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UN Report: Environmental Conditions Worsening, Killing Millions Yearly

UN Report: Environmental Conditions Worsening, Killing Millions Yearly

Wednesday, 13 March, 2019 - 10:00
In this Aug. 13, 2015 file photo, a plastic bottle lies among other debris washed ashore on the Indian Ocean beach of Uswetakeiyawa, north of Colombo, Sri Lanka. AP
Asharq Al-Awsat
A new UN report concluded that Environmental ills are worsening and causing millions of deaths on yearly basis all around the globe.

The once-every-few-years scientific report cites dangerous climate change, a global major extinction of animals and plants, a human population soaring toward 10 billion, degraded land, polluted air, and plastics, pesticides and hormone-changing chemicals in the water, according to the Associated Press (AP).

However, although these conditions make the planet an increasing unhealthy place for people, but the chief editors of Wednesday’s report say there is still hope.

If people, governments and society "change their ways, some of the worst can be prevented."

"There is every reason to be hopeful," report co-editors Joyeeta Gupta and Paul Ekins told The Associated Press in an email. "There is still time but the window is closing fast."

The report, issued at a UN conference in Nairobi, Kenya, notes that air pollution kills 7 million people a year and water pollution another 1.4 million.

It concluded that "unsustainable human activities globally have degraded the Earth's ecosystems, endangering the ecological foundations of society."

The report "is both a dramatic warning and a high-level road map for what must be done to prevent widespread disruption and even irreversible destruction of planetary life-support systems," said University of Michigan environment dean Jonathan Overpeck, who wasn't part of the report.

Several other scientists also praised the report, which draws on existing science, data and maps, AP reported.

"This report clearly shows the connections between the environment and human health and well-being," said Stuart Pimm, a Duke University ecologist.

According to scientists the most pressing problems facing humankind are global warming and loss of biodiversity due to their permanent nature and because they affect so many people in so many different ways.

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