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WWF: Environmental Decline is 'Unprecedented'

A leading conservation group has warned that humans are degrading the Earth's ecosystem faster than ever, causing irreversible damage to the planet.

The World Wildlife Fund said Tuesday that, for the past two decades, people have been using more resources each year than the Earth can produce.

In a new report, The Living Planet, the group warned that some forests and fish habitats could disappear because of overuse.

World Wildlife Fund International Director-General James Leape says nations are facing "vital choices" to reduce the burden on the natural environment. He urged people to cut carbon emissions, promote sustainability and protect natural habitats.

The report includes a list of countries that exert the greatest demand on their biosphere. The United Arab Emirates and the United States had the greatest demand, because of high energy consumption.

The report notes that China will have a key impact on environmental issues in coming years, because of its rapidly growing economy.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.