President Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday said it was high time to think about intensity of the environmental degradation and steps to stop it.
"It is high time that we ask ourselves the questions - to what extent can we allow environmental degradation?
What are we going to leave behind for our future generations?
What steps need to be taken to curb this peril of environmental degradation?"
Mukherjee said after inaugurating the 'World Conference on Environment' organised by the National Green Tribunal here.
He also said that that the recent studies and systematic reviews indicated that environmental factors were responsible "for an estimated 24 per cent of the global burden of disease in terms of healthy life years lost and 23 per cent of all deaths".
He said that children were the worst sufferers of the adverse impact of environmental diseases and about 24 per cent of all deaths under the age of 15 were due to diarrhoea, malaria and respiratory diseases, all of which are environment related.
"(About) 19 per cent of the deaths caused by Cancer worldwide are attributed to carcinogens that unmindful industrialisation produces, " he said.
He also said that global warming and rising sea levels were no more in the realm of the future.
"Environmental degradation and its impact on health, as also climatic changes are no more theoretical premises, " he said.