The Earth is a unique jewel of life in the vast universe. It's diverse marine and terrestrial ecosystems have evolved over millions of years providing for prolific, self-sustaining and life-providing communities of plants and animals that can thrive in all types of climates and habitats. They also provide man with all of his physical, biological & spiritual needs to live comfortably on this planet.
The problem is that in the last two hundred years, all of these ecosystems have been compromised by man's exploding population and his often short-sighted and wasteful life style. The extinction of unique animals and plants is occuring at ever increasing rates and many new species are being added to the rare or endangered species list every day. In addition, globalization is in full force and there is no place left on earth that is not affected by these cumulative, destabilizing impacts of man’s activities.
Continued deterioration of these ecosystems is dramatically affecting the health and liveli-hoods of the world’s peoples, especially indigenous peoples in developing countries. Loss of productive agricultural lands along with increasing human populations has made malnutrition the number one killer and cause of suffering, even more so than AIDS, warfare, genocide, terrorism or any other ailment.
Nearly 30% of the world's people currently suffer from one or more forms of malnutrition and almost half earn less than $2/day. The Director-General of the World Wildlife Foundation is quoted as saying "if our demands on the planet continue to increase at the same rate, by the mid-2030s we would need the equivalent of at least two planets to maintain our lifestyles!"