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Sustainable development, a "sine qua non" condition for future survival on Earth, due to the current environmental crisis, is only achieved in Cuba today, said Mathis Wackernagel, executive director of Global Footprint Network.

The researcher told Prensa Latina that Cuba's human development is characterized by a high expectancy rate and an adequate income to live, in addition to a proportional consumption of resources.

Wackernagel and other scientists presented the result of their research at the latest conference of the 21st century dialogues held here by the United Nations Scientific, Educational and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), at which the book "Making Peace with the Earth" was launched.

As the other speakers did, Wackernagel warned about the need to take urgent measures to prevent the disappearance of species from the planet as a consequence of deforestation, desertification and climate changes, among other causes.

Wackernagel and Canadian professor William Rees created a tool to measure the natural resources available and those used by humankind.

That indicator, called Ecological Footprint, has allowed them to verify that 25 percent more of the Earth's biocapacity is being used.

In the United States, where the people's quality of life is not much better than that of Italians, the ecological footprint is 2.5 times higher than Italy's.

People ignore that natural capital is the most important thing, so we are in debt with the environment, he commented.

The scientist warned that drastic demographic growth is unsustainable if the resources available and the amount being used (the ecological footprint) are not taken into account.

If the new cities are not built on the basis of lower use of energy and following ecological criteria, we will have a great problem in the future, Wackernagel predicted.


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