It's a wrap! The sixth United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-6) took place in Nairobi and the International Resource Panel (IRP) contributed its increasingly relevant research to the priority policy discussions and resolutions.

The IRP took the lead and participated in a series of events, including the Global Resource Outlook 2024 launch - see the information below for details: 

The UNEA-6 focused on how multilateralism can tackle the triple planetary crisis of climate change, nature and biodiversity loss and pollution and waste. 

Research by the International Resource Panel (IRP) has found that the unsustainable use of natural resources lies at the heart of the triple planetary crisis. Resource efficiency and circular economy solutions are central to achieving our shared sustainability, climate, biodiversity and other goals.  

The IRP Co-Chair Janez Potočnik and IRP Panel Member Hans Bruyninckx took these messages to UNEA-6 at several side events. 

The IRP at UNEA-6

IRP Co-Organized Side events: 

“UNEA-6 Official Side Event: Sustainable Management of Natural Resources to Tackle the Triple Planetary Crisis”

Side event in the Conference Room 11 (in-person)
28 February 2024 | 13:30-14:45 (EAT) 
  • Organizers: United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) ; International Resource Panel (IRP) 

  • For more information, click here

Session description:   

The side event shared insights from the International Resource Panel on the drivers and implications of natural resource use. It also presented concrete online tools developed by UNEP to make a more sustainable use of natural resources. Finally, the side event launched of UNEP’s new Global Footprint Tool, which allows national statistics offices to calculate their country’s material footprint online.  

“UNEA-6 Official Side Event: Tackling the Triple Planetary Crisis - Building the Linkages from Science to Action” 

Side event in the Conference Room 11 (in-person)
28 February 2024 | 18:30-19:45 (EAT)
  • Organizers: Secretariat of the Ad hoc open-ended working group on a science-policy panel on chemicals, waste and pollution prevention in partnership with the International Resource Panel (IRP), Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Global Environment Outlook (GEO) & Ad Hoc global Assessment Dialogue (AGAD), Assessment Panels of the Montreal Protocol 

  • For more information, click here 

Session description:   

The objective of this side event was to explore how to ensure and strengthen the policy relevance of science-policy panels in a fast-changing world with complex challenges to be dealt with, building upon success stories and lessons learned. In particular, the side event focused on synergies and opportunities across science-policy interfaces for solutions to tackling the triple planetary crises in a holistic manner. 

“MEA-Side Event: Effective multilateral actions for responsible mining” 

Side event at Helipad, MEA events Tent B - Stage 2 (in-person)
29 February 2024 | 10.00-11:30 (EAT)  
  • Organizers: Secretariats of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions, Minamata Convention, Senegal, Switzerland, Pakistan, Chile and UNEP (Sustainable Consumption and Production Unit and IRP)

  • For more information, click here

Session description:   

The session discussed the enabling conditions for responsible mining and the sustainable use of mineral resources, through the effective, inclusive and sustainable multilateral actions required, by harnessing opportunities for sustainable development while minimizing negative environmental and social impacts.

“Press Launch of the Global Resources Outlook 2024” 

Press event in the Press Room (in-person)
1 March 2024 | 12:10-12:40 (EAT) 
  • Organizers: United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) ; International Resource Panel (IRP)  

  • Watch the event live, here 

  • For more information, click here 

Session description:   

The Global Resources Outlook 2024 – IRP flagship report and UNEP Institutional Priority Product – was launched at UNEA-6. The UNEP Communications Division itook the lead, with support from the Secretariat of the IRP, to organize a dedicated and high-level press event to launch the report. You can re-watch the event at the link above. 


Side events with IRP participation: 

"Synergistic Approaches to Overcome the Triple Crisis and the SDG Deadlock" 

Side event (in-person)
1 March  2024 I 13:30-14:45 (EAT)
  • Organizers: Ministry of the Environment Japan; Co-Organizers: Institute for Global Environmental Strategies 

  • For more information, click here and here

Session description: 

This side event presented an opportunity to showcase good practices at the local, national and regional levels promoting synergistic approaches, and amplify the discussion on specific policy measures, cooperation mechanisms and desired scientific knowledge to enhance synergy.

IRP Role: 

IRP Co-Chair Janez Potocnik was a speaker and shared his views on synergistic approaches and what critical knowledge is missing to work ahead for the science community. 


The IRP at UNEA-6 Associated Events:

IRP Organized events:  

“31st Meeting of the International Resource Panel"  

Associated event in UNON Conference Room 4 (in-person)
20 - 23 February 2024 
  • Organizers: International Resource Panel (IRP)

  • For more information, click here and here

Session description:   

​​The 31st Meeting of the International Resource Panel (IRP) took place in Nairobi, Kenya, from 20-23 February 2024. Participants from all over the world, including scientists, government representatives, and strategic partners, came together to discuss resource-related topics and advance the IRP’s 2022-2025 programme of work. 


IRP Co-Organized events:  

"UN Science-Policy-Business Forum on the Environment"

Associated event at UNEP Headquarters (in-person)
27 February 2024 | 08:00-18:30 (EAT) 
Session description: 

The UN Science-Policy-Business Forum convened a full-day agenda in support of UNEA-6 on 27 February 2024 in Nairobi, Kenya. 

Facilitated in a dynamic and interactive format, the UN-SPBF’s impactful program featured ministers, star speakers, and visionaries from the business sector, governments, scientific institutions, and civil society. Its special sessions concentrated on solution-driven thought leadership that aligns with UNEA’s theme – “effective, inclusive and sustainable multilateral actions to tackle climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution” – and the Executive Director’s Report. 

IRP Role:  

High-Level Opening Session: Shaping Our Common Future (09:30-11:45 hrs) 

IRP Co-Chair Janez Potocnik spoke at the Opening Session of the Science-Policy-Business Forum, entitled ‘Shaping our Common Future’, and helped lay the foundations for the day’s deliberations. 

The Imperative for Resource Efficiency and Sustainable Value Chains (09:30-11:45 hrs

Global Resources Outlook 2024 Lead Author and IRP Panel member Hans Bruyninckx presented the main findings of the GRO report at this deep-dive segment of the forum. The session discussed actionable strategies across housing, mobility, energy, and food systems, emphasizing justice and equity, based on the report’s insights. 

Responsible Mining in a Resource-Hungry World (12:00-13:00 hrs)

This session was co-organized in cooperation with the Consumption and Production Unit of UNEP's Industry and Economy Division, the International Resource Panel, and UN-SPBF. The session aimed to explore enabling conditions for responsible mining and the sustainable use of mineral resources. It addressed the need for effective, inclusive, and sustainable multilateral actions, with a particular focus on minimizing negative impacts and fostering sustainable development, especially in resource-rich developing countries. 

Closing Session (18:10-18:45 hrs)

IRP Co-Chair Janez Potocnik closed the session together with other renowned speakers. See here a full list of the particpants. 


Events with IRP Participation:

“The 10YFP Board and Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) Partners Meeting”  

Associated event in the UNON Conference Room 14 (in-person)
24 February 2024 
  • Participation: By invitation only 

  • For more information, click here 

Session description: 

The Meeting theme was "Effective, inclusive, and sustainable multilateral actions against climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution" and was convened by the 10YFP Board and open to co-leads of 10YFP Programmes & Initiatives, SCP partners, member states, and stakeholders. It aimed to enhance understanding of sustainable consumption and production's role in achieving UNEA6 objectives and its relevance to specific UNEA6 resolutions.

IRP Role: 

Thematic Session III: Business commitments to measure and implement sustainable consumption and production and circular economy through a Global Circularity Protocol (Time: 13.00–13.50 EAT) 

IRP Co-Chair Janez Potocnik spoke at the session organized in partnership with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) with a focus on the WBCSD Global Circularity Protocol. The session explored the essential policy conditions that foster the widespread adoption of this protocol, and shared knowledge and expertise, while ensuring a unified effort towards sustainable practices and circular economies. 


"Navigating Challenges for the Mining and Raw Materials Sectors"

Associated event in the Green Room (in-person)
26 February 2024 I 11.00-12.00 (EAT)
  • Participation: By invitation only 

  • For more information, click here 

Session description:   

This one-hour side event delved into the critical challenges and need for stronger governance in the mining sector. It explored the growing demand for minerals driven by the green and digital transitions, examining issues throughout the primary extraction process, from mining waste and human rights violations to environmental impacts.

IRP Role: 

IRP Panel Member Hans Bruyninckx shared the IRP's work and the messages of the upcoming Global Resources Outlook report.


"UNEA-6 Ministerial Breakfast"

Associated event (in-person)
1 March 2024 I 08.00-10.00 (EAT)
  • Participation: By invitation only 

Session description:   

The objective of this event was to highlight the potential benefits of a circular and sustainable bioeconomy, that is the use of renewable biological resources from land and sea to produce food, materials and energy. The growing and harvesting of biomass alone contributed over 90% of total land-use related biodiversity loss and water stress, as outlined by the IRP in their Global Resources Outlook 2024.

IRP Role: 

IRP Co-Chair Janez Potocnik was a keynote speaker.