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Last Updated: Wednesday March 30 2005 15:02 GMT

Humans have 'damaged the planet'

More people live on Earth than ever
The way we get our food, fresh water and fuel has seriously damaged the planet, a global study has found.

The biggest ever survey about the state of our world has discovered how we live is destroying the environment, our natural cycles and ecosystems.

Scientists reckon because of this, over the next 50 years environmental changes will have a huge impact on our lives.

They could include things like sudden changes in the water quality, fish numbers in the sea and the climate.

The report also found that the damage to ecosystems - the way the world restocks its resources like wood, food, fresh water and fibres - could also threaten plans to end world poverty and hunger.

This is because the planet is already struggling to provide enough food to keep everything living alive.

Loads more people

It took 1,300 scientists four years to collect the information for the study.

They discovered that the increase in the number of people now living on Earth has put loads of stress on the planet's resources.

The report said some of the damage is not reversible, but experts say it's not too late to for us to limit the damage by being more careful with the way we use natural resources so we do not completely destroy them.

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