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UN in Warning on Water Wars
The London Times - May 19, 2002

THE United Nations is to publish an “apocalyptic” warning on the global impact of environmental damage this week. It predicts a surge in the incidence of wars, famine and other catastrophes linked to humanity’s over-exploitation of nature, writes Jonathan Leake.

The study predicts that the next three decades will see water wars destabilising the Middle East and famine having the same effect on much of Africa and Asia. In the natural world, most of the world’s coral reefs, rainforests and fisheries face destruction.

The Global Environmental Outlook report is the most dramatic issued by the United Nations. It portrays various scenarios of which the worst — the result of doing nothing to halt current trends — is described by insiders as “apocalyptic”. The report is backed by 1,000 scientists who have drawn up its findings based on data collected around the world.

The study is to be launched in London this Wednesday by Klaus Topfer, executive director of the United Nations environment programme.

It will be followed by a keynote speech from Margaret Beckett, the environment secretary, who will support its findings and commit Britain to sustainable development.


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