In many countries, the public sector owns the most polluting industries and controls important natural resources. The public sector tends to follow environmental criteria less well, be less efficient, uses more resources, and creates more waste than the private sector. One of the main reasons for this difference is that the public sector can have great difficulties in self-regulation. The public sector is in essence governed by itself, the government, or in other words is both "the poacher and the gamekeeper". There is agreement that there needs to be greater separation between the regulator and the regulated by greater privatization of the public sector or by establishing autonomous regulatory bodies to regulate the public sector.
The environmental problems of eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union demonstrate the environmental degradation as a result of public sector shortcomings.
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a unique, experimental research work of the Union of International Associations. It is currently published as a searchable online platform with profiles of world problems, action strategies, and human values that are interlinked in novel and innovative ways. These connections are based on a range of relationships such as broader and narrower scope, aggravation, relatedness and more. By concentrating on these links and relationships, the Encyclopedia is uniquely positioned to bring focus to the complex and expansive sphere of global issues and their interconnected nature.
The initial content for the Encyclopedia was seeded from UIA’s Yearbook of International Organizations. UIA’s decades of collected data on the enormous variety of association life provided a broad initial perspective on the myriad problems of humanity. Recognizing that international associations are generally confronting world problems and developing action strategies based on particular values, the initial content was based on the descriptions, aims, titles and profiles of international associations.
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.