Global Environment Outlook 2000 (GEO 2), UNEP

Global Environment Outlook 2000 (GEO 2), UNEP

Analyses both global and regional issues: key finding is that the continued poverty of the majority of the planet's inhabitants and excessive consumption by the minority are the two major causes of environmental degradation. The present course is unsustainable and postponing action is no longer an option.

. The world water cycle seems unlikely to be able to cope with demands in the coming decades, land degradation has negated many advances made by increased agricultural productivity, air pollution is at crisis point in many major cities and global warming now seems inevitable. Tropical forests and marine fisheries have been over-exploited while numerous plant and animal species and extensive streches of coral reefs will be lost forever - thanks to inadequate policy response.

Identifies new set of environmental problems:

  • nitrogen's harmful impact on ecosystems
  • increased severity of natural disasters
  • species invasion as a result of globalization
  • increased environmental pressures caused by urbanization
  • decline in the quality of governance in some countries
  • new wars which impact on both the immediate environment and neighbouring states
  • the impact of refugees on the natural environment

Argues that policy makers and institutions such as treasuries, central banks, planning departments and trade bodies should not treat sustainability questions as short-term economic options. Integration of environmental thinking into the mainstream of decision-making relating to agriculture, trade, investment, research and development, infrastructure and finance is the best chance for effective action

Environmental education, like mathematics, should be part of the standard educational curriculum

Complete report available on WWW. Technical and regional reports will also be made available here.

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