• 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.
• 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.
About 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.
Mains Paper 3: Environment | Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment
Prelims Level: GEO Report
Mains Level: Read the attached story