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Harmful algal blooms in the West Central Atlantic, 1970-96 Harmful algal blooms in the West Central Atlantic, 1970-96
The graphic shows the trend of the number of harmful algal blooms in the Western Atlantic from 1970 to 1996. The excess growth of algae is often caused by pollution, and can have negative or fatal effects on some species of fish.
28 Sep 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Number of trees planted, world map - UNEP Billion Tree Campaign, May 2008 Number of trees planted, world map - UNEP Billion Tree Campaign, May 2008
The UNEP Billion Tree Campaign represents a unique worldwide tree planting initiative, aimed at empowering citizens to corporations and people up to presidents to embrace the climate change challenge. By 2008, 18 months since the launch of the initiative, the campaign has managed to catalyze the planting of two billion trees, double its original target. The campaign, spearheaded by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Agroforestry Ce...
28 Sep 2005 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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DPSIR framework for State of Environment Reporting DPSIR framework for State of Environment Reporting
The DPSIR framework (Driving Forces-Pressures-State-Impacts-Responses) is used to assess and manage environmental problems. Driving forces are the socio-economic and socio-cultural forces driving human activities, which increase or mitigate pressures on the environment. Pressures are the stresses that human activities place on the environment. State, or state of the environment, is the condition of the environment. Impacts are the effects of envi...
17 May 2005 - by Delphine Digout, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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The Caspian Sea drainage basin The Caspian Sea drainage basin
The Caspian Sea runs north and south, extending over 1,200 km, with an average width of 320 km. It covers approximately 400,000 sq km (an area slightly larger than Germany). The population of the region is about 14 million, distributed over the coastal provinces of five countries: 6.5 million in Iran, 3.9 million in Russia, 2.2 million in Azerbaijan, 0.8 million in Kazakhstan and 0.4 million in Turkmenistan.
04 Oct 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Greenland (Denmark), ice cap, topography and bathymetry Greenland (Denmark), ice cap, topography and bathymetry
Greenland is located in Northern North America, a large island between the Arctic Ocean and the North Atlantic Ocean, northeast of Canada, comprising 2,166,086 sq km. It has an estimated population of 56,375 (2005) and is managed with self-rule under Denmark. The world's largest island, Greenland is about 81% ice-capped. Major environmental concerns are: protection of the arctic environment; climate change and preservation of the traditional way ...
03 Oct 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Potential climate change impacts Potential climate change impacts
If greenhouse gas concentrations keep rising, climatic changes are likely to result. Those changes will potentially have wide-ranging effects on the environment and socio-economic and related sectors, such as health, agriculture, forests, water resources, coastal areas and biodiversity.
23 Feb 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Sensitivity, adaptability and vulnerability Sensitivity, adaptability and vulnerability
The potential impacts of climate change on the environment and socio-economic systems can be understood in terms of sensitivity, adaptability and vulnerability of the system, and this figure defines these terms.
17 May 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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168 Parties to the Basel Convention in 2006 168 Parties to the Basel Convention in 2006
By the 1980s, the international community launched treaty negotiations under the auspices of the United Nations Environment Programme. In March 1989, they adopted the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal. The treaty entered into force in 1992.
15 Dec 2006 - by Cécile Marin, Emmanuelle Bournay
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Mining and quarrying waste quantities in Europe Mining and quarrying waste quantities in Europe
At 29 per cent of total wastes generated and with over 400 million tonnes of materials, mining and quarrying account for the largest stream of waste generated by countries that are members of the Euro pean Environment Agency.
15 Dec 2006 - by Diana Rizzolio
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Waste management choices in Europe Waste management choices in Europe
Not long ago the amount and composition of waste was such that it could be simply diluted and dispersed into the environment. Most items were reused and only a few remained, that would not decompose naturally. With industrialisation and rising urban density, a new concept followed: collect and dump out of sight. The aim was to eliminate waste or at least protect the population from it. This generally involved either openly burning it (still pract...
15 Dec 2006 - by Emmanuelle Bournay
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Who is involved? (The making of international legislation) Who is involved? (The making of international legislation)
Recognizing that industrial society must fix this major flaw in the system, governments and many forward-looking companies started exploring solutions as early as the 1970s. The strong activism of civil society organizations and the interest of the media in cases of toxic waste dumping were central in bringing the issue on the international agenda. By the 1980s, the international community launched treaty negotiations under the auspices of the Un...
15 Dec 2006 - by Cécile Marin, Emmanuelle Bournay
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About the difficulties of classifying waste (and counting it) About the difficulties of classifying waste (and counting it)
A multitude of approaches exists to classify the various categories of waste. Waste can be sorted either by its origin (what activity has created it?), by its composition (what is it made of?), by the level of danger it poses to humans and the environment, or by the way it is managed and treated. Each of these approaches will lead to a list of wastes, and often those definitions are overlapping – yet another fact that complicates the collection ...
15 Dec 2006 - by Emmanuelle Bournay
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Caspian Sea and the world: the stage and the actors Caspian Sea and the world: the stage and the actors
The Caspian Sea region presents a wealth of opportunities in various aspect, including bioresources, transport corridors, and not ecotourism. These new ventures may bring increased prosperity, but they also put pressure on traditional rural communities and the environment.
29 Nov 2007 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Biodiversity in the Caspian Sea (Approximate numbers) Biodiversity in the Caspian Sea (Approximate numbers)
The region presents a wealth of opportunities in other areas, including bioresources, transport corridors, and not least ecotourism. These new ventures may bring increased prosperity, but they also put pressure on traditional rural communities and the environment. This graphic presents the number of species in the groups: phytoplankton, zooplankton, zoobenthos, fishes, marine and land mammals and birds.
22 Feb 2007 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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The Caspian Sea drainage basin The Caspian Sea drainage basin
The Caspian Sea runs north and south, extending over 1,200 km, with an average width of 320 km. It covers approximately 400,000 sq km (an area slightly larger than Germany). The population of the region is about 14 million, distributed over the coastal provinces of five countries: 6.5 million in Iran, 3.9 million in Russia, 2.2 million in Azerbaijan, 0.8 million in Kazakhstan and 0.4 million in Turkmenistan.
29 Nov 2007 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Mean sea surface temperature on the Caspian Sea Mean sea surface temperature on the Caspian Sea
Recent research by the Caspian Environment Programme estimates the number of living seals to be as low as 150,000. A further reduction in ice cover due to a warming climate could well be one of the major threats facing the Caspian seal in the future.
29 Nov 2007 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Discharge of pollutants in the Caspian Sea - mercury and cadmium Discharge of pollutants in the Caspian Sea - mercury and cadmium
Mercury and Cadmium are classified as toxic metals, and are persistant pollutants in the environment, that stays in the system and is accumulated through the food chains. The main release of these pollutants are on the west coast of the Caspian Sea, off the coast of Russia and Azerbaijan.
29 Nov 2007 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Origin and destination of selected invasive/alien species Origin and destination of selected invasive/alien species
Invasive and alien species that are brought into a new environment, either on purpose or by accident, can quickly exploit ecological niches that are not fully covered by indigenous (local) species. They will then quickly spread and outcompete the local wildlife.
29 Nov 2007 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Energy production, consumption and export - Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan Energy production, consumption and export - Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan
The land-based activities of the oil and gas industry in Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan have had a much more severe impact on the environment than marine activity. In particular the growth in hydrocarbon-related activity has destroyed the environmental balance of whole areas throughout the region.
29 Nov 2007 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Global costs of extreme weather events Global costs of extreme weather events
The loss data on great natural disasters in the last decades show a dramatic increase in catastrophe losses. A decade comparison since 1960 is shown in the table. The reasons for this development are manifold and encompass the increase in world population and the simultaneous concentration of people and values in large conurbations, the development of highly exposed regions and the high vulnerability of modern societies and technologies, and fina...
17 May 2005 - by Emmanuelle Bournay, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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