Chapter: (Chapter 1)
Providing a decent life and well-being for nearly 10 billion1
people by 2050, without further compromising the ecological
limits of our planet and its benefits, is one of the most serious
challenges and responsibilities humanity has ever faced.
People worldwide rely on the smooth functioning of Earth’s
natural life-support systems, in different ways and in different
contexts. A healthy planet is a necessary foundation for the
overall well-being and further advancement of humanity
(United Nations 2015a; Organisation for Economic
Co-operation and Development [OECD] 2017a).
Under the theme of ‘Healthy Planet, Healthy People,’ the
sixth Global Environment Outlook (GEO-6) is an integrated
assessment which considers various scientific perspectives
and inputs from across the world in a holistic manner. The
assessment urges the world’s decision makers and all citizens
to apply the principles of sustainable development to help
ensure that Earth’s environment remains the foundation of
society and of people’s well-being and resilience.
GEO-6 aims to answer the following questions:
* What is the state of the global environment, how is it
changing, and what are the major factors and drivers, both
positive and negative, influencing these changes?
* How are people and their livelihoods affecting and affected
by environmental change in terms of health, economic
prosperity, social equity, food security and overall wellbeing?
* Are environmental benefits, responsibilities and risks
distributed fairly across different regions, socioeconomic
groups and genders?
* What are the main responses and policy measures that
have been taken to strengthen environmental protection
and governance at various levels? How effective have they
been in terms of improving environmental quality, and
* What are the possible pathways, critical opportunities
and policies, including Multilateral Environmental
Agreements (MEAs) and Sustainable Development Goals
(SDGs), to transform the global human-environment
system to become more sustainable and contribute to
a healthy planet for healthy people? What are the likely
consequences if no additional actions are taken?
Chapter: (Chapter 1)