We need to act with a sense of urgency to find and implement solutions to repair and nurture the earth and to leave a legacy of a healthy planet for future generations.
We can all start seeking solutions and making changes by looking within our communities at grass roots level; If each person does one small thing to improve his or her neighbourhood and encourages others to do the same, the ripple effect will influence the future of our earth in a positive way.
Water is the common thread that links all aspects of human development. Water security is therefore vital to all social and economic sectors as well as the natural resource base on which the world depends. But an expanding population, growing economies and poor water management are putting unprecedented pressure on our freshwater resources (Planet Under Pressure, 2012).
The current level of energy use plays a huge role in global climate change, frequency of extreme weather events, water pollution and regional air pollution (Planet Under Pressure, 2012).
In Europe, exposure to particulate matter (PM) decreases the life expectancy of every person by an average of almost 1 year, mostly due to increased risk of cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, and lung cancer (World Health Organisation, 2014).
Transport is responsible for around a quarter of EU greenhouse gas emissions making it the second biggest greenhouse gas emitting sector after energy (European Commission, 2014).
Urbanisation reinforces the impacts of climate change such as increased temperatures, increased rates of flash flooding, and reduced habitats (London Climate Change partnership, 2014).
We share this planet with millions of other species and varieties of life, and depend on ecosystems for all our basic needs. While current trends in biodiversity and ecosystem services are sharply and dangerously negative, the right actions, developed and implemented promptly, can restore a biologically rich and ecologically viable planet. (Planet Under Pressure Report, 2012).
Our rapidly increasing and urbanizing global population is facing unprecedented food, energy, economic and security crises, which are being compounded by climate change and extreme environmental events. As planetary boundaries are placed under increasing stress, so too are social bonds, relations and thresholds.’