Establishing case for efficient resource use Increasing efficient use of resources
The principle of efficient use of resources states that humans must value resources at their true worth and learn to use them frugally. This includes not exploiting renewable resources more rapidly than they can replenish themselves, counting the true costs of depleting nonrenewable resources, and requiring that those who cause pollution pay to clean it up. Under the principle of efficient use, emphasis is given to reducing consumption, recycling and reuse of products, and recovering of resources.
This strategy features in the framework of Agenda 21 as formulated at UNCED (Rio de Janeiro, 1992), now coordinated by the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development and implemented through national and local authorities.
The best thing you can do for any resource is to increase demand; the more oil we use, the more we find and the more ways to extract it cheaply from difficult reserves. The only thing that interferes with this process, and drives a resource to extinction, is the failure to enforce property rights so that nobody can benefit from seeking oil reserves, planting trees or conserving elephants. No resource has grown either more expensive or more scarce since the beginning of history. Everything has become more available and cheaper -- despite the growing population of the world: flint, timber, water, iron, copper, wheat, oil, meat, plutonium, rubber, natural gas, gold. Yet shortages and price increases of each of these things have been relentlessly predicted by experts throughout that history.
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.