There are signs that we are in fact an intelligent species. Birth rates are coming down. In the 1950s the average woman bore six children; in the 1990s that number fell to 2.9. In every rich nation the fertility rate is below the replacement rate of two children per woman. Some, such as the United States, are still growing because of immigration and/or baby-boom cohorts moving through their reproductive years. But if fertility holds at present levels, the population of Europe will decline from 728 million in 1998 to 715 million in 2025. We could, inspired by the awesome spectacle of our six billion, choose to bring our numbers down gracefully, gradually, everywhere, over a century or two, to around two billion, which would allow good lives for all humans and leave plenty of room for nature as well.
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.