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Environment Under Review
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Regional News

On Euronews: Watch UN Environment’s field mission in Serbia – as if you were setting foot in this abandoned factory site

Thanks to the 360° video made by Euronews to film the first UN Environment field mission on soil contaminated by industry in Serbia, you will have the impression you were part of the expert team on the ground!

Drag your mouse to turn the camera on this video and visit the abandoned chemicals plant and watch our experts take samples of potentially contaminated water and soil.

This is the very first story Euronews and UN Environment are telling the world as part of their new partnership. The most-viewed European TV channel has taken on the challenge of informing people on health-related risks linked to soil polluted by heavy chemicals.

As you will see in the video, experts from Italy joined counterparts from Serbia to set up a soil sampling programme at two sites near the towns of Sabac and Loznica. The threat posed by potential chemical contamination at these two sites is multiplied by their proximity to urban areas and major rivers – Drina and Sava – as well as frequent accidents at the abandoned industrial sites.

The factories near Sabac and Loznica are just two of the 359 potentially contaminated sites being investigated across Serbia. The methodology seen in this video will be applied to other industrial areas across the country.

In one week time, results from the lab will reveal the extent of pollution at the site so that remediation efforts can begin.

In order to view the 360° report, which is being made available in multiple languages, click here. Get behind-the-scenes access to this UN Environment project site and see for yourself how a legacy of pollution is being tackled for a greener future!

For more information contact

#FridayFact: Green spaces are natural antidepressants! #GEO6

Green spaces are a natural cure for stress – altering the chemical balance in your brain, making you calm and at ease. A UK study found that the stress hormone cortisol was higher for people living near less green space.

With 80 per cent of the European population living in cities by 2030, we suggest that urban areas increase the amount of such spaces available - green roofs and “living walls”. This will improve people’s well-being and move towards a future of more tranquil cities.  

If this interests you, find out more on p.133 and p.284 in GEO-6 for the Pan-European Region.

Boost your knowledge on topical environmental issues and how they affect our daily lives!

Every week, UN Environment in Europe brings you a #Friday Fact from the sixth Global Environmental Outlook report for the pan-European region.

Follow us on twitter and discover every Friday our weekly fact - @UNEPinEurope

Europe’s old-growth forests need young ideas

Rich in biodiversity and wildlife, the Carpathian Mountains support the most precious natural forests in Europe. Not only do their old-growth forests harbour a large diversity of species, they also sequester great amounts of carbon – minimising the impacts of climate change and making their protection incredibly valuable.

Romania – known for its abundance of old-growth forests, which support the biggest populations of Brown Bear, Gray Wolf and Lynx in the Europe – experienced a 1.3% reduction of forest cover over the years 2000 to 2010. Remarkably, in 2007 it was recorded that 72% of Romania’s old-forest disturbances were in protected areas, highlighting the need for more effective management strategies in the region.

Determined to change this, the Carpathian Convention’s meeting on Sustainable Forest Management will take place on 26 - 27 September in Brasov, Romania.

The primary aim of the meeting is to establish a Carpathian inventory of old-growth or ‘virgin’ forests, so that conservation efforts can be maximised in those areas. There will also be a discussion on the recent application of the Sustainable Forest Management Protocol, where ideas can be shared on successful management practices.

The Carpathian Convention - administered by UN Environment - is made up of seven parties that facilitate a dialogue between all stakeholders involved in the Carpathian region, including: community groups, NGOs, governments, the European Union and the United Nations. These institutions work together to protect areas of high biodiversity in Carpathian forests.

Old-growth forests are those which have reached a great age without experiencing major levels of disturbances such as fires or logging, and hold enormous ecological importance.

If you are interested in finding out more about the outcomes of next week’s meeting contact

Author: Vanessa Burrows

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