New Delhi: Noting that development should not be at the expense of environment, the Global Environmental Outlook (GEO-5) has held that while there is considerable success in ozone layer replacement, little progress has been made in stemming climate change.
Launched on the eve of the Rio+20 Summit, the fifth edition of the Global Environmental Outlook (GEO-5) of United Nations Environment Programme points to significant progress only in four of the possible 90 goals and objectives set to achieve global sustainable development.
The report cautions if humanity does not urgently change its ways, several critical thresholds may be exceeded, beyond which abrupt and generally irreversible changes to the life-support functions of the planet could occur.
It also pointed out that some progress has taken place in 40 goals, including expansion of protected areas like national parks and reduce deforestation and said there is little progress in 24 goals including climate change, desertification and drought, while further deterioration was posted in eight goals like state of coral reefs and wetlands. No assessment was made of 14 other goals due to lack of data, it said.
The report points out that efforts to eliminate production and use of substances that deplete the ozone layer, removal of lead from fuel, increasing access to improved water supplies and boosting research to reduce pollution of marine environment are only of 90 goals that recorded progress.
"If current trends continue, if current patterns of production and consumption of national resources prevail and cannot be reversed and `decoupled`, then governments will preside over "unprecedented levels of damage and degradation," said UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner.