Global Environment Outlook 2007 – getting worse

The fourth Global Environment Outlook launched on 25 October provides a comprehensive and authoritative overview of the state of the environment. GEO-4 addresses the key challenges facing our planet, highlights emerging environmental issues that require policy attention and makes recommendations for decision-makers to act. It is a benchmark reference for challenges humanity faces today.

The future of the biosphere is most at risk from climate change, species extinction and a growing human population. Unfortunately there has been little policy reaction by big business, government or consumers and we are still failing to recognise the seriousness of major environmental issues.

The study, involving more than 1,400 scientists, is teh 20 year anniversary of the first GEO in 1987. Its main conclusion is that human consumption has far outstripped available resources.

30% of amphibians, 23% of mammals and 12% of birds are under threat of extinction

10% of the world’s large rivers run dry every year before it reaches the sea.

45,000 square miles of forest are lost across the world each year

60% of the world’s major rivers have been dammed or diverted

34%: the amount by which the world’s population has grown in the last 20 years

75 thousand people a year are killed by natural disasters

50%: The percentage by which populations of fresh fish have declined in 20 years

20%: How much the energy requirements of developed countries such as the United States have increased in the period


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