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Topic One Biological Diversity and Sustainable Development The depletion of biological diversity is an increasing area of concern While the countrys wildlife is among the richest and most diverse in Europe changes in farming practices trans-boundary pollution and urbanization are threatening natural habitats Urbanization throughout Latvia has created poor conditions in large cities Industrial towns produce large amounts of air pollution wastewater and solid waste As a result there are deteriorating health and environmental conditions The average life expectancy in Latvia is the lowest in Europe for men and one of the lowest for women and it is continuously decreasing Cardiovascular diseases increased as a cause of adult death During the last 10 years also the incidence of lung cancer increased by 30 These conditions are significantly damaging the populations attitudes and outlooks creating additional social and environmental problems Latvia would like to create an efficient environmental management system in conjunction with boarding countries to develop an integrated monitoring system for pollution Only 3 of the total air pollution is caused by stationary sources in Latvia It is proven that Germany and Poland cause about 40 of the total sulfur pollution in Latvia but also 45 of nitrogen oxide pollution come from Germany Poland and Great Britain Over half of the total water drainage comes from neighboring countries While Latvia has asked for there cooperation it is virtually impossible for Latvia to enforce such request Many environmental problems in Latvia have been aggravated as a result of inadequate attention being given to environmental issues in the development of urban areas as well as the use of out dated technologies The application of modern equipment in order to diminish emissions of harmful substances should be employed According to the official statistics less than two percent of Latvias gross national product went to environmental protection It is estimated that it would require at least five times more money than presently available to stabilize
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