2000 World Conservation Congress

By Cynthia Kirk

This is the VOA Special English ENVIRONMENT REPORT.

One of the world's largest environmental meetings took place earlier this month in Amman, Jordan. About two-thousand-five-hundred delegates took part in the meeting of the World Conservation Congress. They were from about one-hundred-forty countries.

The meeting was organized by the World Conservation Union which has its headquarters in Gland, Switzerland. The Union brings together environmental groups, government agencies, business leaders and scientific experts from all over the world. It urges all sides to work together to protect the world's natural resources. The World Conservation Congress meets every four years.

During the meeting, the delegates discussed worldwide environmental concerns. These include the disappearance of plants and animals and climate change. At the end of the meeting, they agreed on an action plan to deal with the most serious problems.

World Conservation Union scientists say at least eleven-thousand kinds of plants and animals are close to disappearing. And they say hundreds of thousands more are at risk. They say climate change could make the problem even worse.

Species disappear as the environments they live in are destroyed. Forests are disappearing because of tree-cutting and over-development. Water supplies are decreasing from overuse. Oceans are polluted and too many fish are being caught. Experts say the world population will suffer from disease, conflict and poor conditions unless environmental loss is dealt with now.

The delegates approved one-hundred measures designed to help stop species loss and environmental destruction. They include more protections for mountain areas, forests, and rivers around the world. Greater protections for individual endangered species. More controls on fishing to reduce the loss of endangered sea life. And the establishment of a committee to deal with the effects of large dams on rivers.

The delegates also called for better governing systems. They called for more security to avoid area conflicts which lead to environment and species loss. And they called for improved international cooperation.

The conference officials promised to give continued support to halt species loss and environmental destruction around the world.

This VOA Special English ENVIRONMENT REPORT was written by Cynthia Kirk.

Voice of America Special English