Hastings International and Comparative Law Review


Daniel H. Cole


Poland is reputed to be one of the world's most polluted countries. It is commonly, but mistakenly, supposed that Polish governments, especially during the communist era, made no serious effort to protect the environment. This Article outlines Poland's long history of environmental and nature protection, from medieval statutes protecting the European bison and centuries old sanitation laws regulating city sewers, to communist-era laws designed to control industrial pollution through the innovative (if ironic) use of market mechanisms. The final section of the Article describes current efforts to improve environmental protection in the post-socialist Republic of Poland.