Using environmental audits Ecological auditing Using environmental accounting Conducting environmental audits
The environmental impacts of development can rarely be predicted with certainty. The precise levels of uncertainty -- the confidence limits on predictions of various types -- are important in development decisions and environmental management programmes. Retrospective review of predicted and actual impacts is termed environmental audit.
By testing the predictions made in environmental impact assessment (EIA), environmental audit shows where and how predictions fail, and enables the refinement and improvement of scientific understanding and predictive models. It benefits industry by improving operations: the process of environmental audit enables companies and other development agencies to review the performance of their past and present environmental management systems, and revise and improve them accordingly. Environmental audit provides feedback to governments which helps (1) regulating operations; (2) monitoring ongoing environmental management; and (3) ensuring compliance with standards. For the public, the benefit of environmental audit, if published in a systematic and regular way, is as an indicator of government performance.
So called "economic externalities", which cause damage to ecosystems, are growing faster than those which generate "economic value". The term externalities does not do justice to the internal impact. What is happening is that we are losing "natural capital". We are losing social values as people and systems have to be protected with more and more regulations from externalities like pollution. We are impoverishing culture and cultural development as resources have to be primarily invested in survival strategies.
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.