The Environment Chronicle

Notable environmental events between 2000 and 2000 Deselect

  1. The "Directive 2000/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing a framework for the Community action in the field of water policy" or short the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD) entered into force. All member states have approved the results of the mediation between the European Parliament and of the Council. Within the next 15 years rivers, lakes and costal waters shall gain a good quality. The protection of groundwater will be improved as well. Measures of protection of the groundwater quality shall be taken even before the boundary values have been reached. Further on, the prices for water shall gein® more transparency. The member states have to report their water pricing differentiated by the sectors industry, agriculture, and private households. The target is that the consumers have to bear the operational costs at least (as it is common practice in Germany) to ensure an efficient handling of this resource.

  2. On 20 December 2000, the European Commission adopted this decision: Article 1: Lindane is not included as an active substance in Annex I to Directive 91/414/EEC. Article 2: The Member States shall ensure that: 1. authorisations for plant-protection products containing lindane are withdrawn within a period of six months from the date of adoption of the present Decision; 2. from the date of adoption of the present Decision no authorisation for plant-protection products containing lindane will be granted or renewed under the derogation provided for in Article 8(2) of Directive 91/414/EEC.

  3. More than fourteen years after the disaster, the last of the atomic reactors has been taken off the grid in Chernobyl. However, innumerous landfills full of radiated materials are still remaining together with the open question, how and when the ramshackle reactor blocks themselves will be disposed.

  4. The Sixth session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 6) took place from 13 to 25 November 2000 in The Hague, The Netherlands. Expectations of the 6th Climate Change Conference were very high and disappointment in its failure consequently intense. The summit had aimed to clarify the details of the Kyoto Protocol, but was unable to achieve agreement between the umbrella group, which included US, Australia, Canada, Japan and Russia, the group of developing countries and the European Union. Parties therefore decided to hold a follow-up conference in 6 months' time, where efforts to reach agreement would be renewed.

  5. Around 4 million litres of crude oil escape from a burst pipeline belonging to the state-owned oil concern Petrobas into the Barigui and Iguacu rivers, 700 km south-west of Rio de Janeiro. The Iguacu flows through the Iguacu Falls national park. The oil slick, several cm thick, kills thousands of fish and birds and threatens the water supplies of some cities. The Iguacu Falls, one of the largest tourist attractions in brazil, are also threatened. Floating barriers are used to contain the slick while it is pumped off. The oil concern is fined tens of millions US$.

  6. The German Government has reached an historic agreement with energy companies for the gradual closing down of the country's 19 nuclear power stations. It means that Germany has become the first leading economic power officially to announce its intention to phase out the use of nuclear energy. Nuclear power plants would be shut down after a lifespan of 32 years. That means Germany's last nuclear plant could go off-line in about 20 years.

  7. World Turtle Day was initiated in 2000 by the American Tortoise Rescue, a turtle and tortoise rescue organization founded in 1990 in Malibu, California. The group brings attention to turtle conservation issues and highlights ways each of us can help protect these gentle but jeopardized animals.

  8. The purpose of this Act is to facilitate a sustainable development of energy supply in the interest of managing global warming and protecting the environment and to achieve a substantial increase in the percentage contribution made by renewable energy sources to power supply in order at least to double the share of renewable energy sources in total energy consumption by the year 2010, in keeping with the objectives defined by the European Union and by the Federal Republic of Germany.

  9. A storm and technical failure cause the dam at the Rumanian-Australian gold miner Aural's treatment plant to burst in the northern Rumanian city Baia Mare. 100,000 m_ mud contaminated with cyanide pour into Hungary's second largest river, the Theiss, and from there into the Danube. The Danube delta, previously environmentally intact, is threatened. The contamination kills thousands of fish and poisons drinking water.

  10. The 1992 Helsinki Convention on the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Baltic Sea Area has been frequently discussed and debated. It deals with the environment and biodiversity in both the seas and coastlines, and is legally binding in civil law.

  11. Vegetable of the Year 2000: Garden orache (Atriplex hortensis L.)

  12. Flower of the Year 2000 is the Purple Gromwell (Lithospermum purpurocaeruleum).

  13. Tree of the Year 2000 is the Silver Birch (Betula pendula).

  14. Fish of the Year 2000 is the Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar).

  15. Insect of the Year 2000 is the green rose chafer (Cetonia aurata).

  16. Orchid of the Year: Red Helleborine (Cephalanthera rubra)

  17. Fungus of the Year 2000 is the Amanita regalis commonly known as the royal fly agaric or the king of Sweden Amanita.

  18. Bird of the Year 2000 is the Red Kite (Milvus milvus).

  19. Animal of the Year 2000 is the Aesculapian snake (Elaphe longissima).