In 2020, Ghana and Switzerland announced the first World Resources Forum to be held on African soil, which unfortunately had to be postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We are excited to communicate the re-launch of this initiative with an innovative format. For three days, participants from all over the world will have the opportunity to meet in an online conference setting, while African and European stakeholders will meet physically in smaller regional hubs in Accra, Ghana and Zurich, Switzerland. The hybrid conference model addresses the current restrictions on movement, while offering a new model for future WRF conferences – to be more inclusive and with a lower environmental footprint.
With the ever-increasing high demand for raw materials, common policies for the preservation and sustainable supply of natural resources have never been more pressing. Amid the various environmental, social and economic challenges, political initiatives, such as the Green Deal, are striving for international solutions for sustainable resource governance.
Addressing these challenges, the WRF 2021 conference will serve as the platform for an international dialogue and the exchange of the latest scientific advances and practical solutions among scientists, policy makers, business leaders and civil society. The three-day conference will be centered around how a Green Deal can make
WRF will make use of an innovative hybrid conference approach with the establishment of two physical hubs in Accra and Zürich, combined with the online conference. Based on both the requirements imposed by the current pandemic situation and the opportunities offered by our digitalized era, a hybrid nature allows all interested parties to participate, share their knowledge and contribute to a global discourse.
The economies of both Ghana and Switzerland are strongly bound to resource governance is-sues, although at very different stages of the value chain. The mining industry is contributing approx. 5% to the Ghana’s GDP and is thus an important backbone of the country’s economy. Switzerland, a country with a limited endowment of mineral resources, is a key importer of Ghana’s raw materials such as gold and cocoa—and plays a key role in the trade of natural resources at a global level.
WRF 2021 is supported by the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment and partners with the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI) in Ghana. Other partners include key local and international actors such as various UN institutions, the German development agency GIZ, the African Circular Economy Network and the University of Ghana, Legon. This makes the WRF 2021 the event to attend for all interested stakeholders in the field of natural resources. Keynote speeches by renowned global actors will be followed by plenaries, parallel scientific sessions, workshops, and interactive matchmaking opportunities. Provided that public health policies allow for physical meetings in October, events such as closed project gatherings, policy dialogues, youth sessions, guided tours and awards sessions will be held in the two physical hubs.