ECOLOGICAL RISKS IN THE CONTEXT OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: STATISTICAL FIGURES IN LATVIA

I. Briska

Abstract


A traditional tendency of modern society is a course towards sustainable development, raising of living standards, and technological progress; however, the quality of life should be improved while preserving the environment. To achieve this goal it is necessary to strike a balance between the activities of the industrial society and real environmental resources. As early as in the previous century it was considered that environmental issues meant only the lack of natural resources, i.e., it was merely a problem of economical nature requiring economical solution. Nowadays the lack of environmental resources has not lost its urgency. So far as environmental problems and their comprehension grew deeper, environmental protection became an instant part of political and social agenda. The objective, materials, and methods of the paper In the long view it can be said that the expansion of industrialization generates more and more serious risks or side effects to deal with. The Central Statistical Bureau of the Republic of Latvia (the CSB) investigates, registers, and summarizes various variables related to the environment. Evaluation of environmental figures over a period of several years provides an opportunity to apprehend the dynamics of ecological risks in the country. Positive dynamics shows the development of environmental consciousness of the Latvian people, which is an important condition for a sustainable development of the country. Within the framework of this article the analysis of the dynamics of environmental risks is performed on the basis of the data collected by the CSB regarding various environmental aspects during the period from 1996 to 2011. Results Characterizing the dynamics of environmental risks in Latvia over the last five years it should be concluded that the country has invested more and more funds in the field of environmental protection, thus achieving that in respect of several indices, e.g., the level of air pollution, Latvia today has less expressed risks that could endanger ecological situation in the country than other European countries. However, there are some figures, e.g., in the field of waste storage and treatment in Latvia, that are still at an unsatisfactory level, thus creating the possibility that the country risks in this field could be greater than in other countries of the European Union. Conclusions Considering the development of Latvia from the point of view of sustainable development on the basis of the dynamics of environmental figures it should be concluded that Latvia has all possibilities to become a developed European country, where people would be committed to environmental culture and be characterized by environmental consciousness and way of thinking. Such a developed society, in its turn, has always been a guarantor of future sustainable development for each country.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5755/j01.eis.0.7.4328


Keywords


sustainable development; ecological risks; environmental statistics

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Print ISSN: 1822-8402
Online ISSN: 2335-8831