"Amerika Hangja" - Voice of America - Kozep-Europa/foldrajz
(Elnezest az esetleges kisbetukert, de az eredeti szoveg csupa
nagybetuvel volt irva, amit at kellett cserelnem.)
title=Central Europe / Geography
byline=Alena Kenclova (not voiced)
Intro: More than one-thousand geographers from every continent
are (have been) meeting in Prague this week at an international
conference focusing on environmental issues concerning
transformation in Central Europe. Alena Kenclova reports from
the Czech capital.
Text: Geographers say the area of Central and Eastern Europe has
become one gigantic laboratory for studying the effects of
political and economic transformation. Chairman of the Czech
geographic society, Ivan Bicik, says this transformation provides
science with a unique opportunity.
Geographers, like politicians, do not have a clear definition
of Central Europe. A film shown at the geographer's conference
in Prague presented Central Europe as an area stretching from the
Western borders of Germany and Switzerland to the Eastern borders
of Poland, Slovakia and Hungary.
But as the president of the International Geographic Union,
Herman Verstappen, told V-o-A, there is no real agreement on
what the region comprises. Historically, he says, Central Europe
is the old Austro-Hungarian empire, with Vienna, Prague and
Budapest and the surrounding area.
/// Verstappen act ///
But it is, of course, very difficult to define it
exactly. What is the boundary of Europe to the East?
(It is) very difficult to say, but as a factor of
forming the identity of Europe, it has been very real.
It separates us from the vast expanses of Siberia.
/// End act ///
The Dutch scientist recounted a list of the geography-related
problems facing the former communist countries of Central and
Eastern Europe in their transition to democracy.
/// Verstappen 2nd act ///
Long-suppressed feelings of pride and traditions (and)
culture have led to an explosion of extreme nationalism,
and we are now facing the fact of 21 new countries and
14-thousand kilometers of new international boundaries.
There is also a big heritage of environmental damage
caused by the abuse of land in the past decades,
inappropriate industrial systems and agricultural
/// End act ///
As Mr. Verstappen and the other geographers note, however, these
problems are not restricted to Central and Eastern Europe. Mr.
Verstappen says the issues are of global importance, and this
explains the presence here of geographers from all continents.
Conference papers include reports on migration and refugee flows
in Central and Eastern Europe, as well as in many other countries
ranging from Israel to China. Other papers concern nature
conservation, mapping the environment, urban restructuring as
well as geographic and environmental education and training.
Mr. Verstappen says geographers can play a crucial role in
helping to resolve these problems by advising governments on the
right decisions to make in managing their countries.
// Rest opt //
Geographers at the conference say more should be done to ensure
the public is knowledgeable about geography. They say this
should start in school where children should be taught more about
people of different countries, customs, ideas and concepts.
24-Aug-94 12:53 pm edt (1653 utc)
source: Voice of America