The Environment Chronicle

Notable environmental events between 1980 and 1989 Deselect

  1. Within the portfolio of the Home Affairs Minister, an independent federal authority is set up, the Federal Office for Radiation Protection.

  2. Special protection shall be provided for the listed wild flora and fauna.

  3. In Basel (CH) the Convention on the control of transboundary movements of hazardous wastes and their disposal (Basel Convention) was adopted on. The Convention aims in introducing a system for controlling the export, import and disposal of hazardous wastes and their disposal, to reduce the volume of such exchanges so as to protect human health and the environment. It entered into force on 5th of May, 1992. The European Community has implemented the Basel Convention by the Council Directive on waste disposal (91/156/EEC) legally binding for all member states (entered into force in 1993).

  4. The Montreal protocol is the product of one of the first global environmental conventions, agreed in Vienna in 1985. It deals with ozone depleting substances. 24 countries and the EU commit themselves to stop using fully halogenated CFCs. Germany is one of the first to implement the protocol: the federal government passes the Ordinance Prohibiting CFC Halons in 1991

  5. Washing and cleansing agents may be sold only if every avoidable impairment to water quality , particularly in respect of the balance of nature and drinking water supplies, and to the operation of water treatment plants, is prevented. In 1994 the Federal Environmental Agency is charged with documenting manufacturers' information on basic compound recipes.

  6. To protect the population, radioactivity in the environment shall be monitored, exposure or contamination of humans and the environment by radiation in the case of events adjudged minor (taking into account the current state of scientific knowledge and other relevant factors) shall be minimised through appropriate action.

  7. Adopted in 1986 following the Chernobyl nuclear plant accident, this Convention establishes a notification system for nuclear accidents which have the potential for international transboundary release that could be of radiological safety significance for another State. It requires States to report the accident's time, location, radiation releases, and other data essential for assessing the situation. Notification is to be made to affected States directly or through the IAEA, and to the IAEA itself. Reporting is mandatory for any nuclear accident involving facilities and activities listed in Article 1. Pursuant to Article 3, States may notify other accidents as well. The five nuclear-weapon States (China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and United States) have all declared their intent also to report accidents involving nuclear weapons and nuclear weapons tests.

  8. The first "General Administrative Guidelines to the Federal Immissions Control Act" is rewritten to achieve a broad modernisation of industry. A study in North Rhine-Westphalia shows that emissions of carcinogens have fallen by 65% by 1994.

  9. The purpose of the act is 1. to support the research, development and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. 2. to protect life, public health and property from the hazards of nuclear energy and the harmful effects of ionising radiation, and to compensate any such damage. 3. to prevent the use or release of nuclear energy from risking the internal or external security of Germany. 4. to meet Germany's international commitments on nuclear energy and protection from radiation.

  10. The Vienna Convention is a framework convention on protection the ozone layer, whose actual implementation with regard to specific substances is left to later protocols and regulations.

  11. After lengthy preparation, with much involvement by the FEA, the ordinance comes into force. It regulates in particular permitted emissions from motor vehicles and large industrial furnaces. It is one of the most successful environmental measures in the history of federal Germany. In the former West Germany alone, emissions of sulphur dioxide fall by 89% by 1993. Emissions of nitrogen oxides and dust fall by 72% and 80%.

  12. Greenpeace's seal campaigns, in which Brigitte Bardot participates in 1977, and other factors stimulate resistance to the slaughter of baby seals to the level where the EU bans the import of baby seal products.