Regulation is still the core instrument of environmental policy. Legislation for environmental protection concentrates on standards, bans, permits and quotas and, in some cases, specification of technologies or technical standards to be used in industry. These instruments have long been favoured because they promise certainty of outcome.
The industrialized countries enacted a 'first generation' of legislation in the 1960s and 1970s, aimed principally at protecting human health from the impacts of air, water and soil pollution. In the 1990s, many countries reformed their sectoral environmental approaches into better integrated strategic policies. Comprehensive environmental protection laws are now in place in the newly industrializing countries and other developing countries.
Command-and-control legislation has its limitations, notably the time needed to draft, enact and implement adequate laws, the inflexibility of regulation and possible cost-inefficiencies in implementation on the ground. In addition, problems with inspection and enforcement, especially in rapidly developing nations, appear to be worsening as limited capacity and resources face an explosion of industrial activity and urbanization.
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.