Europe

An international conference, "Ecodevelopment, Europe's Role and Responsibility" took place in Parma, Italy on 4-5 November 1992. Organized by Italian NGO Lega per l'Ambiente, the conference sought to focus on the strategies for defining a strong European leadership role in the ecological conversion process in light of the current world situation.

Strengthening the position of NGOs in Central and Eastern Europe was the focus of the Vienna Conference on the Ecological Reconstruction of Central and Eastern Europe, which was held in Vienna, Austria on 15-17 November 1992. It explored possibilities and needs for East-West cooperation and for developing concrete NGO strategies for key environmental issues. The conference adopted an East-West Environmental Charter.

The European Environmental Ministers' Conference, which took place in Luzern, Switzerland in April 1993, was a follow-up to previous conferences on East-West environmental cooperation. Alongside preparations by an expert group of senior officials of environment ministers from all European countries, NGOs were working to provide direct input to the process. One of the most significant of the task forces which have been set up by the expert group is focussed on an "Environmental Action Programme for Central and Eastern Europe".

Environmental Contamination in Central and Eastern Europe was the subject of an international symposium and exhibition that took place in Budapest, Hungary from 20-23 September 1994. The meeting addressed issues related to the identification and evaluation of innovative technologies which could be used to solve environmental problems.

The mission of the Regional Environmental Center for Central and Eastern Europe (REC), established in June 1990, is to address the host of pressing environmental problems, common throughout the region, through the development of a civic society. Responding to growing private and public concern for the state of the environment in the region, the Center promotes interaction and cooperation among diverse environmental groups and interests in the region, acts as a catalyst for the support of organizations and individuals that develop or implement solutions to environmental problems in the region, and builds public participation in addressing environmental issues. REC serves NGOs, national governments, local and municipal governments, academic and scientific institutions and businesses, with special emphasis on supporting grassroots environmental movements.

A conference examining Environment and Quality of Life, Central Europe: Problems of Transition took place from 22-26 August in Prague, the Czech Republic. It was organized as a regional conference by the International Geographical Union and considered issues such as migration and the problem of refugees; politics and the environment; natural disasters, risks and dangers; environment and society, and climate and hydrological changes.

The Council of Europe has declared 1995 to be European Nature Conservation Year. Through this program, the Council intends to promote widespread environmental education and awareness under the theme of "Nature conservation outside protected areas" by inviting the participation of all European states. The goal of this campaign is to facilitate a new relationship between European citizens and their environment, one in which wildlife in both remote and populated areas can exist with people.