The Environment Chronicle

Notable environmental events between 2007 and 2007 Deselect

  1. An oil spill of unknown origin was detected on 26 December 2007 along the coast of Chubut Province in Argentinia, approximately 1,740 km south of Buenos Aires. The spill covered an area of 24 square kilometres in the Atlantic Ocean. The oil affected hundreds of birds around region.

  2. On 19 December 2007, the General Assembly declared the period 2010-2020 as the United Nations Decade for Deserts and the Fight against Desertification, on the recommendation of the Governing Council of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) (resolution 62/195).

  3. The International Polar Year 2007/08 was launched in March 2007, and will continue through early 2009. During this time, a regular sequence of International Polar Days will raise awareness and provide information about particular and timely aspects of the polar regions. December 13th, 2007 was the second International Polar Day, this time focusing on Ice Sheets.

  4. During oil offloading from the Statfjord A platform in the North Sea, about 4,000 standard cubic metres of crude oil was spilled into the sea on 12 December 2007. The spill occurred when the tanker Navion Britannia was loading oil from a loading buoy. The Statfjord field is located around 200 kilometres west of Bergen, close to the border of the UK continental shelf.

  5. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and Al Gore (former vice-president of the USA) receive Nobel Peace Prize "for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change."

  6. On Friday 7 December 2007, the oil tanker the Hebei Spirit was anchored in front of the Port of Incheon on the west coast of South Korea, south of Seoul, when it was hit by the barge Samsung 1. This collision led to 3 breaches in the hull of the Hebei Spirit, and a spill of at least 10,000 tonnes of crude oil into the Yellow Sea.

  7. Each year the Gesellschaft für deutsche Sprache (GfdS) announces its selection of the top-ranked words of the year. The German "Word of the Year" for 2007 is Klimakatastrophe.

  8. The 13th Conference of the Parties (COP 13) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the 3rd Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP 3) 13 took place from 3 to 14 December 2007 in Bali, Indonesia. The conference culminated in the adoption of the Bali Action Plan. In this Action Plan the Parties to the FCCC agreed to negotiate issues such as concrete commitments and contributions from all countries to emissions reductions (including a reduction of deforestation), adaptation, technology and financing up to and beyond 2012. Originally, these negotiations were to be concluded at the 15th Conference of the Parties (COP 15) in Copenhagen. In Durban it was decided that the work was to be concluded in Doha.

  9. On 23 November 2007 the Liberian registered passenger vessel Explorer sank in a position 25 miles southeast of Penguin Island in the Bransfield Strait near to the South Shetland Islands in about 1300 meters of water.

  10. Dresden Elbe Valley has received the UNESCO World Heritage status in 2004. In 2006 it has been placed on the red list because of the planned Waldschlößchen bridge. The building of this bridge has been started on November, 19th 2007. UNESCO is expected to retract World Heritage status in July 2008.

  11. A storm on Sunday, 11 November 2007, broke a Russian oil tanker, the Volgoneft-139, in half spilling at least 1,300 tonnes of fuel oil in the Kerch strait between the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov.

  12. The container ship Cosco Busan struck the San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge in thick fog on November 7. 58,000 gallons (220,000 litres) of fuel oil spilled into San Francisco Bay.

  13. The National Strategy on Biological Diversity was adopted by the federal cabinet on 7 November 2007.

  14. The International Polar Year 2007/08 was launched in March 2007, and will continue through early 2009. During this time, a regular sequence of International Polar Days will raise awareness and provide information about particular and timely aspects of the polar regions. On September 21, 2007, the International Polar Year (IPY) was launched its first ‘International Polar Day’, focusing on Sea Ice.

  15. The collision between the double-hulled oil tanker Torm Gertrud and the bulk carrier New Flame occurred off the coast of Gibraltar on 12 August 2007. The vessel broke up into two on 22 December amid numerous unsuccessful recovery efforts. On 11 February the New Flame sank almost completely only its upper section could be seen above the surface. The wreck of New Flame has caused several oil spills.

  16. World Ranger Day commemorates rangers killed or injured in the line of duty, and celebrates the work rangers do to protect the world’s natural and cultural treasures. World Ranger Day is observed annually on the 31st of July, and is promoted by the 54 member associations of the International Ranger Federation, by our partner the Thin Green Line Foundation, and by individuals who support the work of Rangers and the IRF. The first World Ranger Day was observed in 2007 on the 15th anniversary of the founding of the IRF.

  17. The World Heritage Committee took the unprecedented decision of removing a site from UNESCO's World Heritage List: the Arabian Oryx Sanctuary (Oman), home to the rare antelope, because of Oman’s decision to reduce the size of the protected area by 90%, in contravention of the Operational Guidelines of the Convention. In 1996, the population of the Arabian Oryx in the site was at 450 but it has since dwindled to 65.

  18. The Amendments of Act for Protection against Aircraft Noise entered into force on 7 June 2007.

  19. Heavy rainstorms caused by an extraordinary weather situation led to major floodings in parts of the UK. During June and July 2007 a large low-pressure area coming from the Atlantic Ocean was trapped over Wales and England.

  20. The REACH Regulation entered into force on 1st June 2007 to streamline and improve the former legislative framework for chemicals of the European Union (EU).

  21. The new German Washing & Cleaning Agnets Act entered into force on 5 May 2007. The new law aligns the regulations in force in Germany up to now with the guidelines of the EU Detergents Regulation (EC/648/2004) in effect since 8 October 2005.

  22. An alliance of 44 stakeholders joined the European Commission in organising the first ever European Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW). This initiative, destined to be the key annual reference point for sustainable energy issues, brought together more than 5,000 experts and decision-makers at a multitude of events in Belgium, Austria, France and Spain during the week of 29 January 2007. Key events of the EUSEW week included the European Renewable Energy Policy Conference and the annual ManagEnergy Conference, which generated ideas, and developed solutions and action plans for different sectors of the economy. The European Commission intends to repeat this very successful event next year.

  23. Some 370 tonnes of oil have seeped from the 180-metre (600-foot) Cypriot-flagged vessel which ran aground and split in two in heavy weather off Norway's west coast on Friday night. An oil slick from the grounded cargo ship has covered some 440 birds in oil.

  24. Insect of the Year 2007 is the Black-and-Red-bug (Lygaeus equestris).

  25. Endangered Breed of the Year 2007 is the Murnau-Werdenfels cattle.

  26. Flower of the Year: Water avens (Geum rivale)

  27. Bird of the Year 2007 is the Common Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus).

  28. Animal of the Year: Moose or Elk (Alces alces)

  29. Tree of the Year 2007 is the Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris ).

  30. Medicinal Herb of the Year: Sweet Violet (Viola odorata)

  31. Poisonous Plant of the Year is the Common Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea).

  32. Medicinal Plant of the Year 2007 is the Common hop (Humulus lupulus).

  33. Members of the Phycological Section of the German Botanical Society who conduct research on algae nominate kelp ‘alga of the year’.

  34. Perennial Herb of the Year is the Veronica.

  35. Moss of the Year is the Common Wall Moss (Grimmia pulvinata).

  36. On the occasion of the World Soil Day 2006 the Soil of the Year 2007 has been proclaimed. The curatorship “Soil of the Year” chose the Podsol/Podzol.

  37. The UN Convention on Migratory Species, together with its specialized agreements on dolphin conservation ACCOBAMS and ASCOBANS and the WDCS, the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society, have declared 2007 the Year of the Dolphin.

  38. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has launched a major worldwide tree planting campaign. Under the "Plant for the Planet: Billion Tree Campaign" people, communities, organizations, business and industry, civil society and governments are being encouraged to plant trees and enter their tree planting pledges on this web site. The objective is to plant at least one billion trees worldwide in 2007. The idea for the "Plant for the Planet: Billion Tree Campaign" was inspired by Professor Wangari Maathai, Nobel Peace Prize laureate for 2004 and founder of Kenya’s Green Belt Movement, which has planted more than 30 million trees in 12 African countries since 1977.