UK to examine threat of world resources shortage

Government review to examine threat of world resources shortage

Study commissioned following sharp rises in commodity prices on world markets and food riots in some countries

Forest managed for timber near Jokkmokk, SwedenPeter Essick/Aurora/Getty Images

Ministers have ordered a review of looming global shortages of resources, from fish and timber to water and precious metals, amid mounting concern that the problem could hit every sector of the economy.

The study has been commissioned following sharp rises in many commodity prices on the world markets and recent riots in some countries over food shortages.

There is also evidence that some nations are stockpiling important materials, buying up key producers and land and restricting exports in an attempt to protect their own businesses from increasingly fierce global competition.

Several research projects have also warned of a pending crisis in natural resources, such as water and wildlife, which have suffered dramatic losses due to over-use, pollution, habitat loss, and, increasingly, changes caused by global warming.

Professor Bob Watson, the chief scientist for the Department for Food, Environment and Rural Affairs, the leading department in the initiative, said every sector of the British economy was directly or indirectly vulnerable to future shortages……………..

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