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News Analysis

Biodiversity & Environment

Global Environment Outlook

  • 14 Mar 2019
  • 3 min read

United Nation Environment Program (UNEP) has recently released the 6th edition of the Global Environment Outlook Report (GEO).

  • It outlines the current state of the environment illustrates possible future environmental trends and analyses the effectiveness of policies.

About GEO

  • The Global Environment Outlook is often referred to as UN Environment’s flagship environmental assessment.
  • UN Environment launched the first Global Environment Outlook in 1997.
  • It is a flagship report because it fulfills the core functions of the UNEP.

Key Findings of the GEO-6 report

  • As greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise amid an increased risk of droughts, floods and superstorms made worse by climbing sea levels, there is a growing political consensus that climate change poses a future risk to billions.
  • A quarter of all premature deaths and diseases worldwide are due to manmade pollution and environmental damage - around 9 million deaths in 2015 alone.
  • Lacking access to clean drinking supplies, 1.4 million people die each year from preventable diseases such as diarrhea and parasites linked to pathogen-riddled water and poor sanitation.
  • Chemicals pumped into the seas cause “potentially multi-generational” adverse health effects.
  • Land degradation through mega-farming and deforestation occurs in areas home to 3.2 billion people.
  • The report called for a decrease in greenhouse gas emissions and pesticide use to improve air and water quality.
  • Food waste for instance, which accounts for 9% of global greenhouse gas emissions, could be slashed.
  • The world currently throws away a third of all food produced. In richer nations, 56% goes to waste.
  • The report advises adopting less-meat intensive diets and reducing food waste in both developed and developing countries.
  • This would reduce the need to increase food production by 50% to feed the projected 9-10 billion people on the planet in 2050.

United Nation Environment Program

  • United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), was established in 1972 to guide and coordinate environmental activities within the United Nations (UN) system.
  • UNEP promotes international cooperation on environmental issues, provides guidance to UN organizations.
  • Through its scientific advisory groups, UNEP encourages the international scientific community to participate in formulating policy for many of the UN’s environmental projects.
  • UNEP is headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya.
  • The organization also encourages participation by the private sector to promote the sustainable use of the world’s natural resources.
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