Better use of natural resources urged to advance human well-being

Source:Xinhua Published: 2017/12/4 9:47:21

Better use of natural resources is likely to be effective in reducing pollution and advancing human well-being, says a new report released in Nairobi on Sunday.

The report, released by the UN Environment's affiliated International Resource Panel (IRP), warns that extraction of biomass, fossil fuels and non-metallic minerals could reach 88.6 billion tons in 2017 if not checked.

"The global economy must embrace resource efficiency to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)," IRP co-chair Janez Potocnik said at the launch.

He noted that unfortunately, the amount of natural resources used is closely linked to the amount of final waste and emissions generated through their use.

"Effective pollution control must also look to minimize raw material use, thereby decreasing final waste and emissions," he added.

The report, issued on the eve of the 3rd session of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA), reveals that growing material use is driven by expanding populations, consumption trends in mainly developed economies and the transformation of developing economies.

This is largely due to the fact that demand for resources has shifted from renewable to non-renewable resources, reflecting the global trend away from traditional toward modern technologies, and from agriculture-based economies to urban and industrial economies.

The report warns that focusing on single resources, single economic sectors, or single environmental and health impacts will not achieve the collective visions of the SDGs.

It suggests that the approach be used to identify key leverage points, develop resource targets, design multi-beneficial policies that take into account trade-offs and synergies and steer a transition toward sustainable consumption and production and infrastructure systems.

The IRP is a group of eminent scientists specializing in resource management issues established by UN Environment in 2007.

It was asked by the second session of the UN Environment Assembly to make available information on the state, trends and outlook of sustainable consumption and production.

Posted in: ENERGY

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