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The Sixth Environment Action Programme


Air

The objectives of the air-quality strategy are to update quality targets based on current data on effects on health and future projections for pollution, to assess the effectiveness of current provisions and draw up an integrated strategy.

Waste

As part of its waste strategy, the European Commission is planning to revise the framework directive on waste. The directive is over 30 years old and its definitions need to be harmonised with more modern legal acts. There is also a need to clarify the definitions and exemptions, the use of state-of-the-art technology, separate collection, waste prevention and the waste management plan.

Natural Ressources

The aim of the strategy on resources is to create a framework that will permit the sustainable use of resources without harming the environment and at the same time ensure that the Lisbon goals are achieved. This strategy should be coherent with the integrated product policy and the waste strategy, and presented at the same time as the latter.

Marine Environment

With regard to the marine environment, we must ensure that present and future generations are able to benefit from the biological diversity of safe, clean, healthy and productive seas. For this reason the European Commission has drawn up a proposal for legislation defining three regions (Baltic Sea, North-East Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea) for which Member States must draw up action plans and programmes within various timeframes. On the basis of an initial assessment, the characteristics of a good environmental status must be determined, environmental targets set and monitoring programmes established.

Pesticides

The objective of the pesticides strategy is to achieve a more sustainable use of pesticides, and a significant reduction in both the risk and the use of pesticides compatible with plant protection requirements. Current Commission thinking involves revising an existing Directive concerning the placing of plant protection products on the market and introducing a new framework directive on sustainable use of pesticides.

Soil

Soil, like water and air, is a finite resource and must therefore be protected from risks such as erosion, decline in organic matter, contamination, salinisation, sealing, and loss of biodiversity. The European Commission is currently considering whether it should propose a soil framework directive to address these problems.

Urban Environment

The aim of the urban environment strategy is to improve the environmental performance and quality of life in urban areas, to ensure a healthy living environment and to reinforce the environmental contribution to sustainable urban development. These objectives are to be achieved through sustainable design and measures in the fields of urban policy, urban transport, construction, urban design, and promoting good practice.

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Date: 30.12.2005