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CLRAE calls for emergency programme in Kosovo to repair ecological damage in wake of conflict

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STRASBOURG, 03.03.2000 - The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the COUNCIL OF EUROPE (CLRAE) has expressed its deep concern at the grave environmental situation in Kosovo following the conflict.
After examining the report on the environmental consequences of the Kosovo conflict by Sir John HARMAN (United Kingdom) and Joseph BORG (Malta), the CLRAE Standing Committee adopted a recommendation to the Committee of Ministers, inviting member States to recognise the gravity of the situation and implement emergency actions to avert immediate dangers due to the general ecological degradation in the region.

The Standing Committee pointed out that pollution had reached a critical level, especially in the areas of Pancevo, Kragujevac, Novi Sad and Bor where it poses both an immediate and a long-term threat to human health.

It stressed that this threat may have a negative impact on the social and political movement towards democratisation, and that an emergency clean-up programme must be put in place to prevent irreversible environmental damage. The Committee called on international donor organisations to support such actions under the umbrella of humanitarian aid.

The texts of the report and the recommendation are available from the Council of Europe Press Service.

Press contact : Dmitri Marchenkov, Council of Europe Press Service
Tel : +33 3 88 41 38 44 - Fax : +33 3 88 41 27 89
Email : pressunit@coe.int