Outdoor Education - World conservation
The World Conservation Strategy identified the following major concerns at
the global level:
* The planet's capacity to support people is being irreversibly reduced
in both developing and developed countries; thousands of millions of tonnes
of soil are lost every year as a result of deforestation  and poor land
management. At least 3,000 km2 of prime farmland disappear every year under
buildings and roads in developed countries alone.
* Hundreds of millions of rural people in developing countries, including
500 million malnourished and 800 million destitute, are compelled to
destroy the resources necessary to free them from starvation and poverty.
In widening swaths around their villages the poor in rural areas strip the
land of trees and shrubs for fuel, so that now many communities do not have
enough wood to cook food or keep warm. These people find themselves needing
to burn 400 million tonnes of dung and crop residue every year, as an
alternative to wood, but these resources are badly needed to regenerate the
* The energy, financial and other costs of providing goods and services
are growing. Throughout the world, but especially in developing countries,
silting cuts the lifetimes of reservoirs supplying water and
hydro-electricity, often as much as half, and floods devastate settlements
and crops (in India the annual cost of floods range from $140 million and
* The resource base of major industries is shrinking. Tropical forests
are contracting so rapidly that by the end of the century the remaining
area of unlogged, productive forest will have halved since 1985. The
coastal support systems of many fisheries are also being destroyed or
polluted. In the US alone the annual cost of the resulting losses is
estimated at $186 million.
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