Published: Tuesday 31 October 2000

There is a need to evolve a new approach to manage ecosystems in order to 'prevent the widespread decline of the process that sustain life', a recent report stated. The report titled "World Resources 2000-2001: People and Ecosystem, The Fraying Web of Life" was jointly released by the UN Development Programme, the UN Environmental Programme, the World Bank and the World Resources Institute. The report was prepared by 175 scientists over a two-year period. They examined coastal, forest, grasslands, freshwater and agricultural ecosystem.

The scientists evaluated the ecosystems on the basis of their ability to produce goods and services, such as food, safe drinking water, storage of atmospheric carbon, maintenance of biodiversity, provision of recreation and tourism opportunities.

The study recommends that international community, which includes both the governments and the general public, must view the sustainability of ecosystems as essential to human life. It calls for an new ecosystem approach for managing the world's critical resources, which means evaluating decisions on land and resources in relation to their capacity to produce goods and services.

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