Some facts to think about:
1,200 million people live on US$1 a day and 3,000 million people live on just US$2 a day. 25% of people who work in developing countries are poor.
54 countries are now poorer than they were in 199o. The richest 1% of the world’s population receive the same amount of income as the poorest 57%. 1,000 million people are unemployed or underemployed, 60% of these people are women, 88 million of these people are youths between 15 and 24 years old, 245 million children aged between 5 and 17 work (one in every 6 children in the world). Women earn between 30% and 60% less than men.
860 million adults are illiterate. 114 million children of school age don’t attend school (one in every 5 children in the world). The number of children signing up for primary school is falling in 12 countries. (www.ugt.es).
And about the environment…
70% of all the species in the world are found in just 12 countries: Australia, Brazil, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, India, Indonesia, Madagascar, Mexico, Peru and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The tropical regions support two thirds of the estimated 250,000 plant species. It’s estimated that the tropical rainforests contain between 50% and 90% of all species. Around 2,600 bird species (about 30% of the total) depend on tropical forests.
60% of the endemic plant species in the Galapagos Islands of Ecuador are on the way to extinction. The IUCN believes that the current rate of extinction could be as much as 10,000 times higher than the natural rate.
At least 803 species have gone extinct since the since the year 1500, according to the Red List of Endangered Species of 2009 from the IUCN. In the 2004 version, there were 784. (http://www.scidev.net)
“Our efforts to beat poverty and pursue sustainable development will be in vain if the of environmental degradation and natural resource depletion continue unabated” (Klaus Töpfer, German expert in environmental politics).