Draft chairman’s statement Davos World Resources Forum calls for doubling of resource efficiency

Draft Chairman’s statement, unedited and unformated version.

Davos, September 2011. Almost 500 participants coming from over 40 countries and international organisations attended the World Resources Forum 2011 in Davos, Switzerland on 19-21 September 2011, and exchanged  their views and perspectives on natural resource management and the Green Economy research, best practices and policies.
They agreed on the following key recommendations and identified next steps for all stakeholders.

  1. They called upon the hosting Government of Switzerland and others to inform the Rio +20 process of the outcomes of the Forum and agreed to review progress of implementation at the next WRF to be held in China, 21-23 October, 2012.
  2. There is an urgent need to take  effective steps towards achieving a  resource efficient, climate resilient Green Economy. A true sense of urgency that is entrenched by the compounding crisis (financial, food, climate change) should be translated into concerted actions.
  3. Economies are locked in unsustainable behaviour in developed countries and some emerging economies. Radical change as well as leapfrogging (in developing countries) is needed, in other words a new general and societal transformation  For developing countries resource efficiency is essential to and underpin the eradication of poverty.
  4. Data and indicators should be improved, since one cannot change what one cannot measure. Overconsumption of the rich needs to be addressed  and basic needs for the poor satisfied. Concrete roadmaps should be established, with clear plans for implementing  financial and legal instruments. Individuals need to be empowered to take action.
  5. Housing, sanitation, mobility and food are key sectors. Critical metals require urgent attention, due to their potential for essentia sustainable technologies and products. International governance structures for resource efficiency, including for minerals and metals need to be strengthened.
  6. An ethical framework for consumption (addressing both environmental and social impacts) should be part of a new global plan on resource efficiencyInternational governance structures for resource efficiency, including for minerals and metals need to be strengthened.
  7. For developing countries technology transfer, access to resource efficient technologies and financial support for making the transition is necessary as well as effective governance, resource efficient infrastructure and education. Higher prices of resources provide an opportunity for exporting developing countries to address those critical own challenges. Use of windfall income from commodity export  in an inequitable and unsustainable way could pose risks to social disability and environmental sustainability,  how to address this needs to be reviewed. Unfair international trade rules need to be addressed.
  8. Resource productivity is expected to become  a key driver for economic development in the next decades. Key instruments for establishing resource efficient economies include to establish clear indicators and goals, as well as taxing resources and pollution in stead of taxing labour.  Ecological, water and carbon footprinting are emerging concepts that can also contribute to transparency towards the consumer.
  9. New ways of thinking and new paradigms  are in need, since one cannot solve the problems with the same way of thinking they have caused, and ‘business as usual’ is not possible. Improvements of resource efficiency with a factor 2, 5, 10 or even 50 are possible.  More research to underpin these targets is needed. At the same time action to move towards these goals is urgent.
  10. Circular economy approaches require not only technical but also, institutional changes and social innovation.  Eco-design and upgrading of product and production process will boost a transition to a green economy and strengthen the competitiveness of industries concerned.
  11. Green Economy can only be accomplished by measurement of performance and transparence and by partnerships between governments and businesses, and businesses and civil society. Governments need to create a framework for innovation.
  12. Youth need to be equally involved in the discussions. Intergenerational dialogue such as took place at this WRF should be encouraged. Youth and women in particular in developing countries should be empowered to be part of the solutions.
  13. It was felt that although change is underway the implementation of activities should be accelerated with the greatest sense of urgency and that existing fears for change should be transformed into action.
  14. Considering all of the above the Davos World Resources Forum recommends to start immediately with implementing a Green Economy with a factor 2 improvement of resource productivity.
  15. This is both a recommendation to governments and business and civil society as a commitment to our selves in our capacity as individuals and most valuable resources of the planet.