Conducting environmental impact assessments on world trade measures
Undertaking prior environmental impact assessments for world trade agreements
The purpose of the World Trade Organization (WTO), and regional trade accords such as the North American Free Trade Association and MERCOSUR, is to build neutral trade policies to avoid border or internal restrictions, thus promoting the free flow of goods and capital. Despite the huge volume and rapid growth of global trade, the environmental implications of the new regime are far from fully known. Trade liberalization should lead to the more rational use of resources between countries, thereby leading to greater efficiencies (economies of scale) and increases in global economic growth. However, there is a risk of eroding high environmental standards if lowest common denominators are adopted amongst trading partners. At the same time, trade liberalization could lead to inappropriate resource use and a shifting of environmental pressures from one region to another, not necessarily towards the region where they can best be handled.
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.
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