As our economies have grown, so has the use of materials and resources. In an increasingly globalised economy, the challenge for policy-makers is to streamline actions for ensuring a more sustainable management of resources, both renewable and non-renewable. There are existing measures such as policies on climate change and biodiversity that tackle certain aspects of the global resource issues. However a holistic approach to resources management is needed to better identify their interlinkages and gaps in a systemic way.
The establishment of the International Resource Panel is a first step towards addressing this need. The Panel was officially launched in November 2007 and is expected to provide the scientific impetus for decoupling economic growth and resource use from environmental degradation.
The objectives of the International Resource Panel are to:
- provide independent, coherent and authoritative scientific assessments of policy relevance on the sustainable use of natural resources and their environmental impacts over the full life cycle;
- contribute to a better understanding of how to decouple economic growth from environmental degradation.
This work builds on and will contribute to other related international initiatives, including the development of the 10-year framework on sustainable consumption and production (Marrakech process), the 3R (reduce, reuse and recycle) initiative, the circular economy approach, Global Environment Outlook and the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment.