WASHINGTON, Sept. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- The World Resources Institute (WRI)
today welcomed the US government's support of the Millennium Ecosystem
Assessment and its offer to donate a set of detailed satellite images of the
US President Bill Clinton announced his support this afternoon in a speech
at the United Nations Security Council in New York. The Millennium Ecosystem
Assessment is a new four-year-old effort to improve the management of the
earth's resources by providing decision-makers and the public with high
quality scientific information on the state of the world's ecosystems and the
consequences of change.
"This is an excellent example of international scientific and political
cooperation that is needed to promote sustainable development," said Jonathan
Lash, WRI president. "However, we ask that the US Government expand their
donation to include the detailed satellite imagery of all of the earth's
He added that it is only through the careful examination of our living
planet that we can fully understand and value these resources and design the
necessary measures for their protection and use.
Results of a new international study indicate that the world's ecosystems
are declining due to population pressure and increased consumption. The
report, World Resources 2000-2001: People and Ecosystems: The Fraying Web of
Life, will be released on Sept. 15 during a meeting of environment ministers
in Bergen, Norway.
The report examines the world's coastal, forest, grassland, freshwater,
and agricultural ecosystems. It grades their status on the basis of their
ability to produce the goods and services that the world currently relies on.
These include production of food, provision of pure and sufficient water,
storage of atmospheric carbon, maintenance of biodiversity and provision of
recreation and tourism opportunities.
The scorecards and the statistics in People and Ecosystems paint a dismal
picture of over-fished oceans, over-pumping of water, soils degraded by
inappropriate farming methods, and the destruction of coral reefs and forests.
This report provided the impetus for the launch of the Millennium Ecosystem
Assessment. It is now a project of the United Nations, and leading
international scientific organizations like the World Resources Institute.
SOURCE World Resources Institute