Environment in the Transition to a Market Economy

Progress in Central and Eastern Europe and the New Independent States (Russian version)

Severe environmental problems were a key issue in the protests that marked the end of communist regimes in Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. This groundbreaking book provides new insights into the interaction between economic policy reforms, environmental protection efforts and environmental conditions in the region's subsequent transition to market-based economies and democratic societies over the past eight to ten years. The unique contribution of the book is its synthesis of a vast amount of information and cumulative experience together with detailed examples and case studies to provide a coherent analysis of the challenges and achievements in institutional strengthening and policy reform, environmental policy instruments, environmental financing, and environmental management in enterprises. It also reviews the development of domestic public participation and international co-operation for the safeguarding of the region's environment and discusses trends in industrial pollution and biodiversity protection.

The book shows that economic reforms provided a crucial stimulus for environmental improvement, leading to reductions in high pollution levels. Moreover, several countries have strengthened their domestic environmental policies, institutions, and financing, resulting in further improvements. Nonetheless, many serious problems remain, and others have grown worse over the transition period: in many countries of the former Soviet Union in particular, economic crises and political stagnation have impeded environmental protection efforts. Continued partnerships between governments of the region, OECD donor countries, international financial institutions and organisations, environmental NGOs, businesses and trade unions, as well as public support for these, will be essential to reinforce the environmental improvements achieved thus far.

Russian French, English