Of all the themes discussed at the Conference "Scientific Drilling 2005, a Decade of Progress and Challenges for the Future", held in Potsdam, Germany, from March 29th to April 1, 2005, none is more important to society than the topic of "Natural Resources". During the two and a half days of the ICDP conference, the world's population of 6.46 billion grew by more than 506,000 humans, according to the data of the Population Division of the United Nations (www.un.org/esa/population/unpop.htm). It is expected to rise by 1.5 billion in the next 15 years, with most population growth occurring in the emerging economies of China and India. The increase of 2.66 billion people expected by 2050 exceeds the world population that existed in 1950. Accompanying this growth is a relentless demand for natural resources to sustain economic development and to support rising standards of living. A key priority for the global community, now, and in the future, is to identify and develop increasingly sparse natural resources, while at the same time protecting the environment.
(by Wilfried A. Elders & Scott R. Dallimore, 2005)
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