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The Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program was created by EPA to develop the capability for tracking the changing conditions of our natural resources and to give environmental policy the advantages ofa sound scientific understanding of trends. Former EPA Administrators recognized early that contemporary monitoring programs could not even quantify simple unknowns like the number of lakes suffering from acid rain, let along determine if national control policies were benefiting these lakes. Today, adding to acidification impacts are truly complex problems such as determining the effects of climate change, of increases in ultraviolet light, toxic chemicals, eutrophication and critical habitat loss. Also today, the Government Performance and Results Act seeks to have agencies develop performance standards based on results rather than simply on levels of programmatic activities. The charge to EMAP of ecosystems is, therefore, the same today as it was a with respect to measuring the condition decade ago. We welcome the increasing urgency for sound scientific monitoring methods and data by efforts to protect and improve the environment. Systematic nationwide monitoring of natural resources is more than anyone program can accomplish, however. In an era of declining budgets, it is crucial that monitoring programs at all levels of government coordinate and share environmental data. EMAP resources are dwarfed by the more than $500 million spent on federal monitoring activities each year.
This text analyses several manifestations of the growing "environmental justice movement", and also of "popular environmentalism" and the "environmentalism of the poor", which will be seen in the coming decades as driving forces in the process to achieve an ecologically sustainable society. The author studies, in detail, many ecological distribution conflicts in history and at present, in urban and rural settings, showing how poor people often favour resource conservation. The environment is thus not so much a luxury of the rich as a neccessity of the poor. It concludes with the fundamental questions: who has the right to impose a language of valuation and who has the power to simplify complexity?
The Berne Symposium invited leading scientists of risk assessment research with transgenic crops on an international level in order to enhance the discussion regulators and members of the biotech industry. The goal was to determine the status quo and also to make progress in times of a first global spread of transgenes in agrosystems about risk assessment. The dialogue between scientists, regulators and industry representatives also revealed some lacunes of risk assessment research, which will have to be filled in the future: We still lack longterm experience, for which we will have to collect data with scientific precision. The symposium concluded asking for a risk-oriented longterm monitoring system based on critical science and hard data. This volume presents the discussion sessions as well as the scientific contributions and thus mirrors the risk assessment debate, based not on exaggerated negative scenarios but on critical science and hard data.
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