Humans depend on livestock for meat, milk, wool, furs, skins, biofuels, and a host of other important products. Their importance in human society corresponds to the vast resources needed for their production, such as land for grazing, as well as the substantial environmental impact this entails. One approach to reducing the environmental degradation of livestock production may be by improving livestock feed. Improved feed qualities may, among others things, lower methane emissions from ruminants (currently responsible for 3% of total greenhouse gases) and lead to more efficient conversion of feed into meat and milk (permitting smaller herds, thus reducing deforestation for grazing land).
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. Agenda 21 recommends improving productivity, nutritional quality and shelf-life of animal feed products, including work on pre- and post-harvest losses.
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.