Earthprint Ltd

The Kosovo Conflict Consequences for the Environment & Human Settlements

The final report of the Joint UNEP/UNCHS (Habitat) Balkans Task Force (BTF) is a detailed assessment of the environmental and human settlement consequences of the Kosovo conflict.The BTF concludes that the Kosovo conflict did not cause an environmental catastrophe affecting the Balkans region as a whole, but that pollution detected at four environmental 'hot spots' (Pancevo, Kragujevac, Novi Sad and Bor), is serious and poses a threat to human health. At these sites, all in Serbia, immediate clean-up action, which should be seen as a part of humanitarian assistance to the region, is called for. The BTF report also concludes that much of the pollution identified pre-dates the conflict, that there is widespread evidence of long-term deficiencies in the treatment of hazardous waste, and that in Kosovo the human settlement problem is not just about reconstructing houses but a question of establishing administrative procedures that will give people security of tenure.
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