Providing public health information about global warming
An effective information policy is fundamental to involving the public as partners in promoting better environmental health. Information is not only a prerequisite for effective participation in public decision-making processes; it is also necessary to enable individuals to make informed personal choices in their own lives which benefit their health and the environment.
Global change processes are likely to have wide-ranging and potentially serious health consequences. Some health impacts will result from direct-acting effects (e.g. heatwave-related deaths, and ultraviolet-induced skin cancer); others will result from disturbances to complex physical and ecological processes (e.g. changes in patterns of infectious disease, drinking-water supplies and agricultural yields). Effects on the health of human populations are likely to become evident within the coming decades. Furthermore, failure to reduce fossil fuel combustion (as the principal means of reducing greenhouse gas emissions) will result directly in a continuing (and increasing) avoidable burden of death and disease from exposure to local air pollution.
The health sector should support mitigation policies by widely disseminating relevant evidence- and science-based messages on the human health consequences of climate change among policy-makers, representatives of private enterprises and the general public. It is within the mandate of World Health Organization (WHO) to strengthen this advocacy work in Member States by all possible means.
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.