Note: This is the 1997 edition of UNEP's Global Environment Outlook. If you are interested in more recent information, please see the 2000 and 2002 editions.
United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
Global Environment Outlook-1 - The Web version


Chapter 2: Regional Perspectives

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Interaction of Environmental Problems

Environmental problems are mostly complex in nature with a myriad of interactions occurring both within and between the atmosphere and biosphere. Greenhouse gases and acidifying pollutants produced by industry, for example, have been shown to worsen the problem of ozone layer thinning when they interact. Sulphate aerosols, the by-products of industry and transport systems, have been found to mask the effects of global warming in the short term, particularly in industrialized areas of the northern hemisphere. Integrated solutions are therefore essential to halt complex environmental degradation of these types and to ameliorate their effects.

Although there is overall recognition that many specific environmental problems are inextricably linked to or influenced by one another, North America and western Europe are taking the lead in addressing such complex environmental concerns in an integrated manner through inter-agency approaches and multi-disciplinary teams within agencies. Action is also beginning to be taken in this regard in the industrialized quarters of Asia and the Pacific, Latin America, and West Asia.

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