1. The Report of the Brundtland Commission - established by the United Nations - was published. The report introduces the idea of a sustainable development as a "... development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."

  2. 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

  3. The Waste Oil Ordinance (Altölverordnung) prescribes conditions for reprocessing, lays down provisions for monitoring and specifies requirements for the return of used combustion engine and gear oils. For the first time, a product group is subject to provisions stipulating that manufacturers remain responsible for their product after it has become waste.

  4. A banner protesting against North Sea pollution by the Elbanrainer states is hung from the Georgi-Dimitrov Bridge by East German Greenpeace supporters. Water samples from the GDR prove the accusation.

  5. When a valve which had been accidentally left open is repaired, 107 l of cooling water are released (source: Greenpeace).

  6. No more leaded petrol at German petrol stations.

  7. Biotope of the Year is organised by Naturschutz-Zentrum Hessen; Organisationsbüro "biotop des Jahres"; Friedenstr. 38; D-35578 Wetzlar; Tel.: +49 6441 924800; info@nzh-projekt-gmbh.de

  8. Flower of the Year 1988 is the Water Arum (Calla palustris).

  9. Seepage of mineral fertilisers (phosphates) causes chrysochromulina algae to explode in the coastal seas. Life in the upper regions of the sea is suffocated.

  10. The battery industry and retailers commit themselves to accept used wet or dry batteries and power cells, and to dispose of them properly. A staged reduction in the mercury content of Alkali-Manganese batteries is also agreed. This is a significant source of mercury in domestic waste.

  11. Bird of the Year 1988 is the Wryneck (Jynx torquilla).

  12. In January 1988, a four-million gallon oil storage tank owned by Ashland Oil Company, Inc., split apart and collapsed at an Ashland oil storage facility located in Floreffe, Pennsylvania, near the Monongahela River. The tank split while being filled to capacity for the first time after it had been dismantled and moved from an Ohio location and reassembled at the Floreffe facility. The split released diesel oil over the tank's containment dikes, across a parking lot on an adjacent property, and into an uncapped storm drain that emptied directly into the river. Within minutes the oil slick moved miles down river, washing over two dam locks and dispersing throughout the width and depth of the river. The oil was carried by the Monongahela River into the Ohio River, temporarily contaminating drinking water sources for an estimated one million people in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Ohio, contaminating river ecosystems and killing wildlife.

  13. The cargo ship "Anne Broere" sinks with c. 248 hl of toxic acrylonitrile.

  14. Four climbers scale the chimney stack at the Luxembourg steelworks "Arbed-Belval", whose sulphur dioxide emissions contribute to acid rain.

  15. The campaign against chlorine bleaching continues in southern Norway with the ascent of a chimney stack at the "Borregaard" pulp and paper factory.

  16. An electrical fault closes all the valves in the main steam system. An unsuccessful attempt to open them manually creates a shock wave in the steam lines, which can fortunately withstand the pressure. Otherwise, a meltdown could have been the result (source: Greenpeace).

  17. Four activists climb a crane at the heavily guarded building site, and unroll a massive banner: "Solar energy, not plutonium"

  18. On 10 November 1988, the Liberian tanker Odyssey, almost fully loaded with a cargo of 132,157 tonnes of crude oil, broke in half and sank 700 nautical miles off the coast of Newfoundland in the Atlantic.

  19. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was created in 1988. It was set up by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) to prepare, based on available scientific information, assessments on all aspects of climate change and its impacts, with a view of formulating realistic response strategies. The initial task for the IPCC as outlined in UN General Assembly Resolution 43/53 of 6 December 1988 was to prepare a comprehensive review and recommendations with respect to the state of knowledge of the science of climate change; the social and economic impact of climate change, and possible response strategies and elements for inclusion in a possible future international convention on climate.

  20. Bird of the Year 1989 is the Reed Warbler (Acrocephalus scirpaceus).

  21. The Frankfurt Conference adopted a key, pioneering document, the European charta "Environment and Health". The charta defines rights and obligations, among other things. A European Centre for Environment and Health was established.

  22. Flower of the Year 1989 is the Carthusian Pink (Dianthus carthusianorum).

  23. Tree of the Year is organised by Kuratorium Baum des Jahres; Kneippstr. 15; D-95615 Marktredwitz; Tel.: +49 9231 985848; Fax: +49 9231 82927; Email:kbj@fichtelgebirge.org

  24. Tree of the Year 1989 is the Pedunculate Oak or English oak (Quercus robur).

  25. Landscape of the Year is organised by Naturfreunde Internationale; Diefenbachgassen 36; A-1150 Wien; Tel.: +43 1 8923877; Fax: +43 1 8129789, nfi@nfi.at. Projektbüro: Burkhard Teichert, Tel. 03361-760705, ldj@naturfreunde-brandenburg.de

  26. Landscape of the Year: the Lake Constance region.

  27. Orchid of the Year is organised by Arbeitskreis Heimische Orchideen (AHO); Zur Hainerde 26, D-61169 Friedberg, Tel. 06031-14014, hblatt@europorchid.de

  28. Orchid of the Year 1989: Western marsh orchid (Dactylorhiza majalis)

  29. BUND presents its first BUNDruf, a professional information and advertising campaign to find sponsors and attract donations. This campaign has the topic tropical rain forests.

  30. The Argentinian tanker and supply ship "Bahia Paraiso" strikes a rock south of Cape Horn and sinks. 1,000 t diesel form a 10 km long oil slick on the hitherto untouched coast of the Antarctic.

  31. The "Bahia Paraiso" spills c. 680 t diesel oil.

  32. 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).

  33. The Exxon Valdez runs aground on a reef (the captain was drunk), losing c. 40,000 t crude oil. 7,000 km of coastline are polluted, the cleanup and compensation for the State of Alaska and affected residents cost 2.5 billion US$. An additional fine of 15 billion US$ was demanded.

  34. 250 activists occupy Hoechst's site at Frankfurt and demand a halt to CFC production. On 29th and 30th August, DuPont in Deepwater, New jersey is the target. The water tower is occupied and a delivery of CFCs is blocked for 8 hours.

  35. On 10 July 1989, Rainbow Warrior II was launched in Hamburg, the fourth anniversary of the sinking of her predecessor, the original Rainbow Warrior.

  36. When the freighter "Oostzee" enters heavy seas, some of the 4,000 barrels of epichlorhydrin begin to leak, although extensive salvage efforts prevent a catastrophe.

  37. The first Tropical Forest Day was celebrated in Germany on 14th of September, 1989.

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