Global environmental change such as climate change and the degradation of ecosystem services is heightening risks and reducing opportunities, especially for poor and vulnerable populations. Such change is taking place in an increasingly globalized, urbanized, interconnected and fast-moving world amidst shifting geopolitical power balances. Burgeoning flows of goods and services, capital and technology, information and labour all fuel a growing global population with implications for patterns of consumption and production. The scale and persistence of global environmental problems require sustained collective efforts to meet internationally agreed goals. Responses at national and regional levels are already available, but addressing the underlying drivers of global environmental degradation, rather than the pressures or symptoms, would require the sustained evolution of rules, institutions, economic systems and values to transform the current approach to environmental management. In addition, adequate and stable financial resources, political commitment, knowledge and operational capacity are also imperative. But these enabling conditions and the requisite governance mechanisms and structures vary considerably between regions and countries.
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