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Products today are integrating more and more advanced technologies and sustainability criteria into their design. Soft toys with computer chips, medical devices that can assist in operations and learn from past uses, repurposed plastic bottles assembled to form a new, different product… each pose…
Standards are an integral part of society and are present in nearly everything that surrounds us on a daily basis; they shape how products are designed, produced and used. They are in all products that cross borders and can play a key role to reduce technical barriers to trade as well as integrate…
As an established convenor of standards developing organisations, UNECE encourages the integration of a gender perspective, providing practical steps for organisations to advance women’s full and effective participation in standards and standards development. With the objective of strengthening…
There is overwhelming evidence that we need robust management and traceability for the sustainable and circular supply and use of climate-critical raw materials. Calls are increasing for the production of raw materials to embrace circularity. Demand for batteries and other low carbon technologies…
As guests of the planet, we human beings can thrive only if our host environment is thriving. We are strongly connected to it, more than we probably understand and more than we probably dare to admit. Conversely, the ways humans treat the environment has clear negative effects on our health and…
We probably all know what a potato is and how we prefer to eat it. But do you know what a seed potato is, and why seed potato certification matters? And did you know UNECE has a standard for seed potatoes? Potatoes is one of the easiest vegetables to grow, as old potatoes that have grown buds can…
Minerals such as lithium, cobalt, and copper are essential for digitalization, for renewable energy technologies, and for the further deployment of electric vehicles. Demand for these and other minerals – known as “critical raw materials” (CRMs) – is growing fast as governments and businesses act…
A variety of European and African representatives from business, science, and government presented initiatives to raise awareness of universal sustainable resource management systems at the EU-Africa Business Forum. Experts called for further integration of European and African value chains through…
UNECE led a coalition of international experts to train raw material experts in sustainable resource management. COP26 added much needed impetus towards climate action. Raw materials will be a pivotal part of the conversation in driving innovation in a regional circular economy including recycling…
If the world is to deliver on climate change and attain the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development objectives, we must optimize our endowments of natural resources.  A resilient and sustainable supply of natural resources, including critical raw minerals, is essential for sustainable energy,…
From the Sandoz chemical spill of 1986 in Schweizerhalle, Switzerland, to the rupture of a dam storing mine tailings containing cyanide in Baia Mare, Romania, 2000; and last year in Beirut, the explosion of ammonium nitrate stored in warehouse near residential areas, what these chemical and…
The progress of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable development hinges on the availability of natural resources and a transition to sustainable means of their production and use. Minerals and petroleum provide the raw materials needed for the economy. While a low-carbon economy requires a wide variety …
A 5-day event in Geneva will provide a platform for some 400 representatives of Governments, international organizations, civil society and other stakeholders to meet in a hybrid format and discuss achievements and challenges in the promotion of transparency, public participation in decision-making…
Realization of the Sustainable Development Goals will require massive inputs of low-carbon energy, critical raw materials, and other natural resources, including land and water. These demands are aggravated by rapid urbanization of the world’s population, which stresses grid-based power,…
Sustainable development depends on optimal and responsible production and use of natural resources. Today's resource patterns are unsustainable in terms of their environmental and societal impact and ensuring resource availability now and in the future. Developments in sustainable resource…
The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the world’s fragilities, including the weaknesses of our food systems which exacerbate hunger, obesity, poverty, political instabilities and economic crises. To overcome common and regional challenges, the five UN regional commissions have been working jointly on…
With the UN Food Systems Summit taking place next week under the auspices of the UN General Assembly (23 September 2021), we must recognize that the food systems we have built over recent decades are unsustainable. The food choices we make every day as consumers and producers of food are having a…
Setting the major directions to strengthen effective public participation and access to information and justice by 2025 was the focus of the twenty-fifth meeting of the Working Group of the Parties to the Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-Making and Access to…
The importance of statistical information to help us cope with disasters has never been clearer than over the past year. As the Covid-19 pandemic has gripped the world, numbers have become our bread and butter. Yet the pandemic has also highlighted the challenges and imperfections in many systems; …
To reduce transmission of the novel coronavirus, Governments in the UNECE region introduced social distancing and other measures, which have often included restrictions on the freedoms of assembly and of movement. Consequently, there has been an impact on procedural rights of public participation…
Systemic deficiencies with regard to access to information, decision-making or compliance with environmental law can seriously threaten successful implementation of circular and green economy and sustainable development. Taking a case to court to advance a widely shared public interest remains an…
While transboundary rivers, lakes and aquifers, accounting for 60 per cent of global freshwater flows, are of crucial importance for the sustainable development and political stability of riparian States, the financial means for their management, development and protection are insufficient in most…
The current patterns of raw material consumption are unstainable and are becoming an existential threat to the planet.  The United Nations Framework Classification for Resources (UNFC) offers a solution to support a total transformation towards a sustainable resource management future. To support…
Risk is a part of our everyday lives. When we wear a helmet to ride a bike, for example, we accept a small inconvenience to reduce the risk of a fall or an accident. When a homeowner decides to retrofit their house, they incur a cost to shield against an earthquake or a flood. Faced with the COVID…
Every year we lose about 14% of the food produced before it is sold, and this does not even include the food never harvested. Even more is wasted at retail and consumer levels. At the same time, over 800 million people worldwide suffer from hunger, while food loss is a major contributor to CO2…