To an unprecedented degree, globalization is weaving ever tighter webs around the world. Falling frontiers, opening markets, rising mobility and worldwide communication through the Internet and mobile phones are bringing people and regions ever closer. Commodities, news and information from all around the world are accessible almost everywhere and intensify the impression of being part of a global civilization. Nonetheless, there is also a resurgence of national and regional interests, born above all of the unemployment problems prevailing in many countries. One consequence of this has been that, of late, the problems of global change and the messages of the 1992 Rio de Janeiro United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) are no longer prominent in the minds of many players in society, politics and the media. However, globalization is intensifying the problems faced by human society and the natural environment, and is exporting them to other regions of the world. It is thus more urgent than ever to face the ‘globalized’ environmental problems.