The Environment Chronicle Notable environmental events between 1980 and 1989 Deselect
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- 1800 26 Events
- 1900 5 Events
- 1910 6 Events
- 1920 6 Events
- 1930 7 Events
- 1940 7 Events
- 1950 15 Events
- 1960 25 Events
- 1970 106 Events
- 1980 138 Events
- 1990 271 Events
- 2000 30 Events
- 2001 32 Events
- 2002 39 Events
- 2003 37 Events
- 2004 44 Events
- 2005 47 Events
- 2006 46 Events
- 2007 57 Events
- 2008 119 Events
- 2009 286 Events
- 2010 315 Events
- 2011 293 Events
- 2012 231 Events
- 2013 331 Events
- 2014 366 Events
- 2015 373 Events
- 2016 341 Events
- 2017 303 Events
- 2018 25 Events
- 2019 4 Events
A banner reading " Time to Stop Nuclear Testing" flies from the face of Big Ben.
New York's Statue of Liberty sports a banner: "Give me Liberty from Nuclear Weapons Testing".
The Sellafield nuclear reprocessing plant in England contaminates the sea by releasing radioactive water.
BUND's youth section, BUNDjugend, is founded in Bad Ems.
A defective tank at the Union Carbide pesticide factory in Bhopal leaks methylisocyanate, resulting in 3,400 deaths and c. 200,000 serious injuries.
The FEA makes its first attempt to put concrete values on environmental damage, in order to respond to the arguments of industry. Today, monetarising environmental damage is an economic tool.
Bird of the Year 1985 is the Red-backed Shrike (Lanius collurio).
The idea of creating an archive for environmental specimens was first proposed by German and American scientists in the early 1970s. Experts in various scientific disciplines got together for informal discussions, leading to the first international conferences held in 1977 and 1978 to define a concept for environmental specimen banking and to agree on the choice of bioindicators. The feasibility of setting up an environmental specimen bank was finally demonstrated by a pilot project launched in 1979. This was followed by the creation of the human specimen archive at the University of Münster in late 1980. Trial operations of the environmental specimen bank started in May 1981 at the Research Centre Jülich. The pilot project was so successful that the BMI decided to set up a national environmental specimen bank as a permanent national institution, to be co-ordinated by the German Federal Environmental Agency (UBA), with effect from January 1985. In 1986, overall responsibility was transferred to the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU).The Federal Environmental Agency (UBA) is responsible for the administration and co-ordination, the central data maintenance and the assessment. Currently six external institutions support the UBA in different tasks.
Flower of the Year: Columbine (Aquilegia vulgaris)
30 years ago, atomic surface tests by the USA contaminated the atoll Rongelap, the third largest of the Marshall islands, radioactively. As more and more children and adults become ill, the 350 inhabitants decide to resettle elsewhere. The evacuation is conducted by Greenpeace.
The Indian project plans 30 major dams, something over 100 smaller dams and hydroelectric plants, as well as 80,000 km of canals in an irrigation and drainage system, to make desert land fertile, feed 20 million and create 1 million jobs. The water of the river most affected, the Narmada, is sacred to Hindus. In realising the project, 100,000 Dravidians (who enjoy no civil rights) must be relocated.
Determining exhaust gas limits and regularly checking pollutant emissions by motor vehicles is based on preliminary work by the FEA. Gradually extending and tightening regulations forces the increasing use of catalytic converters. In 1998, 71% of all journeys are made in vehicles with controlled three-way catalytic converter.
The FEA develops many instruments to monitor current pollution. The Environmental Survey, first made in 1985, provides a snapshot of pollution. Levels of certain pollutants are analysed in blood, urine and hair samples from a representative group of 4,000 Germans. Archives are maintained, and the Human Samples project at Münster University stores frozen organ samples for later testing, to identify long-term trends. A parallel environmental sample database is set up at the Jülich research institute.
In the Federal Republic of Germany a smog alarm of level III was declared for the first time. Mainly the western Ruhr Basin was affected. Level III of the Smog Ordinance included a temporal ban on driving for private cars. The industrial production had to be reduced. The matter was the so-called "London-Smog". The interaction of fog and smoke prevented the pollutants to dissolve in the air. This kind of smog has become rare in the western industrial countries due to numerous counteractive measures.
The international campaign for lead-free petrol starts by blockading the "Essi Flora", with its cargo of leaded petrol additives, in the French port of Saint-Nazaire.
Two activists scale the 73 m chimney stack of the British company Tioxide; four days later, an international team seals the company's waste pipe, as it refuses to halt the dumping of Titan dioxide in the North Sea.
Tests later showed that the entire high pressure cooling system was not in working order. Only a small leak in the primary cooling system would very probably have caused a meltdown (source: Greenpeace).
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.
Shortly before a new protest against further atomic tests on Moruroa, the French secret service scuttles the Rainbow Warrior in Auckland harbour in New Zealand. The Portuguese photographer Fernando Pereira drown in his cabin. To French agents are caught and condemned by a New Zealand court. Public animosity against Greenpeace becomes so strong in France that the Paris office must be shut down. The International Court in the Hague sentences France to pay $7.5 million compensation.
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.
In 1985 a joint UNEP/WMO/ICSU Conference was convened in Villach (Austria) on the “Assessment of the Role of Carbon Dioxide and of Other Greenhouse Gases in Climate Variations and Associated Impacts”. The conference concluded, that “as a result of the increasing greenhouse gases it is now believed that in the first half of the next century (21st century) a rise of global mean temperature could occur which is greater than in any man’s history.”
Bird of the Year 1986 is the Rook (Corvus frugilegus).
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.
Flower of the Year 1986: Arnica (Arnica montana)
Following a fire and minor explosion in one of the four reactors in the Ukrainian atomic power station Chernobyl, 10,000 km2 of the surrounding area is contaminated radioactively, affecting 640 communities and 230,000 inhabitants. There are 35 immediate fatalities, and opinion is still divided as to the extent of the long-term consequences.
Greenpeace Sweden starts the European campaign for chlorine-free paper production, unloading half a tonne of deformed fish at the door of the pulp producer Värö Bruk
After the reactor disaster at Chernobyl and other considerations, Germany creates an independent Federal Ministry for the Environment.
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.
World Habitat Day is observed every year on the first Monday of October throughout the world. It was officially designated by the United Nations and first celebrated in 1986. The purpose of the day is to reflect on the state of our cities and towns and the basic human right to adequate shelter. It also aims to remind the world of its collective responsibility for the habitat of future generations.
During a serious accident at a chemicals plant in Basel, the waste water system lets c. 400 l of atrazine (a crop protection agent) into the Rhine.
Water used to extinguish a major fire carries c. 30 t fungicide containing mercury into the Upper Rhine. Fish are killed over a stretch of 100 km. The shock drives many FEA projects forwards. See also "Pollution of the Rhine at Basel / Sandoz".
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.
The European Union starts its Year of the Environment
Bird of the Year 1987 is the Whinchat (Saxicola rubetra).
Greenpeace sets up its own station in the Antarctic, to research environmental damage from geological exploration and economic use.
Flower of the Year 1987 is the Sea holly (Eryngium maritimum).
The first "Environmental Field Hospitals" are set up at universities and institutes concerned with public and occupational health, e.g. the RWTH Institute for Hygiene and Environmental Medicine in Aachen (1987) and the Medical Institute for Environmental Hygiene in Düsseldorf (1989).
BUND initiates and coordinates an international initiative on butterflies.
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.
The "Herald of Free Enterprise" capsizes off Zebrugge, killing 193. Some of the vehicles aboard are carrying dangerous loads, which pollute the North Sea.