Mr. Partsch, a high school biology teacher, has mobilised citizens, especially young people and students, in reforesting denuded alpine areas to control flood and soil erosion. He has used the media extensively for his campaigns. Since 1989 he has been a Member of the European Parliament.
As a full member of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Consumer Protection, he continues his work for the protection of the environment.
Leichtmetallgesellschaft Mbh (LMG)
LMG, with advice from the Essen University Biology Department, has protected wetlands on its site in the Ruhr, halted use of horticultural chemicals and allowed wild grasslands to thrive. As a result natural habitats have developed which have been colonised by birds, reptiles and other small fauna, including some endangered species. The company's achievement is an example of ecodevelopment in industrial areas.
City Council of Erlangen
Erlangen (pop. 100,000) has become a model for an environmentally- friendly city management. In close cooperation with local representatives of associations for the preservation of nature and the environment, the Erlangen City Council has issued a series of by-laws for the enhancement of the ecological situation in Erlangen.
This intensive collaboration, supported by committed public relations work, has led to a considerable improvement in the field of City ecology. An integrated refuse collection and processing programme helps to avoid the production of refuse and ensures the recycling of a high proportion of garbage and waste.
The city's traffic planning is exemplary -approximately 200 km of bike paths have been developed over the past 20 years, and the use of public transport has risen by 25%. Biotopes were laid out at a cost of over us$3 million, an in the immediate neighbourhood of the city approximately 40 hectares of wetland were restored. To date 43% of the city zone has been declared either protected landscape areas or nature reserves.
Mr. Scharmer has, since 1973, promoted development of renewable energy, especially in India and Egypt. His work has been concentrated on the application of renewable energy - especially solar, thermal, and biomass - to basic problems in developing countries.
Since 1983 Mr. Scharmer has promoted use of biomass from vegetable oil plants as fuel for engines, boilers and high protein feed for animals. The system has the potential to reduce desertification and atmospheric pollution. Recent work concentrates on the production and use of biomass and its impact on global C02 -balance.
In 1984, BAUM ("Tree") - the German Environmental Management Association - was founded by Mr. Winter, a German entrepreneur. This integrated system of environmental management was the first and only systematic attempt to provide businesses with practical checklists on environmentally sound behaviour from production to marketing and transportation to training. Since its founding, BAUM's membership has grown from 10 to 250 companies. In 1991 organisations will join to create the first international, independent, industry network devoted to helping business cope with environmental issues.
Hoogovens Aluminium is a smelter plant located on 227 acres of which 195 acres have been developed into a nature reserve. In 1976, 140,000 native trees and bushes were planted, attracting hundreds of wildlife species. Two large ponds were built in 1980 and 1987, which attracted amphibians, ducks and herons. An additional 50 acres have also been set aside as a forest, making it possible for cattle to graze without the risk of fluoride intake. The Hoogovens smelter is a fine example of how industry and nature can co-exist.
Professor Paul J. Crutzen has made and continues to make, major contributions both to environmental research and to rational political discussions that lead to enhanced environmental protection measures. In 1969, he was the first to propose that nitrogen oxides (NOx), some of which could be produced by human activities including nuclear explosions and the operation of high-flying aircraft, are capable of destroying stratospheric ozone catalytically. This work led directly to a large expansion in research efforts on the stability of the ozone layer and to the identification of further threats from chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). Then in 1973, Prof. Crutzen opened the field of tropospheric chemistry by demonstrating through theory that a rich variety of chemical reactions must occur (driven by sunlight). Some of these reactions are more intense in polluted regions while some proceed in remote, unpolluted regions. In this research, he demonstrated the central role of NOx gases from human-caused high-temperature combustion processes. Still in the 1970s, he was a leader in mapping out the response of the stratospheric ozone layer to nitrogen and chlorine compounds, and he identified carbonyl sulphide as the most important non-volcanic source of stratospheric aerosol particles that can affect the Earth's climate. In the late 1970s, he identified tropical biomass burning as an important pollution source affecting ozone formation and atmospheric chemistry, and in 1982, with Birks, the possible atmospheric and climate consequences of a large scale nuclear war ("nuclear winter"). The "nuclear winter" theory has had profound impact on the debate concerning nuclear disarmament. During the 1980s, Prof. Crutzen expanded the scope of his biogeochemical research to include global perturbations of the nitrogen cycle, and the role of greenhouse gases in disturbing Earth's climate. Throughout, he has remained a world leader in the investigations of the ozone layer, in providing understanding of the Antarctic ozone hole and how human-produced CFCs lead to ozone depletion. In summary, Professor Crutzen has played a leading role in showing that human activity can have significant effects on the global atmospheric environment. There is no doubt that he has made an outstanding contribution to the sum of our knowledge in atmospheric chemistry - a new area of atmospheric science.
"We bet that we can achieve the Government's climate protection target at our schools within seven months, instead of the seven-year period the Government has set for itself". This was the bet put to the Federal Minister of Environment in Germany by the members of BUNDjugend, the youth branch of the Association for the Environment and Nature Conservation. A bet the Minister accepted with pleasure.
Between May and November 1999, the pupils aimed to save 10 million kg of carbon dioxide, i.e. 10% of the total emissions of their schools. They planned to reach their goal by turning down the heating, airing buildings for short intervals rather than continuously, using energy-saving light bulbs and reducing water consumption.
Some schools went further by developing activities in the transport sector and in waste separation and avoidance. Some pupils even installed solar panels, laid out school gardens and covered school buildings with greenery. Younger pupils encouraged their families and friends to get involved in climate protection. The older pupils focused on technical approaches.
The Federal Environmental Agency acted as judge and reviewed the results from 20 schools selected at random. Using these results to project those from the 192 participating schools, it determined that the challenger, BUNDjugend, and the 135,000 pupils involved had indeed won the bet. As a result, the German Government, as promised, invited the winner to a big party in Bonn on 17 September 1999. The BUNDjugend initiative can act as a model for future activities involving environmental awareness and education in schools.