Four-fifths of the worlds commercial energy use is consumed by only one quarter of the population, and at a level which is unsustainable. On average, someone in a high consumption country consumes 18 times the commercial energy used by a person in a low consumption country. The former countries cause much more pollution since resource consumption is related to environmental impact. A North American causes the emission of twice as much carbon dioxide (CO2) as a South American, and ten times as much as someone living in Southeast Asia. Nutritional resources per person follow a similar distribution. Most high-income countries have near-stable populations, but their resource consumption continues to rise. In many low-income countries resource levels per person are declining due to rapid population growth. Neither resource consumption pattern in both types of countries is globally sustainable. It is hoped new energy efficient technologies and methods, such as recycling, as well as cross-sectoral global cooperation may lead to sustainable resource consumption.
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.