A recently completed study on the environmental awareness in Estonia shows that Estonians consider themselves environmentally more aware; also the assessment of environmental conditions has improved.
"Findings of the fresh study affirm that Estonian people love to spend time in the nature and value Estonian clean water and clear air increasingly. All of them have been targets to our intensive investments," the Minister of the Environment Keit Pentus-Rosimannus said. "Our next goal is to achieve the same high rate for forests and sea from our people."
Compared to a study conducted in 2012, almost all ratings and attitudes towards the environment have more or less improved. Ratings concerning access to safe drinking water and clean air, environmental awareness of Estonian people and access to information related to environment, especially concerning waste, have improved in particular.
Almost all respondents agreed with the argument that economy cannot develop in a consistent manner without sustaining the nature and that environmental condition is directly related to quality of life. "It is completely right that natural resources are our pride and joy, which we have an opportunity to use in industry as well as for recreation, but while doing so, we must ensure their maintenance. Any kind of human activity has to be in harmony with the nature," the Minister claimed.
Hiking trails and opportunities for independent nature discovery got the highest results from people. Within a year, almost half of the population has used routes for environmental education purposes or hiking trails. Slightly less, but still over a third of the population has visited an environmental education centres, nature museums of related events. It is appropriate to cite here one example from Estonian Museum of Natural History - during the first half of the current year, record number of over 37 000 guests visited the Museum, which is almost the total number of visitors last year.
Intensive interest in local environmental information still continues - that mattered to 95% of citizens. It is important to note that ratings regarding accessibility of information concerning Estonia as a whole have gradually increased over the years. 74 percent of the respondents rated it positively. Information regarding waterbodies, drinking water and forests is most requested. Compared with the past, interest in weather and climate has increased.
Study was carried out by AS Turu-uuringud following a request from the Ministry of the Environment. The study reached 1002 participants. The Environmental Investments Centre funded the study.