The challenge for policy-makers in the next century will be to devise approaches that encourage a more efficient, fair and responsible use of natural resources by the production sectors of the economy, that encourage consumers to support and demand such changes, and that will lead to a more equitable use of resources by the entire world population.
The average consumer in the rich industrial countries makes use of approximately twice as much agricultural land as the inhabitant of a developing country. One quarter of the world's population living in the rich industrial countries consumes four-fifths of the world's paper and considerably more textiles than in the poor countries. The earth is simply to small to be able to provide the same level of consumption for poor countries as the industrial countries have, up until now, enjoyed.
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.