Environmental Problems of East Central Europe

By F. W. Carter; David Turnock | Go to book overview

9

Poland

F. W. Carter and Ewelina Kantowicz

Introduction

The past decade has witnessed a dramatic increase in environmental concern in Poland (Figure 9.1). Since 1990 there has been greater freedom of access to previously unobtainable information and the development of an ecological movement which has influenced considerable changes in public opinion. One of Poland's early post-communist priorities during the transition to a market economy was to tackle its environmental problems. Environmental protection has been given a much higher pre-eminence, due to serious problems inherited from the communist past with air pollution, inadequate water treatment and contaminated soil. Untreated industrial discharges, unmarked toxic waste dumps and unacceptable water supplies are found throughout the country. The early efforts were focused on specific chronic environmental cases; later endeavours were concerned with the provision of more long-term solutions linked to sustainable environmental management (Clarke and Cole, 1998).

The Polish government itself proved the main stimulus in trying to overcome the ecological crisis. This involved setting into motion major conceptual changes for policy implementation at the national level, through establishing environmental goals and the creation of an institutional support system. In conjunction with these developments, subnational policies were introduced at the regional and local levels. The lower administrative levels have become increasingly important as greater emphasis in Polish society has been placed on environmental decision-making (Warner, 1999). The aim of this chapter is to discover how much progress has been made in solving Poland's environmental problems during the 1990s. This will involve some appreciation of state environmental policy, the impact of major polluting factors, the role of biodiversity and nature conservation and character of environmental movements in the country.

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Environmental Problems of East Central Europe
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Illustrations viii
  • Acknowledgement xvii
  • Abbreviations xviii
  • Part I - Context 1
  • 1 - Introduction 3
  • References 16
  • 2 - Environmental Politics and Transition 22
  • References 37
  • 3 - Environmental Movements, Nation States and Globalisation 40
  • 4 - The Central Importance of the European Union 56
  • References 89
  • 5 - The Soviet Union and the Successor States 92
  • Part II - Country Studies 117
  • 6 - Czech Republic 119
  • 7 - East Germany 139
  • References 155
  • 8 - Hungary 157
  • References 180
  • 9 - Poland 183
  • References 203
  • 10 - Slovakia 207
  • 11 - Slovenia 228
  • References 246
  • Part III - Country Studies 249
  • 12 - Albania 251
  • References 277
  • 13 - Bosnia and Hercegovina 283
  • Note 303
  • 14 - Bulgaria 305
  • 15 - Croatia 330
  • 16 - Macedonia 347
  • References 364
  • 17 - Romania 366
  • References 391
  • 18 - Yugoslavia 396
  • Part IV - Conclusion 417
  • 19 - Conclusion 419
  • References 431
  • Index 433
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