Ensuring sustainability by national development strategy adjustments
Most people in upper income countries enjoy a high material standard of living, but this is not sustainable in global terms because of their excessive consumption of natural resources. Upper income countries are thus challenged to find ways to maintain their quality of life whilst reducing excessive consumption to sustainable levels, as well as providing significant assistance to poorer countries. Lower-income countries are severely challenged to level off rapid population growth rates and prevent further destruction of renewable resources in order to become sustainable. Both strategies may require broad ranging cross-sectoral approaches, such as national development strategy adjustments, in order to achieve effective results.
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.
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.
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