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Thursday, November 16, 2006

Environment Resources

Rampaging consumption levels have vaulted Australia's environmental impact into the top 10 in the world. The Living Planet Report ranks Australia at No. 6, behind the United Arab Emirates, the US, Finland, Canada and Kuwait. And the frightening level of current global consumption could result in a large-scale ecosystem collapse by the middle of the century.

The natural world was being degraded "at a rate unprecedented in human history", the WWF's bi-annual Living Planet Report says. Terrestrial species had declined by 31 percent between 1970-2003, and if demand continued at the current rate, two planets would be needed to meet global demand by 2050. The biodiversity loss was a result of resources being consumed faster than the planet could replace them, the authors said.

The report showed the planet's resources are being overused by 25 per cent. Estonia, Sweden, New Zealand and Norway made up the rest of the top 10 of national ecological footprints, followed by Denmark, France, Belgium and Britain. One of the report's editors, Jonathan Loh from the Zoological Society of London, said: "(It) is a stark indication of the rapid and ongoing loss of biodiversity worldwide. "Populations of species in terrestrial, marine and freshwater ecosystems have declined by more than 30 per cent since 1970. "In the tropics the declines are even more dramatic, as natural resources are being intensively exploited for human use."

Environment Resources


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