The development of communications technologies has vastly transformed the capacity of global civil society to build coalitions and networks. In times past, communication transaction clusters formed among nation-states, colonial empires, regional economies and alliances - for example, medieval Europe, the Arab World, China and Japan, West African kingdoms, the Caribbean slave and sugar economies. Today new and equally powerful forces have emerged on the world stage – the rain forest protection movement, the human rights movement, the campaign against the arms trade, alternative news agencies, and planetary computer networks.
With the growing globalization of economic activities, communications, and other areas, entities within the civil society (such as non-profit public interest groups and religious institutions) act and communicate beyond national boarders. Through such trans-boarder contacts, the entities of civil societies in different States can share their interests separate from the intergovernmental level, while their activities complement those of governments. Environmental issues are among the subjects on which active trans-boarder contacts and networks have been formed, particularly through non-governmental environmental organizations.