Wasteland management and restoration in Western Europe.
Because of early industrialization, Western Europe has a large legacy of wasteland produced by mining and industry. Most of this is close to centres of population, and constitutes a serious environmental threat to ordinary people. Reduction of the problem has required firstly, legislation to prevent further wasteland being produced, and secondly, expenditure of money by governments to treat the existing wasteland. This in turn has required the development of economic and effective techniques of restoration. As a result, a range of short- and long-term treatments is now available, by which old ecosystems can be restored and new self-sustaining ecosystems can be created. It is important that the lessions of this hard experience are shared with others and that countries now going through major phases of industrialization must not make the same mistakes as those made by Western Europe.