Simplified ecosystems are subject to collapse. Diversity that allows an ecosystem to survive during times of stress, such as drought. Because of diversity, drought will not kill every part of an ecosystem, so there is something remaining from which to rebuild. A grossly simplified ecosystem may not be able to rebuild.
From a human viewpoint, simple ecosystems can be very productive (fields of corn, for example), but they are fragile and subject to collapse - for example, the Irish potato famine of 1845-1851 killed a million people.
Wildlife also contribute to habitat degradation and loss, particularly elephants in areas such as national parks in Southern Africa, where they destroy forests by knocking down trees and 'simplifying' the habitat and ecological processes.
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.
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