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 formulation of programmes to enhance the utilization of local materials by the construction sector, by expanding technical support and incentive schemes for, and increasing the capabilities and economic viability of, small-scale and informal operatives who make use of these materials and traditional construction techniques.
In 1985, the UN Centre for Human Settlements (Habitat) in collaboration with the Commonwealth Science Council (CSC) established a Network of African Countries on Local Building Materials and Technologies. The objective of the Network is to strengthen local technological capacity through information flow, regional cooperation and facilitating transfer of technology in the low-cost building materials sector in African countries. One of its achievements has been to convince policy- and decision-makers to take effective measures to develop new standards and specifications -- thus improving the production and quality of locally-produced materials such as fibre-concrete roofing, stabilized-soil-block technology, lime and other types of binding materials.
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.