UN warns of damage to the environment and health impacts

“Urgent measures must be taken to protect the environment”. This was the warning that the United Nations (UN) of the Environment made about the damages to the planet.

The warning came after an overview of the global environment made year by year by the organization, which brought together 270 scientists from more than 70 countries.

According to the statement, the world is not complying with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and, in addition, people’s health is beginning to be threatened if the measures are not adopted by countries.

The UN also said that if there is no environmental protection as soon as possible, regions such as Africa, the Middle East and Asia could suffer the deaths of millions of people.

However, it is not only in these regions that we should be concerned, but with the entire world population.

Among these problems that are affecting the environment, we highlight pollutants, antimicrobial resistance and food waste.

But in order for you to understand how they relate to nature and especially to human health, let’s talk a little more about each one:


When we talk about pollution, there are several subtypes of that term that can cause different damage to the environment, for example, soil, water, atmospheric and even visual pollution.

Each of these factors plays a degrading role in nature and, in general, is linked to each other.

So, here we go: everything starts with the great production of garbage, which will probably go to the ground and start to decompose.

From there, the waste begins to release polluting gases that end up in the atmosphere and, soon, it will affect water channels, such as rivers, seas, lakes and groundwater, causing water pollution.

A great example of this is the 8 million tons of garbage found in the oceans alone.

From this point it is already possible to see that we are in an alarming situation.

In addition, it has its own factories and industries that release countless pollutants harmful to human health through the air, which can cause respiratory diseases (such as asthma and bronchitis ).

Finally, there is also visual pollution, which is basically the excess of advertising that ends up transforming the urban space. As in large cities and metropolises, which can cause discomfort and increase stress levels .

Antimicrobial resistance

The UN also cited “superbugs” as something that health officials should be concerned about.

According to the statement, this resistance may be caused by the presence of pollutants in drinking water, which could trigger high numbers of deaths by 2050.

In addition, these pollutants can also affect the fertility of men and women, and cause changes in child development .

Food waste

While 870 million people are still hungry in the world, the numbers of waste remain high and worry the UN.

Currently, around 33% of edible foods worldwide go to waste. Therefore, the ideal is to reduce waste and adopt a new global diet with less meat consumption.

Considering that in 2050, the estimated world population will be 9 to 10 billion people, reducing waste can make it possible to reduce up to half the need for food production in the future.

In other words, until 2050, these habits will be able to guarantee an adequate and fair food for people, with less impact on the environment.

Read more: Study discloses Planetary Diet to combat climate effects

What are these measures and why should they be taken?

These measures to be taken, basically, are some of the political options considered innovative by the UN panorama.

The goal is to solve some of the problems that are happening in nature and that can seriously affect health.

One of the measures cited by the entity with the potential for high global impact is for all countries to withdraw 2% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for green investments, which are those in the sustainable ecological area.

This would work as a long-term project and, possibly, could lessen the damage in the future caused by the poor condition of the current environment.

In addition, it would lessen the impacts of climate change, lack of water and the loss of ecosystems.


In general, the UN warned countries about the need to intervene quickly in the environment, which is facing serious problems, in order to reduce threats to the planet and the health of the world population.

The entity also took the opportunity to demand greater engagement from companies and political leaders on new ways to deal with these problems, concluding that the necessary resources, such as technology and science, the world already has to contain these future crises.

The Panorama of the Global Environment presented by the UN at the United Nations Fourth Environmental Assembly showed countries that measures must be taken immediately so that global health does not go through a crisis.