An increasing world population with an ever greater need and greed strains the world's finite resources to exhaustion: Atmosphere, water, soil and genetic resources are being used and destroyed at an alarming pace. The Forum Belem I conference succeeded in bringing together a group of international administrators, businessmen, policy makers and scientists to identify emerging concepts that combine resource use with conservation and replace wasteful and destructive consumption with the use of renewable materials and n-destructive techlogies. Intelligent changes in techlogical processes together with a transformation of political, social and institutional thinking are proposed, indicating paths toward sustainable development. A vision is given of incipient approaches toward world sustainability allowing mankind to live and prosper throughout a third millennium.
The Editors: Dietrich E. Leihner, born in 1943, started his professional career as a rice farmer in Colombia. After obtaining his Ph.D. in agricultural sciences at Giessen University, he worked as a researcher for international centres in Mexico (CIMMYT) and Colombia (CIAT). Since 1984, he holds a chair for tropical plant sciences at Hohenheim University. Thomas A. Mitschein, born in 1949, studied social and political sciences, philosophy and German philology at Bielefeld and Muenster. Since 1981, he is a teacher and researcher with the Federal University of Para, Brazil, and also co-ordinates the Universities' interdisciplinary programme on poverty and environment in the Amazon (POEMA).