A quantum jump is necessary in our efforts toward a comprehensive under- standing of the state of the environment, on both global and regional bases. Such an understanding is indispensable to rational environmental management because it enables us to comprehend the environment’s resilience to man’s action and the maximum potential it may offer for sustained development of mankind. Such an understanding will also enable us to predict better the interrelated effects of some of the major challenges facing the world today, such as those of population changes, economic development, availability of adequate food, energy, and raw materials, development of new technology, high inflation rates, and shortage of investment capital. All these factors have significant impact on the environment, some beneficial and some adverse, and the environment, in its turn, affects development in those areas.
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