RISK SOCIETY IN LATVIA: CHARACTERISTICS OF ENVIRONMENTAL ASPECTS
In the conditions of the contemporary risk society the alternate nature and the variety of risks issue a serious challenge to the world community, which requires an urgent solution.
Today the principle of sustainable development takes an increasing signiﬁcance in the policies of all countries. The concept of sustainable development is based upon the balance between ﬁnancial, social and ecological resources of our planet. Successful management of all these resources would ensure the sustainability.
Achievement of the goals of sustainable development, in its turn, requires conjoint actions of governments, local authorities, businesses and each individual.
This article is aimed at the analysis of actions taken by world-wide organisations, governments, and local authorities to provide sustainable development, including legislative, institutional, regulatory and public efforts exerted at all levels in the sphere of identiﬁcation, assessment and management of environmental risks under the conditions of risk society. The volume of the article unfortunately dose not allow covering of all aspects related to this issue, as well as setting up a thorough discourse in this matter. Therefore, the article provides a brief analysis of theoretical base of the concept of the risk society and the idea of sustainable development and reviews legal, institutional, and regulatory instruments applied for identiﬁcation, assessment and management of environmental risks applied both globally and in Latvia. It also stresses the signiﬁcance of rising environmental risk awareness and promotion of readiness for ecological conduct, as it would facilitate meeting the goals of sustainable development by more active participation of population in the activities targeted at the environment protection in general, and preservation and restoration of the natural resources.
The article also describes the current level of public awareness of environmental problems in Latvia, as well as the problems the Latvian residents consider to be of highest priority in the ﬁeld of environment. The readiness of the Latvian population to contribute to environment protection by individual activities is also assessed on the basis of statistical data acquired in the course of the research conducted for the purposes of this article.