Home Indian Muslim UN launches 4th Global Environment Outlook

UN launches 4th Global Environment Outlook

By Xinhua

Islamabad : The fourth Global Environment Outlook (GEO-4), the most comprehensive UN assessment report on environment, development and human well-being was officially launched at the UN Information Centre here Friday.

The State Minister for Environment of Pakistan Amin Aslam gave brief explanations of the contents of the report, which includes climate change, land, biodiversity, marine and coastal, vulnerability of people and environment and freshwater.

According to the report, Asia and the Pacific, home to 60 percent of the world’s people, are making “remarkable” progress in reducing poverty. The region is also improving its ability to protect the environment. Energy efficiency is increasing in many places, and drinking water provision has advanced considerably in the last decade.

But progress has come at a price. Increases in consumption and associated waste have contributed to the exponential growth in existing environmental problems.Serious challenges remain, including urban air quality, fresh water stress, agricultural land use (a threat to food security) and increased waste.

The illegal traffic in electronic and hazardous waste is a new challenge affecting human health and the environment, said the report.

Environmental and economic policies have not been fully integrated, a major obstacle to establishing an effective system of environmental management, it added.

GEO-4 praised the world’s progress in tackling some relatively straightforward problems, with the environment now much closer to mainstream politics everywhere. But despite these advances, there remain the more persistent issues for which existing measures and institutional arrangements have systematically demonstrated inadequacies and where solutions are still emerging.

GEO-4 said the well-being of billions of people in the developing world is at risk, because of a failure to remedy the relatively simple problems, which have been successfully tackled elsewhere.

It also mentioned that ecosystems and human health in Asia and the Pacific continue to deteriorate, while population growth and rapid economic development have driven significant environmental degradation and loss of natural resources.

However, the report also recognizes the region’s achievements in protecting its environment, key to tackling poverty.

This is the first GEO report in which all seven of the world’s regions emphasize the potential impacts of climate change, which GEO-4 said is likely to mean more severe droughts and floods in the region, as well as soil degradation, coastal inundation and salt water intrusion caused by sea level rise.

The warnings come in GEO-4, the latest in the series of flagship reports from the Nairobi-based United Nations Environment Programme. GEO-4 is published 20 years after the World Commission on Environment and Development (the Brundtland Commission) produced its seminal report, “Our Common Future”. It describes the changes since 1987, assesses the current state of global atmosphere, land, water and biodiversity, and identifies priorities for action.

The release of GEO-4 took place in 40 cities around the world.