Environmental Performance Index Ranks World's Top and Worst Performers

First Posted: Jan 25, 2016 05:40 PM EST

Who were the best and worst performers when it comes to the environment? The 2016 Environmental Performance Index has now rated the world's top and worst performers.

In the evaluation, the initiative looked at how 180 countries protected ecosystems and human health. The end result showed cause for optimism and serious concern. While the world has expanded access to water and sanitation and has increased the number of protected areas, it has failed to reverse degradation of air quality and decline in fisheries.

Concerted efforts to develop clean drinking water and sewage infrastructure have significantly reduced deaths from waterborne diseases. The number of people who lack access to clean water has been cut nearly in half since 2000. At 550 million, though, there is still much room for improvement. The world's nations are also showing strong commitment to habitat protection.

With that said, 23 percent of countries lack any kind of wastewater treatment. In addition, most fish stocks are at risk of collapse. Air pollution is also worse and today accounts for 10 percent of all deaths.

The findings show that some things have improved, but there are areas which need further work. Fisheries, in particular, will have to be monitored in the future and fish populations continue to decline over time.

The full report can be found online here.

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