Cleaning up pollution

Undertaking waste cleanup
Cleaning up waste dumps
One of the results of the 1989 revolutions in the former Eastern bloc has been a remarkably frank exposition of environmental problems by the various newly-established governments. Their environmental horror stories are often followed by requests for outside investment and technical support to help with the problems. Ukraine estimates that it is currently spending up to 20% of tis GDP in clean-up projects, while the Polish government claims that it would cost US$260,000 million over a period of 30 years to restore environmental health.

In 1993, a nearly 50 environment ministers from virtually all Europe, the United States, Canada and Japan adopted a common strategy to help clean up in Central and Eastern Europe. The plan, called the Environmental Action Program, said air pollution was the most serious health hazard in the region, where lead, sulphur and soot had already affected the population. Second, it called for improving and protecting drinking water, which was often laced with heavy metals or toxic chemicals. A third priority, it said, was to stop damaging nature in ways that might be irreversible.

Counter Claim:
While the Environmental Action Program is the firmest commitment yet from the West that it will help clean up, diplomats said it also includes the bluntest message to date that the West does not intend to pay for redressing most of the environmental havoc caused under communism.
Tidying up
Type Classification:
B: Basic universal strategies