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In the late sixties it had become clear that most of the world’s seas and oceans were being exploited by over-fishing. Soil was being degraded and eroded throughout the planet. National habitats were being destroyed and the area of tropical rain forests, which have a direct effect on climatic conditions, had been reduced by half since the middle of the century. As a consequence, several species of plant life and animals were in the process of becoming extinct. Pollution had also started raising its ugly head and dumping of waste into the sea, and on land greatly contributed to the poisoning of the environment. Hazardous chemicals and radio active materials were being dumped into rivers all over the world and, together with sewage and oil spills, rendered lakes and semi-enclosed seas more vulnerable, therefore having a more direct effect on people’s health. As a result, billions of people are suffering daily from air pollution caused by acid rain and ozone depletion, both of which have become major contributors to global and regional problems.

From Stockholm to Copenhagen – an arduous route to tackle environmental issues - INDEPENDENT online