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Chapter Four: Future Perspectives

Future perspectives

- The importance of the future
- Issues for the 21st century
- Pointers for the 21st century
- References

-- The alternative policy studies



 KEY FACTS
 

*  The key environmental issues in the 21st century may result from unforeseen events and scientific discoveries, sudden, unexpected transformations of old issues, and well-known issues that currently do not receive enough policy attention.
*  A survey of emerging issues carried out among scientists for GEO-2000 cited pollution and scarcity of water resources (57 per cent) and climate change (51 per cent) as major issues. Then came deforestation/ desertification (28 per cent) and problems arising from poor governance at national and international levels (27 per cent).
*  The survey identified six issues cited with similar frequency by respondents from all regions: freshwater scarcity, environmental pollution (mainly chemical), invasive species, reduction in human immunity and resistance to disease, fisheries collapse and food insecurity.

The region-specific alternative policy studies carried out for GEO-2000 show that:

*  Business-as-usual will not lead to sustainability.
*  There is a clear need for integrated policies.
*  Market-based incentives, particularly subsidy reforms, are important in all regions.
*  Environmental institutions in most regions are weak and plagued with limited mandates and power, small financial resources and few human resources.
*  A main obstacle to successful policy implementation is the low priority generally afforded to the environment.

 


UNEPGEO-2000 Next: The importance of the future -->
Previous: Chapter Four: Future Perspectives 
Contents