The Global Environment Facility has released a detailed
examination of five key challenges for coming decades.
The Challenge of Sustainability discusses five critical
issues: the degradation of marine and freshwater resources; food
production; forests; energy development; and new financial resources
and mechanisms. An overview of each issue, supported by statistics and
case studies, is followed by examples of promising strategies and an
agenda for action.
In his foreword, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan presents the stark
choice the world faces.
- A world in which economic and social needs are balanced with the
capacity of the earths resources and ecosystems or a
world impoverished by environmental degradation, where poverty and
hunger still afflict a billion or more people.
- A world that properly values water and manages it sustainably
or one that faces widespread water scarcity.
- A world making the transition to renewable energy sources
or one still dependent on fossil fuels, and where climate change is
destabilizing many nations.
- A world in which preventable diseases have been largely
eliminated or one in which millions of children continue to
die annually because they dont have access to clean drinking
water and adequate sanitation.
- A world of responsible consumption and production patterns
or one still inundated by waste and poisoned by hazardous materials.
- A world where rich-country markets are fully open to
labour-intensive products from poor countries, and where trade is
making significant inroads against poverty or a world that
remains deeply divided between rich and poor.
GEF Secretariat, Global Environment Facility, 1818 H Street NW,
Washington DC 20433, USA. Fax: +1-202-473-0508. Email:
The report is available at
publications.html or can be obtained at no charge from the GEF
Secretariat at the address above.