Irresponsible consumers Corruption in the consumer sector Illegal use of products Fraudulent consumers Illegal activities of consumer organizations Abuse of consumer rights Poor consumption practices
Statistics from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP, reported to Rio+5 conference in 1997, are that less than a quarter of the world's population consumes three-quarters of its raw materials and produces 75 percent of all solid waste. A child born in the United States will have 30 times more impact on the Earth's environment during his or her lifetime than a child born in India.
Many of the environmentally harmful effects of agricultural production on the environment appear to be local and of immediate concern only to the local population and particular producers. However, consumers of the products also have stake in preventing harmful effects and in encouraging environmentally preferable development. Satisfying the needs of future generations of consumer is inextricably linked to the preservation of productive capacities in the producing areas. Present customers owe it to future customers to help preserve these capabilities.
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.