The Slovenia Times

EU Survey Points to Air Pollution, Attitude to Drinking Water

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The report was presented today, World Environment Day, by the Environment Agency (ARSO) and the European Environment Agency (EEA).

JoŇ°ko Knez, the head of the Slovenian Environment Agency, said a key challenge remained air pollution with particulates due to traffic and heating. Burning of improper wood has been on the rise due to the economic situation and damage to forests caused by last year's ice storm, Knez said.

Another challenge will be to improve people's attitude to the sources of drinking water, as there is not enough of environment's self-cleansing capability in the western Karst region and north-eastern Slovenia.

Knez called on everyone to contribute their part by using public transport, striving for energy efficiency, waste separation and smart farming.

He was also critical of the complex procedures which are preventing the implementation of environmental policies.

The report, presented by Jock Martin of the EEA, shows biotic diversity shrinking. Some 60% of species are protected, while 77% of types of habitats are in a poor state.

Particularly worrying is the state of maritime and coastal biotic diversity, which is being threatened by changes to the sea-bed, pollution, invasive species and acidification.

Waste management has meanwhile improved, as the share of recycled waste was up in 21 countries between 2004 and 2012, while in 27 out of 31 countries the share of waste generated was down.

Countries used less fossil fuel and there were less emissions from transport and industries.

ARSO also organised a round table debate today, where foreign and domestic experts discussed the issues of green economies.

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