The following expanded entry has been sourced from the Gazetteer:
Steeped in history, the Earth has suffered many adversities before becoming the resort that it is today. Humanity began here and documented accounts tell of three planet-bound wars, the last one in 2040 almost bringing extinction due to the loss of life and environmental damage. For these reasons the landscape has changed beyond all recognition since then, mainly due to devastation and depopulation of nearly all the cities and towns. The final insult was a viral pandemic, for which no cure was found and many perished who were not resistant to it.
As the world was rebuilt corporations became more influential and the balance of power went in their favour. After the war, fierce competition between them made it possible for space to be conquered whereas previously, that was seen as unimportant and exploration budgets were cut.
As extra-terrestrial settlements were established industry was moved off the Earth along with many people. An intensive environmental rescue program saved the planet and it again became the beautiful place it once was. It became both a very up-market tourist destination and the Federation capital with only the extremely rich being able to live there. Many native extra-terrestrials aspire to visit their roots and save up for many years just to be able to say they have been to their ancestors’ birthplace.