The loss of biodiversity in terrestrial areas of South Africa is considered by Government to be a matter of grave concern, requiring urgent action by diverse sectors at many different levels. There are seven major terrestrial biomes, or habitat types, in South Africa: forest, fynbos, grassland, Nama karoo, succulent karoo, savanna, and thicket. These biomes can in turn be divided into 68 vegetation types, which are communities which share common species, have similar vegetation structures, and share the same set of ecological processes. The degree to which each of these biomes is threatened varies, depending upon the fertility of the soil, the economic value derived from use of the area, human population pressures, and the extent to which the biome is conserved in protected areas.
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.