Latvia, along with Switzerland, leads the world in environmental performance, says the Environmental Performance Index 2012, produced by Yale and Columbia Universities. Valts Vilnitis, the Chairman of the consultancy Estonian, Latvian & Lithuanian Environment told the news was a big surprise for everyone: “I am not entirely sure Latvia is that good as it appears on this Index. I would rather say that we perform better than others. In this particular case, our neighbors Lithuania and Estonia appear much weaker.”
The first movie night of 2012 with a focus on environmental responsibility emphasized the importance of pollution prevention and other measures of environmental performance. Since Latvia is a member of the EU, it has been gradually moving away from a strict environmental regulation to a better enforcement. Looking back 20 years later, the regulations were strict, although nobody cared about their compliance. Nowadays, the situation has turned upside down due to well-designed and reasonably effective assessment and permitting procedures.
According to Mr. Vilnitis, common environmental policies allow to drink tap water throughout Europe. “Drinking tap water in Europe doesn’t necessarily mean it will be tasty, but one can be sure it won’t be poisoned.”
„Moving to a greater environmental responsibility, safer environment and healthier nature, it requires a careful balance of knowledge, research, assessment, enforcement, public involvement, and economic interests,” concluded Mr. Vilnitis. To view the presentation of Valts Vilnitis