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Environmental Policy in Eastern Europe PRZEMYSLAW TROJAN Polish Academy of Sciences Editors' Note: This chapter is a compilation of ideas denving~om a two- year comparative analysis of concepts, principles, and recommendations for the continuing evo~don of environmental policy in several of the socialist countries of Eastern Europe. Please note the great similarity between the ideals presented in this chapter arid those which guide similar developments in many democratic societies. During 1987 and 1988, a Committee for the Study of World So- cialist Systems of the Polish Academy of Sciences (PAN) was asked to prepare an analysis of environmental policy in several of the socialist coun- tries of Europe, including the USSR, the German Democratic Republic, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and Poland. This study was designed to provide a comparative analysis of the concepts and methods used in the development of environmental policy in these countries. The results of these studies, comprising eleven parts, are now in print (Dobrowolski et al., 1989~. Such analyses have a long tradition in Poland and are published in reports by the Polish Academy of Sciences (Mcihajlow, 1976; Polityka, 1989~. This chapter is a brief summer,, of the principal findings from this two-year study. The first task of analysis was to try to explain why conflicts are so often seen between environmental protection and industrial development. Such convicts are not a requirement of theory (Zagladin and Frolov, l986~. But they are all-too-frequent consequences of a lack of holistic thinking in the development of sound policies for protection of ecological values under conditions of continuing economic development. 333
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334 ECOLOGICAL RISKS DEVELOPMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY Social pressure for the proper resolution of environmental problems is growing in many East European countries. Official recognition of this idea was expressed very well in the conclusions of an international conference on "Socialism in the Context of Contemporary Global Problems" held in Prague in 1985 (Anonymous, 1985~. The conclusions read as follows: demands; · Ecological crises have expanded to the whole domain of relation- ships between humans and nature. · These crises exert strong influence on all aspects of social life and are not restricted to problems of industrial production. · Reconstruction of all socioeconomic systems is necessary. The isolated improvement of single elements of real socioeconomic systems is meaningless. Ecological conflicts are always present in human existence. These conflicts affect many aspects of our daily lives and lead to intense discussions about the place of humans in nature. An ecological viewpoint is developing in which humans are seen as a product of continuing biological evolution. That is, human life, like the life of all other living things, is ultimately constrained within the limits of- the sustainable productive capacity of the land, available energy, and the other natural resources necessary to maintain human existence. Resolving our present ecological crisis is now the task of a global strategy for society. The general purposes of ecological policy in Eastern Europe are easy to define. They are similar to those of many other countries; only the methods and mechanisms- governing the course of environmental events are different. Three kinds of activity are required in the development of wise en- vironmental policy: prevention, control, and restoration. The outcome of these activities is determined by the following elements of ecological policy: · political activities of governments which are influenced by social · the system of law which defines the rights and obligations of both citizens and the government in relation to natural and human resources; · the activities of environmental agencies within the organizational structure of government; · economic instruments, especially those related to economic and spatial planning; · foreign policy; · educational systems and scienafw investigations; and · social movements.
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ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT CASE STUDIES 335 Lack of data in one or more of these elements restricts our ability to un- derstand their role in contemporary East European societies. Nevertheless, some preliminary conclusions can be drawn and are presented here. During the past 40 years, economic development in Eastern Europe has brought to these societies both progress in industrial production and many unintended effects. One of the most important of these effects is the extension of ecological crises over more and more territory in Me region. The primary reason for these unfortunate results is overall inefficiency and/or lack of appropriate mechanisms for the protection and restoration of the environment and natural resources. Thus, the importance of envi- ronmental problems is growing with time. These problems exert-ve~y strong influences on many aspects of political, economic, and social activity. Politics The political parties in most East European countries have included problems of ecological policy in their programs. For example, in the Party Congresses of 1984 and 1986, issues relating to environmental policy were much more evident than they had been in previous Parer Congresses. A comparison of ecological policies outlined in the documents which resulted from these meetings leads to the following conclusions: · None of the documents includes analysis of the environmental situation in their respective countries. Both the diagnosis and the extent of change in environmental quality should constitute the basis for formulation of objectives and tasks between successive Congresses. · Programs of ecological policy are best formulated in those countries where the exploitation of natural resources is most economical, e.g., the German Democratic Republic and Czechoslovakia. · These documents indicate that the most important factors influ- encing environmental protection include enforcement of laws, pollution control, deliberate management of environmental quality, economic devel- opment policies, ecological education, and progress in science and technol- o,gy. · The documents from all Party Congresses disregard the prevention of environmental problems. This is especially evident in the lack of coordi- nation between economical and spatial planning before decisions are made. All too frequently, the principles governing the processes of planning and decision making are too vague. In many cases, environmental interests are not taken into account.
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336 ECOLOGICAL RISKS Legislation There are no great differences in the judicial solutions suggested by various East European countries for the resolution of environmental problems. The system of environmental law is generally well developed in all of these countries (Radecki, 1985), but judicial regulations are not administered effectively. There are also obvious contradictions between laws pertaining to the environment and laws pertaining to other aspects of society. Three general problems need require solutions in order to improve judicial codes for environment protection: · There is little enforcement of existing environmental law. This is due to so-called "economic necessity" and the widespread practice of following regulations that are contrary to existing environmental law. · There are very few connections between judicial codes, e.g., be- tween the laws for environmental protection, agricultural lands, mining, and nature protection. The lack of necessary connections between these related laws causes chaos in decision making and essentially precludes the realization of sound ecological polic y. Many regulations in environmental protection codes are not eco- nomically sound Some regulations provide the possibility to shut down a factory, but in other cases, fines or other penalties are so low that it is more economical to pay them than to make the larger investment in protecting the environment. Environmental Management In many East European countries, several different government organi- zations are concerned with environmental protection. Generally speaking, however, protection of the environment is an object of state policy deter- mined by parliamentary resolutions and executed by the government and its various agencies. The following describes the environmental policies of East European countries and the types of government agencies that take responsibility for the fulfillment of environmental goals: · Environmental protection policy should consist of the rational use of natural resources, ecosystem and species protection, protection of society and nature against harmful effects of industrial and agricultural activities, and environmental quality control. · Many different linkages are needed among governmental and non- governmental organizations. The responsibility for wise use of the envi- ronment is distributed among government, industry, and other groups in society that utilize natural resources.
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ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT CASE STUDIES 337 · Effective management of environmental quality control must in- clude central, regional, and local centers for State Inspection and Envi- ronmental Protection. In some cases, however, local authorities do not correctly use their power against environmentally degrading activities and against pollution sources that exceed official standards; this is particularly true for large coal-fired power plants and for large iron works. Thus, an efficient system is needed to facilitate decisions about the location of industrial plants in terms of local and regional ecological situations and risks. · A system of protected areas is growing in all East European coun- tries, consisting of national parks, nature reserves, regions of protected landscape, and landscape parks (Chapter 22, this volume). Within these protected areas, economic activity should be adjusted to fit existing envi- ronmental conditions and programs of nature protection. · In all East European countries, statistics pertaining to environ- mental quality are very unsatisfactory. Complete information is lacking on pollution emissions from factories, soil contamination and degradation, and quality of groundwaters. Also lacking are unified models of organization for the efficient solution of contemporary problems. Many suggested solutions are strongly criticized. ~ ~ 1 ~ Economics A system of economic and planning instruments has been developed in most East European countries. Economic solutions are topics of strong debate (Anonymous, 1983, 1986~. General restructuring of these systems is necessary. The following conclusions were drawn from an analysis of these economic and planning instruments: · In all East European countries, the system of national economies is changing. Administrative methods of management executed particularly by governmental authorities are being replaced by market mechanisms. This is also true for environmental protection. · A prerequisite for environmental management by market methods is to establish priorities for the goals and services entering the national econ- omy under changing economic and environmental circumstances. Without this, the low level of efficiency in environmental protection will continue. · The prices paid for natural resources at the time of use should reflect the costs of environmental protection. Nature protection costs should be unified throughout Eastern Eu- rope. This is especially important in developing regulations for industrial and agricultural enterprises that have significant impacts on environmental quality. This unified system of economic/environmental calculations should serve as a basis for compensation in cases of transboundary pollution.
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338 ECOLOGICAL RISKS · The system of economic instruments for environmental protection in Eastern Europe should include consideration of methods of funding, tax policy, credit policy, and investment policy. Contradictions between economic and environmental goals often make choices difficult. · East European countries generally lack coherent plans for main- taining the productivity of renewable natural resources. These plans should include regulations for maintaining a rational balance between economic exploitation of natural resources and their conservation for future gener- ations. Such regulations should also provide guidance for maintaining the essential environmental and social functions of renewable natural resources, regardless of whether these resources have significant economic value. Foreign Policy At present, international cooperation among East European coun- tries in solving environmental protection problems is not effective. Large amounts of pollutants are transported from country to country in contam- inated air masses and rivers. Efforts must be made in all countries to decrease the international exchange of pollutants in water and air. This can be achieved by: · international agreements governing the location and amounts of emissions from different types of industrial activity. By the year 2000, major decreases in the transboundary flow of pollutants must be achieved. · import/export analysis of the exchange of pollutants between these countries. These analyses should provide the basis for estimates of eco- nomic compensation payments for pollutants received. Education and Scientific Research The educational system in Eastern Europe includes ecological educa- tion, but efforts in this area must be increased substantially to be more effective. While ecological education is given high priority in all East Eu- ropean countries, no country has elaborated an adequately comprehensive system of ecological education. In addition, large differences exist be- tween the formal systems of ecological education in various East European countries. Therefore, modern and comprehensive ecological education programs must be developed for all students at all educational levels, including nursery school, elementary school, and high school. Universities, and particularly polytechnic institutes, should develop programs for the ecological education of their students, as their professional activities will exert great influence on environmental events and hazards. Care must be taken to organize these programs so that desirable outcomes are achieved. At present, for example,
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ENVIRONMENT AGE ME CASE STUDIES 339 schools of engineering contain no obligatory ecological curricula and the present optional programs are often not selected. As a result, lack of environmental awareness among graduate engineers often compounds the environmental problems in society. Finally, some East European countries have developed elaborate programs of continuing education for adults. These programs offer great possibilities for the ecological education of society as a whole. With regard to research, scientific investigations in the field of envi- ronmental protection are often conducted in connection with the systems for economic cooperation among socialist countries. The following obser- vations are pertinent to these programs: · The current system of cooperation provides good possibilities for comparison of results from scientific investigations in participating coun- tnes. However, the effectiveness of information transfer between countries is much greater within a given discipline than it is between disciplines, even within the same country. It is therefore necessary to increase the degree of integration across different disciplines of environmental investigations. The most urgent task is to increase the translation of scientific results into economic practices within industrial and agricultural enterprises. In international cooperative research programs, the division of ef- fort should be arranged so as to capitalize on the special scientific strengths of individuals and institutions within the cooperating countries. . Social Movements Social movements in the field of environmental protection are growing in numbers throughout Eastern Europe. They are exerting strong, con- structive influence on central and local authorities in developing solutions for local and regional environmental problems. Analysis of the activities of these movements leads to the following conclusions: · Volunteers participating in ecological movements have often pro- vided effective surveillance of the status of nature, the exploitation of nat- ural resources, and environmental decision making. In many cases, these surveillance activities have led to the discovery and subsequent solution of important environmental problems. These movements often provide ecological educational programs for children and adults and sometimes undertake concrete projects for environmental protection. · Many successes have been achieved when local authorities and ecological movements work together in the analysis and implementation of solutions to environmental problems. All too often, however, the activities of ecological movements have formed the basis for political arguments directed against the administration and political system.
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340 ECOLOGICAL RISKS · Cooperation between ecological movements and governments or industries has been particularly successful at the lower levels of adminis- tration, i.e., in small towns, or in identifiable communities within larger towns. · Social movements in the field of environmental protection have been very effective in improving the aesthetic quality of many areas such as public gardens and "green areas" within towns, extracting useful raw mate- rials from accumulated wastes, and planting of trees and other vegetation on waste beds or drastically disturbed lands. CONCLUSION A great potential exists for improvement of environmental policy in many East European countries. These improvements can be encouraged through: . better organization of central and local administrative authorities for environmental decision making and management of natural resources; · better division of responsibility among East European countries, such as in the production of environmental protection devices and tech- nologies; . increasing the effectiveness of planning systems, economic develop- ment authorities, and legal instruments to provide both economic incentives and regulations that channel human activity in directions which are consis- tent with aims and programs of sound ecological policy; · improving systems of ecological education at all levels, from nursery school through university, and including programs for adult education; · translating scientific understanding of environmental problems into economically viable systems for improvement of industry, agriculture, and management of waste disposal systems; · connecting programs of economic development and social move- ments so that their outcomes are consistent with sound ecological policy. Although the tasks are formidable, success in implementing these recom- mendations will enable the countries of Eastern Europe to do their part in solving global ecological problems. Acknowledgement This chapter was written in cooperation with K Dobrowolski, ~ Jankowska-Klapkowska, B. Prandecka, W. Radecki, and J. Sommer of the Committee for the Study of World Socialist Systems of the Polish Academy of Sciences. Editorial assistance from E. Cowling is also acknowledged with appreciation.
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EN~VIRONMENTAL Af 4HAGEMENT CASE STUDIES REFERENCES 341 Anonymous. 1983. Ekonomiczne problemy ochrony srodowiska (Economic problems of environment protection). Liga Ochrony P~zyrody:63 (in Polish). Anonymous. 1986. Ekonomiczne i spoleczne problemy ochrony srodowiska, (Economic and social problems of environmental protection). ~rdawnictwo Uczelniane SGPIS:207 (in Polish). Anonymous. 1986. Socialismus a globalni problemy soucastnosti: Matenaly z mezinarodni konference. (Socialism in the context of contempora~y global problems: Lectures of the international conference). Ustav pro filozofii a sociologii CSAV, Part 1:238; Part 2:Z5 (in Bohemian). Dobrowolski, KA-, A. Jankowska-Klapkowska, B. Prandecka, W. Radecki, J.Sommer and P.llojan. 1989. Polityka ekologiczna wybranych krajow socjalistycznych (Ecological polipy of selected socialist countries) in Ecological Policy, Materialy Strdialne 3:1-95 (in Polish). Mcihajlow, ~ 1976. Srodowisko i polityka (Environment and policy), p. 176. Warsaw: Ossolineum (in Polish). Prandecka, B., ed. 1980. Polityka ochrony srodowiska w krajach socialistycznych (The policy of environmental protection in socialist countries), p. 318. Wa~saw: Panstwowe Wydawnictwo Ecknomiczne (in Polish). Radecki, W. 1985. Odpowiedzialnosc administrapyjna w ochronie srodowiska (Administrative responsibility in environmental protection), p. 1975. Watsaw: Ossolineum (in Polish). Zagladin, V.V., and I.T. Frolov. 1986. Socialismus a globalni problemy civilizance in Socialismus a globalni problemy soucastnosti. Ceskoslovenska Akademi ved Prahe 1:31-53 (in Bohemian).
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