Contents
Main Page
Foreword
Introduction
Managing Water Resources
Food Security for the Poor
Health Problems of the Poor
Environmental Management
 Algal Blooms
 Saving the Black Sea
Strengthening Nuclear Safety
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New Tools for Environmental Management

The economic costs of environmental degradation are rising dramatically in the developing world and now surpass 5 per cent of GDP a year in some countries. The seas and oceans that provide so much of the food supplies and incomes for millions of people are increasingly threatened with pollution from numerous sources.

Coral reefs so vital to coastal ecosystems throughout the world are under assault: nearly 60 per cent are at risk from human activities; and half of all reefs are at high or very high risk. The reefs of Southeast Asia—the most species-diverse in the world—are also the most threatened. Reefs are being destroyed directly through over-fishing and haphazard coastal development. They also suffer from removal of coastal mangroves, industrial and agricultural pollution, and even aquaculture.

Some of the world’s largest inland seas are also threatened by contamination from many sources. Little more than a decade ago, the Black Sea was declared nearly dead and was labeled the “toilet bowl for half of Europe.” The Sea’s environment had deteriorated in terms of its biodiversity, habitats, recreational value, and water quality. Its fish supply had been plundered and it had become a dumping ground for solid and liquid waste.

The health of our seas and oceans stands at the very center of the Earth’s ecological balance. Almost all life forms depend on the oxygen they generate, and the delicate ocean-atmospheric energy balance—and with it global warming—may be irreversibly affected. These issues are currently being addressed by the international community through Agenda 21 and further debated at the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD). Many IAEA Member States are demanding access to the essential scientific tools to take actions to address these pressing environmental concerns.

From the Black Sea to the tropical reefs of the Philippines, the IAEA has been building new partnerships with governments and international organizations to carefully assess and plan environmental mitigation through the application of nuclear techniques. These range from using isotope tracers to disclose the sources, movements, and concentrations of dangerous pollutants, to introducing advanced techniques for detection of toxins in marine shellfish and predicting the occurrence of toxic algal blooms.


  New Tools for Environmental Management

Features
Getting to the Bottom of Algal Blooms: Nuclear Methods Target Toxins Full Story...
Helping to Save the Black Sea: The Black Sea- the major natural and economic resource for over 160 million people-was declared nearly dead a decade ago. Full Story...

Nuclear science and technology is making important contributions to improved marine environmental management.

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