In August 2022, the IRP submitted a Co-Chair Think Piece ‘We Need A Global Discussion On Natural Resource Management’ to the United Nations Secretary General established High-Level Advisory Board on Effective Multilateralism public consultation.

    The report


      Download the Opinion Piece: EN

      The triple planetary crisis of climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution threaten our ability to enjoy a clean, healthy and sustainable environment. The United Nations General Assembly has recognized this ability as a human right now and for future generations. Perversely, these crises are driven by the way we extract, use, and eventually dispose of natural resources in our efforts to deliver prosperity and well-being for all. 

      The exploitation and use of natural resources are also characterized by deep inequalities. Ignoring natural resources and their intrinsic link to well-being has in the past led to negative outcomes, including for human rights. These inequalities and injustices are eating away at global confidence and trust in the multilateral system. 

      Improving the effectiveness of multilateral governance, particularly in relation to natural resource management, is an important element in realizing the 2030 Agenda, the Sustainable Development Goals and climate, biodiversity and waste-related agreements. That is why in this paper, the IRP Co-Chairs call for a global discussion on the options for the sustainable management of natural resources. 

      Such a discussion could be a first step to more deliberate forms of engagement on these issues between science, policymakers and key stakeholders. They can build up the current understanding of how policy can affect production and consumption systems that then in turn reduce impacts to climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution. 

      Strengthening multilateralism through a science-based natural resource and systems perspective is one critical element in bringing diverse actors across country contexts together on equal footing around just, pragmatic and solution-oriented pathways. These pathways can not only address global short-term crises of vulnerable supply chains and energy, food and financial insecurity but are also fit for purpose to address the long-term emergencies of the triple planetary crisis of climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution and waste. They are a central element of protecting and ensuring equitable access and benefit sharing derived from the global commons, now and in the future. 

      This paper draws on the research of the International Resource Panel to explain why natural resources must be a global priority. It outlines the benefits that global cooperation on natural resources could have. Most importantly, the IRP hopes this paper is the beginning of a global conversation on the options for the sustainable management of natural resources.

      Recommended citation: IRP (2022). We need a global discussion on natural resource management. Potočnik, J., Teixeira, I. A think piece of the International Resource Panel Co-Chairs

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