There are approximately 250 million indigenous people in over seventy countries. In most of these countries, their way of life is threatened. Many of them view nature distinctly differently from conventional perceptions by seeing land not as a commodity to be bought and sold in impersonal markets, but as a substance endowed with sacred meaning, embedded in social relations, and fundamental to the understanding of the group's existence and identity. These views are consistently and fundamentally centred upon sustainability, something that is considered the conventional world necessarily has to learn or relearn in order to achieve global sustainability.
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.