When members of the public display behaviour that denies the presence of danger, local authorities are required to develop strategies which attract the public attention to the danger.
As a result of the 1985 volcano eruption which killed over 26,000 people in Colombia, despite sufficient warning being available, a group of scientists and volcanologists came up with a three-point plan. Point one was a video for public warning to be used when eruptions were iminient. Point two was a public information programme at the 15 major volcano sites internationally, where local officials, scientists and aid workers were trained in disaster preparedness for an eruption. Point three was for the improvement of volcano prediction efforts. In 1991 a rough cut of the film was rushed to the Philippines where Mount Pinatubo was threatening to erupt. The day after it was shown on television, 50,000 people evacuated voluntarily. A few days later the volcano erupted spewing 12 cubic kilometers of material over the surrounding area.
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.
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.