Fragmented social structures for environmental protection
The environment is endangered by the very structures created for its protection. The structures which are based on geography are exclusive and uncoordinated, for example the agencies dealing with North Sea pollution number in the dozens but none in fact deal with the whole geographic area effecting it. Structures which are formed along functional lines, like oil pollution or endangered species are based on obsolete categories and are often to closely related to those causing the damage. In both cases these agencies do not have the power to effect change. The illusion that something is being done about the environment creates and even greater danger.
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a collaboration between UIA and Mankind 2000, started in 1972. It is the result of an ambitious effort to collect and present information on the problems with which humanity is confronted, as well as the challenges such problems pose to concept formation, values and development strategies. Problems included are those identified in international periodicals but especially in the documents of some 60,000 international non-profit organizations, profiled in the Yearbook of International Organizations.
The Encyclopedia includes problems which such groups choose to perceive and act upon, whether or not their existence is denied by others claiming greater expertise. Indeed such claims and counter-claims figure in many of the problem descriptions in order to reflect the often paralyzing dynamics of international debate. In the light of the interdependence demonstrated among world problems in every sector, emphasis is placed on the need for approaches which are sufficiently complex to encompass the factions, conflicts and rival worldviews that undermine collective initiative towards a promising future.
Non-profit, apolitical, independent, and non-governmental in nature, the UIA has been a pioneer in the research, monitoring and provision of information on international organizations, international associations and their global challenges since 1907.