Mother Earth suffered more blows in 2004

Assessments have been made of the past year – in the sectors of education, health or agriculture, to name a few – but what was the balance sheet like for the environment, an area so indissolubly linked to quality of life and health? Looking back on the year’s news, losses rather appear to outweigh gains. In the critical battle against global warming, one small victory was won when Russia signed the Kyoto Protocol on the reduction of greenhouse gases, thus mandating its implementation. But, by common consensus, this is only a first, tiny step by humanity in the right direction. And time is running out. There is also bad news with respect to the other great threat to biodiversity, genetically modified products. Succumbing to pressure, the European Commission is beginning to approve products containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs) one by one, despite growing opposition by EU citizens to the genetic threat. Kathimerini asked the heads of two large environmental organizations in Greece, WWF and Greenpeace, to give the picture for the environment in 2004, as manifested through larger and smaller events.