The Effects of War on the Environment: Croatia

The Effects of War on the Environment: Croatia

The Effects of War on the Environment: Croatia

The Effects of War on the Environment: Croatia


Following the cessation of hostilities in Croatia, the task begins of assessing the damage caused and the remedial work needed. After several visits to the country on behalf of UNIDO, Mervyn Richardson has compiled a dossier detailing the effects of warfare on the environment. He discusses in detail the destruction of the Croation chemical industry and suggests ways in which new techniques will need to be used for remediation. Important aspects of the economy such as tourism and agriculture are also considered, and a contribution by Croatian scientists covers groundwater pollution caused by the destruction of an ammunition store. The book concludes with a look at the future possibilities for encouraging new industries to take the place of the old and gives a detailed breakdown of key Croatian agencies.


Mervyn Richardson

The Republic of Croatia gained international recognition on 15 January 1992. After some nine centuries of sovereignty, Croatia became a member of the family of independent sovereign countries. Croatia's rebirth was accomplished after warfare in which Croatia had to defend its rights. One of these was to rejoin the western world to which it always belonged.

Croatia is one of the oldest of European nations and has inhabited its area for some 1400 years. in 1990, the first free elections led to the demise of single-party communism with its history of poor economics and now Croatia has adopted democracy, human rights, and a free market economy.

Regrettably, the war has ravaged Croatia's chemical (and other) industries, which in turn has led to massive and ongoing pollution problems involving contamination of soils and waters.

In the period between the initial declaration and the EC's recognition on 16 January 1992, the Yugoslavian National Army and the Croatian militiamen fought a horrendous war within the republic; several of the environmental consequences of this action are described in later chapters. As will be seen, the conflict has left appalling scars on Croatia's industry, society, tourism, and not least its economy. As we went to press it remained uncertain if the Serbian enclaves within Croatia would become separate independent states, as at the time of writing and during the mission of January 1993 (detailed in later chapters), a United Nations peace keeping force was deployed within these areas to ensure the continuing process of finding a political solution to the problem. Whilst the un mandate which originally expired in March 1993 has been extended, this in no way takes into any consideration the environmental contamination which continues to pollute soils and water resources, not only in Croatia but in neighbouring

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