What are natural resources? How bad is current overconsumption and waste? How can we transition to a prosperous future? This project seeks to increase young people’s understanding about the current state of natural resources worldwide, how to sustainably manage them, and how this impacts the environment and society by communicating the work of the International Resource Panel (IRP).
The IRP includes scientists and governments from both developed and developing regions, civil society, industrial and international organizations. It was launched by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to build and share the science-based knowledge needed to improve our use of resources worldwide. Its goal is to steer us away from over-consumption, waste and ecological harm to a more prosperous and sustainable future.
Scientific information and research plays a critical role in tackling environmental issues and managing our natural resources sustainably. Research enhances policies for tackling the triple crises of climate change, biodiversity, and pollution by providing necessary information and data for an improved understanding of the actual environmental risks and response alternatives. It is also essential for activists and campaigners to be able to remain informed so that they can be sure to hold those in charge of this policy-making to account.
However, the common problem when it comes to communicating environmental research findings is that they are rather exclusive and often accessible and fully understandable only to politicians, decision-makers, scientists, or the research community. The truth is that scientific information is very much needed for everyone to help us make conscious and sustainable decisions in our everyday lives and advocacy.
Communicating about environmental science has its own unique challenges, nevertheless we believe that it is possible to communicate it in a way that makes that message appealing for young people in particular to understand, and makes it more relevant to our personal stories.
That’s why together with UNEP’s International Resource Panel (IRP) we will bring you important research facts to your daily life through Natural Resources Explained.
The IRP investigates the world’s most critical resource issues with a view to supporting governments, industry, and society to improve resource efficiency — a necessary condition to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Our common aim is to bring environmental science communication to the public, particularly to young people.
- Social Media Campaign – Creating simple digital content that explains what the IRP is and what type of work it does, followed by comprehensible bite-sized versions of the selected IRP Reports in the form of social media posts that are easily accessible and understandable by a young audience
- Online Youth Dialogue – Hosting an online event with guest speakers from the IRP on topics of their work to offer youth the opportunity to engage and give their views on IRP findings
April / May 2021
In December 2019, the International Resource Panel (IRP) launched the “Resource Efficiency and Climate Change: Material Efficiency Strategies for a Low-Carbon Future” Summary for Policymakers at COP 25 in Madrid, Spain. This document generated great interest from the climate community on the potential of material efficiency mitigation options.
In November 2020, the full report which provides more detailed information has been launched. The report highlights:
- The important contribution of resource efficiency to global climate mitigation efforts,
- The status and trends of emissions from the production of materials,
- Potential reductions of GHG emissions in residential buildings and passenger cars, from the implementation of several material efficiency strategies,
- A new state-of-the-art and bottom-up model with data for G7 countries (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States), China and India,
- Policies at the regional, national, and local level aimed at encouraging or mandating material efficiency strategies.
Read the full report here.
May/ June 2021
Today Izabella Teixeira (former Environment Minister of Brazil) and Janez Potočnik (former European Commissioner for Environment and Science) are colleagues as Co-Chairs of the UNEP/International Resource Panel. A decade ago, they became friends as negotiators at the 10th Conference of Parties of the Convention onhttps://www.resourcepanel.org/reports/building-biodiversity Biological Diversity (CBD COP10) in Nagoya, Japan. They have distilled that decade of experience into clear, science-based principles informed by the research of the International Resource Panel.
To the world’s efforts to restore and regenerate nature, they add the single-biggest missing piece: Natural Resource Management. The picture that emerges is a one-off opportunity:
- for biodiversity-rich nations to be recognized for the value of their natural wealth and be rewarded for maintaining ecosystem services, and
- for countries with high-resource footprints to invest in global natural resource management as an efficient strategy to reduce their indirect pressure on biodiversity and ensure an environmentally sustainable future.
The report features four principles to turn biodiversity loss into biodiversity value through Natural Resource Management:
- Know your true impact – Value-chain transparency
- Plan together – Integrated landscape planning
- Grow with nature – Nature-based and circular solutions
- Value nature – Recognize nature’s benefits
Those principles are also illustrated by a selection of case studies implemented successfully around the world.
As policymakers prepare for the CBD COP 15 (Kunming, 11-24 October 2021), these science-based principles can help them move beyond pledges and commitments, and take action that we can soon see working in the natural world.
Download the full “Building Biodiversity – The Natural Resource Management Approach” think-piece here.
May/ June 2021