Scientists have warned of serious health consequences and millions of premature deaths, should Governments fail to implement ways to protect the environment.
This was revealed in a Global Environment Outlook report that was released today in Nairobi during the 4th session of the United Nations Environment Assembly.
The report which was compiled by 250 scientists and experts from over 70 countries says that regions in Africa, Asia and Middle East are also likely to see both male and female fertility rates hampered due to pollutants in the freshwater systems.
Joyce Msuya the acting Executive Director of UN Environment made a clarion call to Governments globally that time is running out with the deadline for the Sustainable Development Goals in 2030 and 2050 fast approaching.
“We are going to partner with other UN agencies and advocate both politically and scientifically to urge Governments to scale up policy implementation and follow up on commitments made to achieve our goals”, Msuya said.
Some of the innovative ways that the UN Environment has proposed include reducing food waste with data showing that 33 percent of global edible food is wasted.
Governments have been encouraged to invest in rural areas to stop people from migrating to cities. According to Professor Joyeeta Gupta the co-chair of the 6th Global Environment Outlook, 66 percent of the projected 10 billion people will reside in the cities by the year 2050.
“We need to come up with ways to improve our cities and eliminate slums in readiness for those huge numbers of people, we must also take care of chemical wastes which are going to impact on the planet and the people” Gupta said.
The report also calls for action to curb the flow of the 8 million tons of plastic pollution going into oceans per year. Currently there is no global agreement on how to tackle marine litter.
The 2019 GEO report says the world has science, technology and finance but it needs to move towards a more sustainable development pathway. However sufficient support is still missing from the public, business and political leaders who are clinging to outdated production and development models.
Professor Paul Ekins said that the African continent must take advantage of the availability of enough wind and sunlight to create clean and renewable energy. According to