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In: Change: threat or opportunity for human progress? Volume V. Ecological change: environment, development and poverty linkages, edited by Uner Kirdar. New York, New York, United Nations, 1992. 154-60.The most common global concerns are the threat to the earth's ecological balance, challenges originating from new technologies, and the ability of developing countries to respond to these changes in a way conducive to sustainable development. Creative learning means that political systems assimilate new information when making policy decisions. pathological learning implies that political systems prevent new information from influencing policies, eventually leading to the system's failure. Policymakers cannot ignore the new technologies and the changing environment. The UN University had identified the most important research gaps with regard to technological development. recommendations from this study are more research on the relationship between the effects of existing trends in the technological revolution and the formation of development strategies and the significance of identifying alternatives of technological development better suited to the actual needs and conditions of developing countries. For example, biotechnology may produce new medications to combat some tropical diseases, but a lack of commercial interest in industrialized countries prevents the needed research. Research in the Himalayas shows the importance of focusing on the linkages between mountains and plains, instead of just the mountains, to resolve environmental degradation. This finding was not expected. The researchers promote a broader, more holistic, critical approach to environmental problem-solving. Humans must realize that we have certain rights and obligations to the earth and to future generations. We must translate these into enforceable standards at the local, national, and international levels to attain intergenerational equity. Policy-makers must do longterm planning and incorporate environmentally sound technologies and the conservation of the ecological balance into development policy. sustainable development must include social, economic, ecologic, geographic, and cultural aspects.