Kenya: UN warns of worsening global environment

By Magdalene Mukami

NAIROBI, Kenya (AA) – The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) released a report Thursday warning that environmental damage is increasing at an alarming rate across the globe.

Speaking in the Kenyan capital, Achim Steiner, UNEP executive director, said that the global report is the most authoritative study that UNEP has ever published on the state of the global environment.

“If current trends continue and the world fails to enact solutions that improve current patterns of production and consumption, if we fail to use natural resources sustainably, then the state of the world’s environment will continue to decline,” Steiner said.

The report states that humans are constantly killing the planet by causing desertification, increased carbon emissions leading to climate change, land degradation and rapid urbanization, among others.

Compiled by over 1,200 scientists in partnership with 160 governments, the report also links the current challenges that the world is facing while trying to feed itself to worrying trends by human activity.

“It is frustrating for an executive director of UNEP to start the conference by saying that the state of the world is that we have bad news, but we must not be numbed that things are in many respects getting worse.

“A response to changing that trajectory has begun and is gathering pace and momentum and in about 10 years we will see some change globally,” Steiner said.

The UN says the Global Environmental Outlook (GEO-6) is a combination of six separate reports and provides highly detailed examinations of the environmental issues affecting each of the world’s six regions: the Pan-European region, North America, Asia and the Pacific, West Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Africa.