The Stream, December 11: World Resources at ‘Critical Juncture’

The United States National Intelligence Council has just issued the Global Trends Report, which publishes every five years, reports The Guardian. The report finds that, “owing to an increase in the global population and the consumption patterns of a growing middle class,” the demand for water will grow by 40%, for energy by 50%, and for food by 35%. What’s more, climate change will have a compounding effect on these projections, and the report states climate change “will worsen the outlook for the availability of these critical resources.”

Results from a new study released by the Chatham House think tank show that price volatility increases the risk of resource-based conflict, reports Reuters. Drastic increases or decreases in commodity values “have increased the stakes in and between countries,” according to the report. For more, read the Resources Futures full report.

30th Anniversary of UN Convention on the Law of the Sea
The United Nations News Centre reports from the UN General Assembly meeting, where Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon marked the 30th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea with an address. The treaty is “an important tool for sustainable development, as affirmed this year by the Rio+20 conference,” he said. Also highlighted was an additional initiative launched this August, The Oceans Compact: Healthy Oceans for Prosperity.

Global Deforestation Alarming
McClatchy reports on a new study that finds big, old trees, are vanishing without replacement on a global scale. “There are different sets of drivers,” says lead author and ecologist David Lindenmayer of the Australian National University, “it might be fire, logging, drought, disease – but they all lead basically to the same outcome.” Replacement of large, old trees – such as in the old-growth forests of the Pacific Northwestern United States – can take centuries.

The Stream is a daily digest spotting global water trends. To get more water news, follow Circle of Blue on Twitter and sign up for our newsletter.

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