An investor commits substantial capital for a project on the basis of compliance with an agreed plan to deal with the environmental impact or in compliance with established statutory provisions. The Government may later wish to alter its requirements for reasons such as (a) it may have decided over a period of time that stricter standards should apply; (b) new data may have been produced showing the existence of danger or deleterious consequences not previously known; or (c) some unforeseen physical events or dimensions may have become apparent in the project itself. For investors, the prospect of a Government changing the rules of the game after their investment is in place is alarming, and may deter investment in some instances, particularly foreign investment in developing countries with deficient, untested or developing statutory codes. If there is a drastic change in the rules after the investment has been made, the economic assumptions on which the decision to develop was taken may be undermined.
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.