Calling for an urgent action to slow down global warming, a United Nations report warned that environmental deterioration could halt, and even reverse the recent progress in human development.
The annual UN Human Development Report entitled 'Sustainability and Equity: A Better Future for All' highlighted that human development is linked to environmental sustainability. The report stated that poor countries with low rankings on the Human Development Index (HDI) made a remarkable progress in the last 40 years; with poorest countries improving their overall HDI by 82 per cent.
The report said that most countries would enjoy the HDI of the top 25 per cent by the year 2050 if human progress goes at the present pace, but at the same time warned that it could be reversed as climatic changes could cause frequent natural calamities like floods, drought etc. And sadly, poor countries are more vulnerable to such disasters.
"Half of all malnutrition worldwide is attributable to environmental factors, such as water pollution and drought-driven scarcity, perpetuating a vicious cycle of impoverishment and ecological damage," the report says.
UN Development Program (UNDP) chief Helen Clark stressed that everyone should preserve the environment for the present and future generation. "Sustainability is not exclusively or even primarily an environmental issue, as this report so persuasively argues," he said, adding, "It is fundamentally about how we choose to live our lives, with an awareness that everything we do has consequences for the seven billions of us here on Wednesday, as well as for the billions more who will follow, for centuries to come."