ANNEX A |
NIS: SPECIFIC ISSUES
Energy use, dominated by fossil fuels, is the
key influence on emissions of carbon dioxide. Between 1990-95,
energy use for transport in the NIS fell by 48 per cent and industrial
energy use by 38 per cent. Energy initiatives in the NIS are probably
five times higher than in Western Europe so there is considerable
scope for energy savings. On a "business as usual" scenario,
energy use in 2010 is expected to be 11 per cent lower than 1990
in the NIS.
Deteriorating water distribution systems and
the high level of surface and ground water pollution have contributed
to the poor quality of water across the NIS. Poor water quality
impacts on health, productivity and biodiversity. Problems with
the drinking water system include disruptions to the service,
lack of water pressure and the infiltration of sewage water. There
is also widespread contamination of surface and ground water.
A large amount of untreated industrial wastewater is discharged
directly into water bodies or into municipal wastewater treatment
plants which do not have the capacity to treat it.
The water utility sector needs considerable
investment if the availability and quality of drinking water is
to be improved. Finance is also required for adequate maintenance,
pipe replacement and water purification. Reform of the water companies
is also needed to produce well managed and financially viable
service providers; this process will also need to consider tariff
reform and the use of economic instruments.
Air pollution represents a serious short-term
environmental problem for human health. Industry and energy are
the principle sources although vehicle emissions are becoming
increasingly important. It is necessary to find cost effective
methods of pollution control and to strengthen the enforcement
mechanisms in order to create incentives for industry to invest
in less polluting technologies.
Solid and Hazardous Water
Although poor information prevents a complete
analysis of the problem, there are serious cases of hazardous
waste contamination resulting from poor management practices which
allow waste to infiltrate ground or surface water. Most hazardous
waste problems arise as a result of mining, metal processing,
and chemical and petrochemical production. Problems tend to be
highly localised but where such "hot spots" exist they
pose a severe threat to health and the environment.
Across the NIS there is little communal disposal
capacity dedicated to hazardous waste. Waste tends to be stored
at on-site facilities and disposed of at on-site or municipal
landfills along with less toxic industrial waste. There is a need
to strengthen regulations, provide incentives for reducing waste
and complying with disposal regulations, and to develop communal
Most major municipalities in the NIS have good
solid waste collection systems, though these have deteriorated
because of lack of investment in recent years. Resource recovery
and waste recycling is rare, partly because of limited markets
for recovered materials. Waste disposal facilities are generally
poor, particularly the design and management of landfills.
The geographic and climatic range of the NIS
means that the area has a rich biodiversity and is home to many
endangered and threatened species. lack of finance and weal enforcement
of environment protection measures have lead to the increasing
exploitation of natural resources in protected areas. Another
significant threat to biodiversity is the contamination of the
Large scale deforestation is raising serious
concerns about the sustainability of existing forests which are
of national and global significance. Agricultural policies have
resulted in widespread soil erosion and over-fishing, pollution,
salinisation and irrigation schemes have diminished fish stocks.
It is necessary to develop policies which allow for the sustainable
use of natural resources and to integrate biodiversity concerns
into policy development in other sectors.