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Supporting UNECE member States in the development and implementation of UNFC and UNRMS

Project title

Supporting UNECE member States in the development and implementation of the United Nations Framework Classification for Resources (UNFC) and the United Nations Resource Management System (UNRMS)

Expected timing/ duration

June 2020 – May 2024

Target group and beneficiaries of the project

All UNECE member States are beneficiaries of the project. The target audience for this project is senior officials from ministries of natural resources, mining, energy, water and industry, EU geological surveys, national experts and financial institutions.


European Commission

Implementing entities


Project description 

Sustainable management of natural resources underpins socio-economic development. The Expert Group on Resource Management (EGRM) is mandated to develop UNFC, a universally accepted and internationally applicable classification scheme for energy and mineral resources.

In its recent work, EGRM has developed UNFC for resources including solar, geothermal, wind and bioenergy, as well as anthropogenic resources, and work is underway on hydro and marine energy and groundwater. UNFC has been endorsed by ECOSOC (Decision 2004/233) for global application. EGRM is also mandated to develop UNRMS as a dynamic system for sustainable management of resources building on UNFC. UNFC and UNRMS represent an integrating toolkit to assist countries to manage their natural resources sustainably in alignment with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

UNFC- and UNRMS-based classification and management provide the basis for reliable and coherent information on the natural resource base, which can be used for policymaking and directing capital investments. Attainment of the SDGs requires energy and raw materials, but there is a need to make resource production and use more efficient and carbon neutral. Due to the exponential growth in the quantities of resources consumed by society, progress towards a circular economy paradigm has become a necessity.

The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the need for secure supply chains for critical raw materials required for diverse social and economic sectors including health, agriculture and low or zero-carbon energy. Near- and long-term implications of countries recovering from the impacts of COVID-19 emphasise the need for resiliency in resource management which will also be a focus of this project. 


The objective of the project is to build capacities in UNECE member States for sustainable management of resources through the application of UNFC and UNRMS. These systems provide a unified, comparable, interoperable and harmonised approach to resource assessment and management usable for governmental, statistical, corporate and financial purposes.  

Project activities

Supporting further development and maintenance of UNFC

  • Development and maintenance of UNFC specifications for a unified, comparable,  interoperable and harmonised system for resource assessment
  • Development and maintenance of UNFC application guidelines for resource classification
  • Development and maintenance of UNFC best practices for resource classification
  • Support development of UNFC reference case studies at country and corporate levels

Supporting the development and maintenance of UNRMS

  • Development and maintenance of the fundamental principles of sustainable resource management
  • Development and maintenance of concepts and terminology for sustainable resource management
  • Development and maintenance of the structure and specifications of UNRMS
  • Development and maintenance of data, information and knowledge standards and guidelines

Support implementation of UNFC and UNRMS for sustainable development, including in economic recovery from COVID-19 impacts 

  • Synthesize, review, assess and critically evaluate relevant information and knowledge on resource management
  • Organize four outreach and coordination meetings with investment banks, development banks, financial and other key institutions
  • Conduct regular online communications such as webinars, virtual workshops and training courses for engaging experts and facilitating their participation in EGRM-related activities and events
  • Conduct four capacity-building workshops on sustainable management of resources in the UNECE region.

Communication of activities, deliverables and findings of EGRM 

  • Development of training materials to support the capacity and knowledge foundations for UNFC and UNRMS
  • Dissemination of UNFC and UNRMS based toolkit for sustainable management of resources by governments
  • Communication of policy tools and reporting codes to relevant national and regional stakeholders
  • Organizing four multi-stakeholder workshops and training courses in the UNECE region