chapter  7
The Environmental Movement and Environmental Politics
WithDJ Peterson
Pages 42

The political impact of environmental interest groups has been augmented by the demise of centralized authority and the natural affinity between environmental and ethnic issues in the former Soviet context. Practically all Soviet successor states have some form of Green party or political organization. This process of creating Green movements has been most advanced in the Baltic states of Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia; the first Green Party was formed in Estonia in spring 1988. The best way to gauge the strength of the environmental movement is to examine its impact on the government policy process. The greatest impact of the environmental movement has been on the military's nuclear weapons testing program at Semipalatinsk and No-vaya Zemlya. Parallel with the rise of environmental awareness, the Soviet Union witnessed a dramatic upsurge in nationalism. The formation of a unified environmental movement in Russia has been much slower than in other states of the former Soviet Union.