A landmark study released yesterday reveals that approximately 60 percent of the ecosystem services that support life on Earth – such as fresh water, capture fisheries, air and water regulation, and the regulation of regional climate, natural hazards and pests – are being degraded or used unsustainably. Scientists warn that the harmful consequences of this degradation could grow significantly worse in the next 50 years. There is more info at the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment site. There is also a video of Kofi Annan speaking about the Millennium Assessment project.
The report found that growing populations and expanding economic activity have strained the planet's ecosystems over the past half century, threatening international efforts to combat poverty and disease. The study reveals that some two-thirds of the world's ecosystems that support life on Earth - such as fresh water, fisheries, and air, water and climate regulation - are being degraded or used unsustainably. These trends are projected to worsen if policy responses are not forthcoming.
The study was compiled by 1,360 scientists from 95 nations, using over 16,000 satellite photos, and analysis of a wide range of statistics and scientific journals. Protecting forests and coastal areas, promoting "green" technologies and lowering greenhouse gas emissions all were identified (yet again) as critical if environmental degradation is to be slowed and eventually reversed.
Thanks to ecologicalinternet.org for the info.
Technorati:ecosystems, United Nations