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Environmental Issues in Programs of Different Parties and Organizations.

Mokievsky V.Î.



A brief review of environmental issues in programs of political parties and organizations is presented in this paper. During recent years the environmental issues, issues of quality of life stepped back in the mentality of the society.

The results of sociological questionnaires of recent years show, that the level of concern regarding the environment continues to fall. In answers of people that went through such questionnaires during 1994-1998 this decrease was from 10 to 20% for various categories of people and different regions. Nevertheless, almost 75 % of Russian citizens are not satisfied with environmental issues in the country. But the majority of them (almost 40 % comparing to 32 %) think, that economic growth is more important than issues of environmental protection.

Environmental issues are present in programs of the vast majority of parties, but their level and degree of elaboration are quite far from being perfect. The majority of the programs are starting with few quite justified mottoes. The assortment of these mottoes do not depend on political orientation of the party. Only slight lexical differences exist between “right” and “left” parties. In case of “right” parties the “personality” and “citizens” are mentioned more often, while in case of the “left” parties the “state” and “ society” are frequently utilized.

Further, some particular issues are present in each of the programs – measures that the party intends to use to achieve goals mentioned in the first part. In some cases these measures seem to be quite elaborated and sometimes are presented in the list of laws, that will be required to be approved and the elaboration of which the party is going to be concerned with. More often, the framework of the program looks like collection of separate and somewhat general propositions.
In general, the general idea that can be formed while reading such texts is not satisfactory.

There are no clear answers regarding how serious environmental issues will be resolved in any party program. The majority of the programs have some imprecise parts and sometimes possess serious flaws. The reason for such attitude to environmental programs is quite simple – these programs are not designed to be read by someone.

It seems, that the program designed is the last thing the particular party need during the election period. The success depends on the variety of factors from personality of a party leader to financing, but the environmental program itself remains least important. The program of each party includes only few “key” issues, designating its position in political kaleidoscope – on the right, on the left, and in the middle. These issues deal with ownership on land, the role of state and particular person, international relations. The electorate is oriented toward only few phrases, that determine the attitude of the party relating to these problems. The full texts of party programs do not play any significant role. People do not read and do not analyze them. This particularly concerns the “environmental issues”, which I have not met a single time in the flow of pre-election publications. Even the process of just collecting the texts of pre-election publications requires special efforts.

With all the plethora of the right words and phrases in party programs, the environmental issues remain far away from the main interests of the party even after it establishes itself in the Parliament. The environmental laws in the State Duma of previous call were approved by the majority of politicians (with 1–2 voting against, and 1–2 not voting) but the decision was made in the hall half empty. The representatives of some parties were almost completely lacking during the debates.

Unfortunately, there is no indications, that situation will change in the near future and that the subject will not be political declarations and slogans, but the level of understanding and depth of elaboration of the programs, regardless of whether they are concerned with environmental issues or state and its economy.

The general flaw of all programs analyzed is that the majority of environmental issues are strictly “defensive” –i.e. “prohibit”, “restrict”, “decrease”….Just like ten and twenty years ago, the environmental issues are understood by the authors as a collection of restricting measures, as some relief for nature on the way to technological advances. Even in those programs where the opening statement contains an assortment of the “right” words, such as - “sustainable development”, “ecologization of natural resource usage” – the same variety of “environmental” restrictions are offered in the development of such principles.

It seems, that the results of professional work during the decades, publications concerning sustainable development remain completely unknown to authors of current environmental programs. Regardless of complete disregard of positive



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