WASHINGTON -- Despite greater environmental awareness, growing demand for resources is threatening the world's environmental health more than ever, according to a United Nations-sponsored report that said humans eventually will pay the price.
The broad decline of the world's ecosystems -- the interaction of organisms with their physical environment -- must be reversed or there ''could be devastating implications'' for human development, the study said.
''For too long in both rich and poor nations, development priorities have focused on how much humanity can take from our ecosystems, with little attention to the impact of our actions,'' concludes the report released Sunday by the World Resources Institute, a private environmental think tank.
The report reflects the findings of 197 scientists.
The preliminary findings, based on a two-year study, are to be presented in detail at a meeting in September of the U.N. General Assembly. It will be key in deciding whether the United Nations will direct a broader study on the state of the world's environmental well-being, similar to an examination of climate change underway since the early 1990s.
The study was sponsored by the U.N. Development Programme, the U.N. Environmental Programme and the World Bank. It assessed the current health of agriculture, coastal areas, forests, fresh water environments and grasslands.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.