined support measures developed or implemented in Serbia, excluding the small pilot projects and programs.

Sustainability targets

The National Sustainable Development Strategy 2007 is the main document that includes elements referring to sustainable development. The main priorities set out are:

- EU membership

- Development of competitive market economy and balanced economic growth: Promoting innovations, establishing better links between science, technology and entrepreneurship, increasing capacities for research and development, including new information and communication technologies

- Development of human resources and increased employment: Generating increased new employment, attracting experts, enhancing the quality and adjustability of the labor force, increasing investment in human resources

- Development of infrastructure and balanced regional development: Enhancing the attractiveness of the country, providing adequate quality and levels of services

- Protect and promote the environment and achieve rational use of natural resources: Preserve and enhance the system of environmental protection, reduce pollution and environmental pressure, use natural resources in a manner ensuring their availability for the future generations

In the strategy, various areas and directions of change are envisaged and specific objectives are set in order to achieve sustainable development in its three main dimensions: economy, society and environment and natural resources.

Sierra Leone

NB: Numbers in square brackets refer to sources listed at end of section. Quote marks have been used where information is directly copied or directly translated.


  • Environmental Performance Index 2014: Sierra Leone ranks 173 out of 178 countries [7]
  • Effects of civil war: “Though the conflict in Sierra Leone ended nearly a decade ago, many of the direct environmental impacts of the conflict have not been addressed. Still apparent is the damage to water infrastructure and agricultural infrastructure in rural areas, as well as the impacts of maintenance neglect.” [3]

General: Environmental Responsibilities [3]

  • Ministry of Mines and Mineral Resources
    • “partial mandate to oversee environmental impact assessments (EIAs) that are undertaken for mining projects, along with SLEPA.”
    • “In addition to concessions and licenses, the ministry conducts technical certification of the minerals that are exported through formal channels”
  • Ministry of Lands, Country Planning and Environment
    • “will be responsible for land tenure reform, and has a critical hand in urban planning affairs in the Western Area and up-country”
  • Ministry of Marine Resources
  • SLEPA: Sierra Leone Environmental Protection Agency
    • “has a clear mandate to coordinate and monitor environmental policies, programmes and projects in Sierra Leone”
    • “most actors in the country do not observe the mandate of SLEPA because it is currently unable to carry it out“
    • Created under Environmental Protection Agency Act (2008)

General: Laws relating to environment

  • “The Constitution of Sierra Leone (1991) empowers the Parliament to pass laws regulating and managing natural resources on behalf of the country” [3]
  • Environmental Protection Agency Act (2008)
    • “established a new institutional framework for environment and natural resource management issues and created SLEPA” [3]
    • The Act can be found here
    • “The act also contains provisions related to the EIA process, including empowering SLEPA to undertake monitoring and enforcement activities.” [3]
  • Mines and Minerals Act
    • “lays out the legal framework for extractive mining in Sierra Leone” [3]


  • High vulnerability to climate change due to low level of development [1]
  • “Recent projections indicate that the mean annual temperature may increase by 1.0 to 2.6°C by the 2060s.” [1]


  • Overall: “Water, soil and forest resources are threatened by population growth, the dependence of energy consumption on biomass (80% of the total), unsustainable mining activities, pollution of rivers, and rising demands from agribusiness, resulting in massive deforestation (3,000 hectares per annum) and increased vulnerability to soil erosion and landslides.” [4]
  • Contamination of water
    • “extremely poor waste management has meant that large quantities of pollution, along with sediments from erosion, have entered major waterways” [3]
  • Deforestation:
    • Forest cover: “The actual forest cover in Sierra Leone is not known. However information from various sources indicates that deforestation in Sierra Leone has led to a decrease of forest cover from an estimate of 70 percent, decades ago to less than 5 percent in recent years (USAID, 2007 Biodiversity and Tropical Forest Assessment Report).” [2]
    • Causes of deforestation:
      • Demand for agricultural land: “The primary threat to forests is the demand for agricultural land to sustain a growing population with livelihoods based on farming and to increase the productivity of commercial agricultural exports as dictated by the country’s development priorities.” [3]
      • Need for firewood and charcoal: primary energy source for majority of population
      • Urbanisation: Clearing for expansion of urban areas. Timber also required in these areas for construction [3]
      • Industry: “illicit mining operations and commercial timber operations.” [3]
    • Consequences of deforestation: “the rate of forest conversion outpaces the rate at which forests can naturally regenerate” [3]
      • Loss of biodiversity
      • Deforestation “beginning to have consequences for water availability and soil quality.” [3]
      • Recently publicized statistics [UNEP report released 2010] by the Division of Forestry (DoF) in the Ministry of Agriculture indicate that if deforestation continues at its current pace, Sierra Leone's forests could disappear by 2018.“ [3]
  • Biodiversity:
    • Species: Rich biodiversity of species, especially in rainforest areas; “Although estimates vary widely, the country has some 15,000 species of plants – 74 of which are endemic to Sierra Leone alone. [5] Sierra Leone also contains approximately 761 mammal and bird species, including 15 primate species that are either endangered or vulnerable to extinction. Other mammals such as elephants and hippos have been considerably reduced in number. [5][3]
    • Threats: “Biodiversity in the country remains threatened by agricultural practices, deforestation, mining, infrastructure and urban development” [3]
    • See also ‘endangered species/fishing’

Natural Resources, Biodiversity etc: Progress

  • According to a 2010 estimate in a report on Sierra Leone’s progress towards the MDGs, “the total land area designated for some form of natural resource management or protection represents approximately 8 percent of the land area” [2]
  • “Sierra Leone currently has 46 main forest reserves and conservation areas. The Biodiversity and Tropical Forest Assessment Report of 2007 by USAID indicates that most of the reserves are inadequately protected and managed.” [2]

Natural Resources, Biodiversity etc: Challenges

  • “In May 2009, Sierra Leone and Liberia created the Gola Transboundary Peace Park to protect at least 2,000 km² of the Upper Guinea Rainforest that straddle the border.” [3]

Natural Resources, Biodiversity etc: Challenges

  • Inefficient management of forest reserves and high dependence on fuel wood” [2]
  • Lack of political will to review, update and enforce existing environmental conservation policies and laws” [2]
  • “There appears to be a lack of cultural awareness of the value of the existing natural resources and the need to protect them for a sustainable future. The shift away from sustainable natural resources management practices can be attributed partially to the decade-long civil war and the resulting lack of adequate livelihoods and ensuing poverty.” [2]


  • Depletion of fish stocks: “In addition to over-extraction, the destruction of the coast’s extensive mangroves, which are very significant for fish reproduction, by human activities has depleted fish stocks.” [3]

Endangered Species / Fishing: Challenges

  • Inefficiency: “Protection of endangered species still appears only symbolic, with only limited circumstances in which management of the habitat appears to be restricting the hunting of endangered species. Fines and punishment associated with protecting endangered species are neither sufficient nor enforced throughout the country. As a result, most of the wildlife populations are likely to be significantly depleted outside of protected areas as a result of over-hunting and habitat destruction.” [2]


  • Demand: Increase in energy consumption in recent years. “Nevertheless, there remains a huge gap of suppressed demand for energy especially in the electricity sub-sector. Economic expansion in mining, agriculture and industry is also accelerating demand.” [6]
  • Energy consumption:
    • Over 80% of energy used is biomass; the largest source of this is wood fuel, but charcoal also used [6]
    • “Imported Petroleum Products are the next largest source of power at approximately 13%.” [6]
    • “Grid-generated electricity accounts for the remainder of the power supplied to the country’s citizens.” [6]
  • Household: “Most of the energy production and use in Sierra Leone (SL) is concentrated in the household sub-sector, where biomass, in the form of unsustainable fuel wood and charcoal is used for cooking and kerosene is used for lighting.” [6]
  • Petroleum: “is the most important source of energy for the modern productive Energy Sector (including transportation and private electricity generation)” [6]
  • Electricity: “The electricity sector in Sierra Leone is severely challenged across generation, transmission and distribution. It is estimated that less than 10% of the population has access to electricity. Generation capacity is insufficient and transmission and distribution networks are largely inadequate and aging. A large part of the electricity network suffered damage during the war. Activities in recent years have concentrated on bringing the existing network back to operation. The current electricity system covers mainly the western region of the country. The bulk of electricity consumption takes place in Freetown, the capital city.”; “Efficiency and access are constrained by high technical losses on the T&D Network, which are further compounded by low voltage quality due to overburdening of infrastructure by illicit users.” [6]
  • Efficiency: “The stock of energy efficient appliances and equipment also remains low.” [6]
  • Potential: “The country possesses vast potential in renewable energy in the form of biomass from agricultural wastes, hydro and solar power, which remain virtually untapped. Oil exploration activities are being undertaken.” [6]


  1. Convention on Biological Diversity. (2001). Biodiversity: Strategic Action Plane – Sierra Leone. Available here; cited in [3]


Environmental issues

Slovakia has had its air contaminated by sulfur dioxide emissions resulting from the use of lignite as an energy source. Airborne emissions in the form of acid rain have damaged its forests. Elevated concentrations of heavy metals in the air occur in some locations and ozone levels are still high. Altogether, since 1990 a significant decrease in air emissions has been reported in Slovakia. The use of fertilizers has also decreased.

Industrial and agricultural emissions have had negative impacts on air, soil, forest biota, and water sources resulting in changes in biodiversity. Large scale agriculture also decreases the habitat of wild living organisms. Drainage of soils destroys populations of wetland plants and animals. As of 2001, 22.1% of Slovakia's total land area is protected.

Land erosion caused by agricultural, mining practices, high rainfall and floods is also a significant problem. As a result, vast sedimentation is taking place in many lakes to the detriment of the ecosystems of the land.

Global changes in the climate have affected the Slovak Republic over the past decade. Extreme rainfall and flooding have increased, together with a gradual rise in air temperature. This trend is expected to continue.

Water issues

A decline in animal density per ha, reduction of pesticide use and improvement in substitute pesticides have led to a notable improvement in water pollution. Likewise improved manure technology has led to improved water quality. The quality of surface water has stabilised in the past few years due to new water cleaning stations and a decrease in industrial activity. The purest irrigation water is found in the Danube River Basin.

However, some problems remain:

• some of the monitored water courses (especially smaller streams close to pollution sources) remain in the categories of highly and very highly polluted

• some sections of important water courses exhibit elevated concentrations of specific pollutants

• the quality of surface and ground waters continues to be affected by pollution sources

• a number of water reservoirs are endangered by eutrophication

Slovakia has experience decreased river flows in many areas, while also getting hit more frequently by localized flash flooding due to extreme weather events. This is expected to continue in the future. Increased pressure on water resources is expected. A decrease in surface, ground and soil water will put pressure on the agriculture and scarcity of irrigation water is likely.

Carbon emissions

Slovakia ratified the UNFCCC in 1994 and the Kyoto Protocol in 2002, undertaking as Annex I country to reduce the GHG emissions during the period from 2008 to 2012 by 8 % by reference to the emissions in the baseline year 1990.

Total GHG emissions were 48,831.11 Gg in 2008 (without LULUCF). This represents a reduction of 33.92 % in comparison with the reference year 1990. The energy sector is the main contributor (76%), followed by industrial processes (12%) and agriculture (8%).

Important policy and strategy documents in the energy, industry, agriculture and LULUCF sectors mentioned in the Fifth National Communication of Slovakia:

- Energy Policy 2006

- Energy Efficiency Action Plan

- National Development Programme for Biofuels 2005

- Strategy for further utilization of renewable energy resources

- Sectoral Operational Programme Industries and Services

- Common Agricultural Policy

- National Forest Programme

Renewable energies

Slovakian Target: 14% by 2020 (2005 = 6.7%)

Large-scale hydropower is the only RES with a notable share in total electricity consumption. The highest additional mid-term potential lies with biomass. The Government has decided to only use this source in remote areas. Electricity from renewable sources was generated primarily from hydroelectricity, biomass and waste and wind. Hydroelectricity had an installed capacity base of 1,632MW in 2008, while biomass and waste accounted for 178MW and wind for 6MW. As of 2008, there was no geothermal or solar energy capacity in Slovakia, except for small domestic use. Biomass could prospectively replace 20 % of total energy needs of Slovakia. Biofuels have grown by 21.67% on a 5 year compound annual basis.

Tax exemption is granted and subsidies are available for the (re)construction of RES facilities. Guarantees of origin are being issued. A system of fixed feed-in tariffs has been in place since 2005. The Strategy of Higher Utilisation of RES in the Slovak Republic was approved in 2007. In 2005, the National Programme of Biofuel Development was adopted. RES-H is promoted through the Programme supporting Energy Savings and Utilisation of RES. Since 2008 government provides state support for households on solar collectors and biomass boilers. The Ministry of Economy rather supports biomass electricity production than wind or solar energy sources.

Sustainability targets

The National Strategy for Sustainable Development 2001 is the main document that includes elements referring to sustainable development. The basic orientation of the Slovak Republic should be a long-term, comprehensive direction to building a society based on principles of sustainable development and its practical application. Long-term priorities of sustainable development of the Slovak Republic:

- Developed democratic country;

- Modern state and system of public administration;

- Highly-developed civic society;

- Social solidarity and social protection;

- Balanced territorial development;

- High quality of human and social resources;

- New model of economy;

- High quality of the environment, protection and rational use of natural resources;

- Assurance of life and safety for citizens, existence and functioning of the state;

- Application of fundamental interests of the Slovak Republic.

Strategic objectives of sustainable development include, among others:

- Support of NGOs and the public

- Quality educational system, support of science and research

- Alleviation of social differences in the society

- Overall transformation of economy

- Development of an integrated model of soil management

- Improvement of the transport and technical infrastructure

- Reduction of energy and resource consumption

- Reduction of use of non-renewable natural resources and rational use of renewable resources

- Alleviation of climate change


Environmental issues

In Slovenia the issue of air pollution is largely linked to particles and, in the summer, to ozone. In addition, in the degraded area of the Mežica Valley heightened concentrations of lead occasionally occur.

Slovenia's natural environment suffers from damage to forests by industrial pollutants, especially chemical and metallurgical plant emissions and the resulting acid rain. As of 2001, 5.9% of Slovenia's total land area was protected.

The quantities of recovered waste are increasing in last years but quantities of disposed waste are not declining. Coping with the problem of waste by reducing waste generation and setting up an effective waste management system, as well as conservation of biological diversity and protecting air quality and climate are priority areas for environment in Slovenia.

Temperatures are expected to increase up to 3-4 degrees Celsius by the end of the century. The most likely climate changes will be towards warmer and drier summers, warm winters and a higher frequency of extreme weather events. Forests will be exposed to increased stress, biodiversity will be threatened. The projected climate-induced changes in Slovenia will aggravate the impact of other stresses, such as those on agriculture, energy production, navigation, tourism and several other sectors.

Water issues

Water pollution is a problem. The Sava River is polluted with domestic and industrial waste; heavy metals and toxic chemicals can be found in the coastal waters. The country is also subject to flooding. Improving the state of the aquatic environment, through reducing pollution is a priority of Slovenia.

Climate change is projected to lead to an increase of fresh water resources in Slovenia in winter and spring, whereas reductions of 40% and more are projected in summer and autumn. An increase in the occurrence of extreme precipitation events and flash floods is likely. The projected climate-induced changes in Slovenia will aggravate the impact of other stresses, such as those on water availability, freshwater ecosystems, navigation, irrigation.

Carbon emissions

Slovenia ratified the UNFCCC in 1995 and the Kyoto Protocol in 2002, undertaking as Annex I country to reduce the GHG emissions during the period from 2008 to 2012 by 8 % by reference to the emissions in the baseline year 1986.

The total emissions of GHGs in 2007, sinks not considered, amounted to 20,722.18 kt CO2 eq, which represents a 1.9% increase in emissions compared to the 1986 base year. The major contribution to total GHG emissions is from the energy sector, 80.1% in 2007, followed by agriculture (10.6%). Sinks were estimated at 5.774 Tg CO2 in 2007, which represents an increase of 263 % in comparison with 1986.

To fulfil the obligations, Slovenia adopted measures and key instruments, which are defined in detail in the Operational Programme to Reduce GHG Emissions by 2012. With the adoption of European legislation as part of the EU Climate-Energy Package, the importance of measures adopted within the operational programme is further enhanced.

In accordance with Slovenia's Development Strategy, the sectoral programmes are also sustainably directed; for instance, the Resolution on the National Energy Programme, Resolution on Traffic Policy, Resolution on the National Programme of Environmental Protection, etc.

Renewable energies

Slovenian target: 25% by 2020 (2005 = 16%)

Wood biomass and hydro-energy contribute more than 90% to the RES energy. Hydropower supplies about one-third of Slovenia's electricity generating capacity. The installed capacity of CHP plants fuelled by solid biomass was 6 MW in 2004. In 2005, 8,000 tons of biodiesel were produced in Slovenia. There is currently little use of wind energy, except for minor installations. Slovenia has good conditions for both solar thermal and photovoltaic energy use. The total installed capacity of photovoltaic installations was 0.216 MW in 2005 and of solar thermal installations 74.4 MWth. The existing installed capacity of geothermal energy in Slovenia amounted to about 44 MW in 2004 but it is currently not used for electricity production.

RES-E producers can choose to receive either fixed or premium feed-in tariffs from the network operators. Subsidies or loans with interest-rate subsidies are available. Since 2004, pure biofuels used as motor fuels have been exempt from the excise payment system. Distributors are obliged to place on the market a percentage of biofuels corresponding to the national target. Refurbishment of existing small scale hydropower and increasing the capacity of the large-scale units are envisaged. The most importnt strategic document are: National Action Plan for Energy Efficiency, National Energy Program 2010-2030, Sustainable Energy Programme 2007-2013 and the Energy Law.

Sustainability targets

Slovenia’s Development Strategy 2005 is the main document that includes elements referring to sustainable development. The sustainable development priorities of Slovenia are:

A competitive economy and faster economic growth:

- Fostering entrepreneurial development and increasing competitiveness

- Increasing inflows of development - promoting domestic and foreign investment

- Stimulating the economy’s internationalisation

- Increasing the competitiveness of services

- Successful participation in the exchange rate mechanism ERM II and adoption of the euro

Effective generation, two-way flow and application of the knowledge needed for economic development and quality jobs:

- Increasing economic efficiency and the level of investment in research and technological development

- Improving the quality of education and promoting lifelong learning

An efficient and less costly state:

- Increasing the state's institutional competitiveness and efficiency

- Development-oriented restructuring of public finances

- Improving the judicial system's functioning

A modern social state and higher employment:

- Increasing the labour market's flexibility

- Modernising the social protection systems

- Reducing social exclusion

Integration of measures to achieve sustainable development:

- Sustained population growth

- Balanced regional development

- Ensuring optimal health conditions

- Improving spatial management

- Integrating environmental standards with pectoral policies and consumption patterns

- Developing the national identity and culture

Trinidad & Tobago

NB: Numbers in square brackets refer to sources listed under each subsection. Quote marks have been used where information is directly copied or directly translated.

General: Responsibilities for the Environment

  • Government bodies: There are several governmental bodies under the Ministry of the Environment and Water resources with responsibilities to the environment
  • The Environmental Management Authority: has the responsibility to develop and implement environmental policies and make recommendations for a National Environment Policy, increase public awareness on the environment, monitor compliance with environmental standards and coordinate with / advise other government agencies, NGOs, individuals [2]
  • Ministry of Planning and Sustainable Development: responsible for coordinating national sustainable development agenda [5]
  • Green Fund: “to provide financial assistance to community groups and organisations for activities related to reforestation, remediation, environmental education and public awareness of environmental issues and conservation of the environment” [5]

General: International Environmental Commitments [1]

  • CITES (species trade treaty) 1984
  • Vienna Convention (ozone) 1989
  • Montreal Protocol (ozone) 1989
  • Ramsar Convention (wetlands) 1993
  • UNFCCC (climate change) 1994
  • UNCLOS (law of the sea) 1994
  • Convention on Biological Diversity 1996
  • Kyoto Protocol (climate change) 1999
  • UNCCD (desertification treaty) 2000
  • Stockholm Convention (POPs) 2002

General: Challenges to Environmental Sustainability [5]

  • “Modern Legislative framework. The current existing laws and legislation are insufficient or out-dated, and in many cases are conflicting to deal effectively with the present realities. The National Climate Change Policy is an example of a recent policy which speaks to climate change adaption as an issue of environmental sustainability.” [5]
  • “Education and awareness. Overall there is a gap in understanding the significance of environmental awareness and issues” [5]
  • “Support Rehabilitation and conservation- Support for Non-Governmental Organizations such as Fondes Amandes, and Natureseekers, which play an active role in rehabilitation and conservation has to date not been institutionalised.” [5]


  • High production: “Greenhouse gas inventories conducted in Trinidad and Tobago indicate that the energy sector, transportation and industrial sectors account for the majority of carbon dioxide emissions. Although the country accounts for less than 1% of absolute global greenhouse gas emissions, it is the second largest producer of carbon dioxide emission on a per capita basis in the world.” [5]
  • Oil & gas: Most CO2 emissions “are attributable to the oil and gas exploration, and less as a result of consumption in the country” [6]
  • Transport: “Greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector have increased by 278% over the period 1990 to 2006.” [15]

Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Progress (For more on progress see energy)

  • Transport initiatives:
    • Government has encouraged “the increased use of alternative low-carbon emission fuels, such as CNG, through the removal of Value Added Taxes (VAT) and import duties on CNG conversion kits.” [6]
    • 2011 Cabinet agreed that the “Priority Bus Route, be converted into a “Green” route, allowing vehicles powered by either low-carbon emission fuels (CNG), zero emissions (electric power), or a combination of electric power and fossil fuel (hybrid power) to use the Priority Bus Route.” [6]
    • “Increasing the number of service stations retailing Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) throughout the country to promote less carbon intensive and environmentally friendly, cleaner and cheaper fuel” [5]


  • “As a Small Island Developing State (SIDS), Trinidad and Tobago is highly vulnerable to natural disasters (tropical storms, earthquakes, floods and droughts) as well as climate change and sea level rise.” [1]
  • “As part of the public consultations participants expressed concerns about the lack of awareness of the youth on climate change issues and emphasized the need for development of synergies as part of the waste management system.” [5]
  • The country has been affected by both flooding and droughts [7]


  • Water Contamination
    • “contamination of water courses by pesticides and herbicides and atmospheric pollution from industrial and vehicle emissions” [4]
    • “In Tobago, livestock waste contributes to the faecal contamination of rivers and coastal areas.” [4]
  • Litter: Lack of appropriate disposal/reuse of packaging etc. has led to much litter contamination, which is transported to beaches and waterways as a result of heavy rainfall [4]
  • Agricultural waste: “Agricultural production leaves considerable amounts of agricultural waste, in the form of biomass, and animal waste in particular. Some of it is recycled into the agricultural production as fertilizer, while large amounts remain unutilized – and in many instances pose a disposal problem. Uncontrolled burning in the fields is not only a hazardous disposal solution, it is also a waste of a potential energy source.” [6]
  • Landfill: High per capita generation of waste; main landfill site has almost reached maximum capacity [6]
  • Sewage:
    • c. 70% of the population without sewage systems [17]
    • Vast majority of wastewater treatment plants “are not functioning properly, which leads to a large discharge of polluted water into the natural environment” [6]
  • Waste decay: “Waste in the domestic sector, e.g. from small household livestock units, as well as in the industrial sector and municipalities, is most often left unutilized, to decay, or rarely used for the purposes of fertilizer or burning in open pits. The waste is, therefore, both harmful to the surrounding environment, and often a health issue.” [6]

Waste Management & Contamination: Challenges

  • “The challenge of mitigating GHG emissions from waste lies in the lack of existing incentives. This is because the proper handling of waste does not present an opportunity to generate revenue for the stakeholders involved.” [6]


  • “Loss of forest cover in Trinidad and Tobago is attributed to both fuelwood and timber production. About 36,000 m3 of fuelwood, and 51,000 m3 of timber are produced annually [8].” [6]
  • “Estimates of deforestation, and change in forest cover show that between 1990-2010, Trinidad and Tobago lost an average of 750 ha, or 0.31%, per year. In total, this amounted to approximately 6.2% of the islands’ forest cover (15,000 ha). About 28% of Trinidad and Tobago’s forests are classified as primary forest, the most biodiverse and carbon-dense type, while 64% consist of naturally regenerated forest, and the remaining 8% are planted forest [10][6]

Deforestation: Progress

  • Limited reforestation / afforestation initiatives [6]


  • Total primary energy consumption (2012): c. 92% Natural gas consumption; Petroleum products was just under 8%.; remainder renewable [16 – from BP’s 2013 Statistical Review]
  • “Per capita energy consumption is almost six times the world average, and almost 30% higher than that of the USA.” [12]
  • Largest energy consumer: industry [6]

Energy: Challenges:

  • “A major challenge to the promotion of renewable energy and energy efficiency is the subsidized domestic energy prices, which make it difficult to compete.” [6]

Energy: Progress:

  • “To date, there is no renewable energy generation in the national grid. The existing RE generation is minimal, and is mainly through small-scale applications of solar water heaters and solar PV.” [6]
  • “One of the interventionist strategies which Trinidad and Tobago is seeking to implement to reduce carbon dioxide emissions is the development of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) as an alternative fuel for vehicles. It is estimated that the use of CNG can reduce Green House Gas (GHG) emissions by as much as fifteen to twenty per cent.” [5]
  • “The government has set focus on expansion of renewable energy use as part of its strategy for sustainable growth and development.” [11]
  • “The Government of Trinidad and Tobago is currently developing a national energy policy Green Paper that recognizes renewable energy (RE) combined with energy efficiency (EE).” [6]
  • Industry: “In the 2010 budget, the government announced a tax break for companies undertaking energy audits. [13] In July 2010, the Minister of Energy and Energy Affairs mandated the National Energy Corporation (NEC) to embark on a study, developing a framework for an energy efficiency policy. Moreover, it was to include an energy management program for petrochemical plants, as well as providing, in the 2010–2011 national budget, tax allowances of 150% on the costs incurred by companies in the commissioning of energy audits, and accelerated depreciation of 75% in the year of acquisition on the capital incurred by companies in the acquisition of smart energy efficient systems.[14][6]


  • “The coast and marine areas of Trinidad and Tobago has been negatively impacted by marine pollution, overharvesting of marine resources and illegal removal of coastal vegetation particularly mangroves. Environmental problems include coastal eutrophication due to inappropriate sewerage treatment, contamination arising from agricultural pollutants, inappropriate coastal development, sand-mining along beaches, heavy contamination from industries and sea vessels, over-fishing, degradation of coastal zone and marine species, including mangrove systems and coral reefs. These impacts have been compounded, in recent years by coastal erosion. Erosion along the north and northeast sea coast has not been associated with coastal development principally because there are no industrial activities, and the residential use of the back beach is considered benign. However, erosion over the years has been quite noticeable and has been attributed as part of the long term natural processes.” [7]

Coastal Areas: Progress

  • Development of National Programme of Action (NPA): “for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-based Activities” [7]


  • Mismanagement of land: “Competing demands and a lack of a comprehensive land use planning and development mechanism have led to unsustainable utilisation, overuse and degradation of the country’s land resources. Moreover, extreme climatic events and other natural disasters particularly tropical storms and landslides, have impacted adversely on the land resources of certain regions of the country (for example, North Coast of Trinidad and Windward Tobago) to such an extent that corrective measures must be taken for recovery of the region’s economies.” [7]
  • Soil erosion: “Hillside clearing for development, both planned and unplanned, has contributed significantly to slope instability with the attendant problems of land slips, soil erosion and flooding.” [4]

Land Management: Progress

  • National Action Programme to Combat Land Degradation in Trinidad and Tobago (NAP) [7]


  • Biodiversity: “The removal of coastal wetlands has diminished the services provided by these ecosystems in the form of nursery for fishes, water purification, flood control, and protection from storm surges and winds.” [4]
  • Resource exploitation: Population growth has fuelled an increasing demand for goods and services [4]. “In recent years, growing population pressures, industrialization and unsustainable utilization of the country’s biological resources have resulted in the significant deterioration of the natural environment.” [7]

Other: Progress:

  • Water sustainability: “In the Agriculture sector over the last two (2) years there has been a shift from practices which relied on rain-fed supplies to water conservation and water harvesting. The Irrigation and Water Management Flood Control Programme was developed and continues to be expanded. The energy sector and other emerging areas for diversification has been examining water management within the framework of greening business and alternative energy use.” [5]
  • Examples of other environmental policies [3]
    • National Forest Policy (2011)
    • National Protected Areas Policy (2011)
    • National Wetland Conservation Policy (2002)
    • National Tourism Policy (2010)
    • National Wildlife Policy

For more detailed additional information, see particularly the reports at sources 5, 6 & 7

  1. Trinidad & Tobago: National Report for the 2014 SIDS Conference. Available here
  2. Emissions Reduction Profile: Trinidad & Tobago (2013) – UNEP Risø. Available here
  3. Link sourced in [6]
  4. Link sourced in [6]
  5. Link sourced in [6]
  6. Ministry of Energy and Energy Affairs, The National Framework for Development of a Renewable Energy Policy for Trinidad and Tobago, January 2011 Sourced in [6]
  7. Link sourced in [6]
  8. Link sourced in [6]
  9. Linksourced in [6]
  10. Link sourced in [6]
  11. Water and Sewage Authorities in Trinidad and Tobago (WASA), 2010 sourced in [6]
  12. Link sourced in [6]


Environmental issues

Among Turkey's principal environmental problems is air pollution, which has accelerated since rapid economic growth began in the mid-1990s. The problem is especially acute in cities, where the combustion of heating fuels increases particulate density in winter. Increased car ownership and the slow development of public transportation cause frequent urban smog conditions. Mandatory use of unleaded gas was scheduled to begin only in January 2006. The most dramatic improvements were significant reductions of air pollution in Istanbul and Ankara. However, progress has been slow on the remaining and serious environmental challenges.

Land degradation is a critical agricultural problem, caused by inappropriate use of agricultural land, overgrazing, over-fertilization, and deforestation. Soil erosion affects both coastal and internal areas.

Other pressing issues are solid waste management and conservation of biodiversity. The discovery of a number of chemical waste sites in 2006 has highlighted weakness in environmental law and oversight.

As a result of climate change, Turkey may experience increased temperatures including heat waves, increases in forest fires, decline in agricultural productivity and a loss of biodiversity.

Water issues

The nation's rivers are polluted with industrial chemicals and detergents. Among them, mercury has created a serious threat to the water supply. As of 2000, only 81% of urban dwellers and 86% of rural residents have access to safe drinking water. The potential for spills from the 5,000 oil- and gas-carrying ships that pass through the Bosporus annually is another threat.

Turkey's most pressing needs are for water treatment plants and wastewater treatment facilities. The release of pollutants by neighboring countries has critically contaminated the Black Sea, and multinational cooperation has not adequately addressed the problem.

While an overall decrease in precipitation is expected, the intensity of rain when it does occur can cause flooding. For example, in September of 2009, Turkey’s Thracian region and the capital Istanbul received a month’s worth of rainfall during two days.

Carbon emissions

Turkey ratified the UNFCCC in 2004 and the Kyoto Protocol in 2009. Although listed in the Convention’s Annex I, Turkey is not included in the Protocol’s Annex B (so it has no binding reduction targets) as it was not Party to the Convention when the Protocol was adopted.

Total GHG emissions of Turkey increased steadily in the period 1990 and 2007 by 119.1%, to 372.6 million tonnes CO2 eq. The energy sector accounted for 77.4% of the total GHG emissions, followed by waste - 8.5% and agriculture - 7.1%. In 2003, the GHG emissions per capita amounted only at 4.1 tons.

Turkey has attempted to minimize energy-related GHG emissions through various policies aimed at: improving energy efficiency and conservation, increasing the share of renewables, switching to low carbon fuels and implement measures to encourage emission reductions. Some important laws are: the Renewable Energy Law, Energy Efficiency Law, By-Law on Heat Insulation in Buildings.

Key initiatives are implemented in the transportation sector, such as the utilization of bio-fuels, the withdrawal of old vehicles, the expansion of metro and light rail network. Turkey is also promoting the use of biomass and best available agricultural and irrigation. Additionally, Turkey is committed to increase sink areas by afforestation and by controlling deforestation.

Renewable energies

Turkey has started a major renewable energy and energy efficiency program. The country aims to increase its clean energy share to 30% of its power supply by 2023. In 2007, the energy produced from renewable sources has reached to the amount of 10.2% of the total primary energy sources. Installed capacity of hydroelectric plants stood at 13,393 MW at the end of 2007. Turkey has considerable wind energy potential. The total installed wind capacity was 2800MW in 2010. The main solar energy utilization is the flat-plate solar collectors for domestic water heating. 11,5 million m2 of solar collectors are presently used, while total photovoltaic applications are approximately 1000 kW. Turkey also possesses rich geothermal resources but only 3% of the total potential has been utilized so far. Biomass potential is 8,6 million TOE and the amount of 6 million of this potential is being used. Biodiesel production capacity is 1.5 Mt and bioethanol production capacity is about 3 Mt per year.

The Law on the Use of Renewable Energy Resources for Electricity Production Purposes was enacted to ensure the widespread use of renewable energy sources. The Turkish National Energy Policy is also in place. Support is given for utilization of clean and renewable energy sources as well as passive solar energy applications.

Sustainability targets

An international NGO has suggested to Parliament that Turkey needs to prepare a “National Strategy for Sustainable Development” to better coordinate the related economic, social and environmental policies and plans. However, even though Turkey has various sustainable development projects, they have not been brought in line with each other and at the moment there is no formally announced NSDS. The integration of the SD principles into development goals is mostly done at the policy level but legal and institutional mechanisms necessary to implement these policies have not been yet developed enough.

Ninth Development Plan 2007-2013 is the most prominent formal document that integrates the concept of SD in Turkey. There are five development axes:

- Increasing competitiveness

- Increasing employment

- Strengthening human development and social solidarity

- Ensuring regional development

- Increasing quality and effectiveness in public services

The National Environmental Action Plan is another policy document within the domain of SD:

- Sustainability in environmental terms is integrated

- Targets: Reduce or prevent pollution, Improve access to environmental infrastructure and services, Encourage sustainable resource use, Encourage sustainable environmental practices, Minimise vulnerability to environmental hazards

- Scope is confined to environmental targets

The Environment Law revised in 2006 is the first legislation that pronounces SD as a strategic aim.


Environmental issues

The explosion of a reactor at the Chernobyl’ nuclear power plant had an enormous impact on the region’s environment. Radioactive materials from the accident seeped into the ground, contaminating farmland and the water supply. One-tenth of Ukraine's land area was affected by the radiation from the Chernobyl explosion. The Chernobyl’ complex was finally shut down completely in 2000.

Air pollution is a significant environmental problem in Ukraine, especially severe in industrial centres, such as the coal-burning industries of eastern Ukraine. Lightly industrialized cities face air pollution caused by the prevalence of inefficient automobiles.

Industrial and agricultural pollutants have contaminated soil throughout the country. Funds for recycling and conservation programs are lacking and pollution controls remain at a minimum.

At present, 40% of the total territory of Ukraine is eroded.

In 2001, only 1.6% of Ukraine's total land area was protected. Conservation of natural resources is a stated high priority, although implementation suffers from a lack of financial resources.

Ukraine is directly affected by climate change impacts. These impacts include warmer temperatures, droughts, heat waves, windstorms and forest fires.

Water issues

Industrial and agricultural pollutants have contaminated drinking water throughout the country. Ukraine releases polluted water, heavy metal, organic compounds, and oil-related pollutants into the Black Sea. The water supply in some areas of the country is not adequate. The pollution of the nation's water has resulted in large-scale elimination of the fish population, particularly in the Sea of Azov.

Construction of a shipping canal through a UN-protected core biosphere reserve in the Danube Delta, which began in May 2004, is an environmental issue of international interest.

Climate change impacts such as sea level rise have begun in Ukraine along the Black and Azov Seas. Observations indicate that sea level rise created following vulnerability to the sea coastlines: increased probability of catastrophic floods on some rivers; salinization and bogging of pastures and washing out of beaches; and damage to amenities: communications, municipal buildings and facilities.

Carbon emissions

Ukraine ratified the UNFCCC in 1996 and the Kyoto Protocol in 2004. According to the Kyoto Protocol, within the period 2008-2012, total GHG emissions in Ukraine should not exceed the 1990 level (0% reduction target).

Results from the last GHG inventory showed that in 2004 the emissions made up 45% of the 1990 level, reaching a level of 413.4 mt CO2 eq. The energy sector is the largest contributor to total GHG emissions, followed by industrial processes and agriculture. In 1990, LULUCF removed about 3.7% of total carbon dioxide emissions, and in 2004 – about 7.8%. Basic forecasts indicate that in 2012 emissions will not exceed 1990 levels. Consequently, Ukraine may not need to undertake any specific measures to fulfill its commitments to the Kyoto Protocol.

The National Plan of Measures on Fulfillment of Provisions of Kyoto Protocol to the UNFCCC is the guiding document regarding the achievement of Kyoto targets. National energy saving tasks for all economic sectors were formulated in the Comprehensive National Programme on Energy Conservation. They have received particular, emphasized in Ukraine’s Energy Strategy for the Period Until 2030. Other sectors that have received special attention through dedicated programmes are: transport, industry, housing and communal services, agriculture and forestry.

Renewable energies

The country’s renewable resource potential is impressive. In 2008, renewable energy (including large hydro power) accounted just for 2.8% of total primary energy supply. Hydropower is currently the leading source of renewable energy. Small-hydro plants have a potential of 2.3GW compared with the current installed capacity of 150MW. Wind energy potential is estimated at 19-24GW; however, it remains an under-developed market with only 87MW installed at the end of 2010. Ukraine also has strong solar energy potential, but installed capacity was negligible at the end of 2010. The country currently produces less than 0.5% of its energy from biomass. The installed geothermal capacity is 13MWth.

Ukraine’s goal is generating 19% of energy from RES by 2030. In 2009, a “Green Tariff Law” was approved, for electricity produced from renewables, regardless of source. Tax exemptions include VAT exemptions on certain imports and a 75% land tax reduction on the purchase of land for green energy projects. The “Energy Strategy for the period till 2030” and the “Program for the development of biodiesel production” were adopted in 2006. Several laws also refer to the RES support: “On Alternative Sources of Energy”, “On Energy Conservation”, “On Introducing Changes in Certain Legislative Acts of Ukraine on Promotion of Measures on Energy Conservation”, “On alternative kinds of liquid and gaseous fuel”.

Sustainability targets

Ukraine joined the sustainable development movement in 1997, when the National Commission on Sustainable Development of Ukraine was established with the purpose of ensuring solutions for problems of social and economic development, environmental protection and rational use of natural resources in Ukraine. Current social and economic situation, however, proves that the country hasn’t succeeded in sustainable development yet.

The draft government Concept of sustainable development of Ukraine, which is being elaborated in recent years, has played a positive role in the launching and adoption of local concepts and projects of transition to sustainable development, civic search for a national pathway.

Under the project, the main means for the achievement of sustainable development are effective utilization of all kinds of resources, structural and technological upgrading and updating of production, use of society’s creative potential for the development and prosperity of the state. Envisaged among the key objectives are economic development, environmental protection, social cohesion, rational utilization of natural resources, development of education, international cooperation, involvement of the general public in the shaping of a national environmental policy and of environmental expertise of investment projects.

Economic, social and environmental strategies to sustainable development are defined in several separate official documents.

countries.txt · Last modified: 2014/08/18 13:49 by sarah