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Ensuring sustainable resource management

The United Nations Framework Classification for Resources (UNFC) is a unique internationally applicable system for the sustainable management of all energy and mineral resources including renewable energy (wind, solar, bioenergy and geothermal), injection projects (carbon dioxide storage), and anthropogenic resources. The development of the UNFC-based UN Resource Management System (UNRMS) - embracing the principles of comprehensive resource recovery, circularity, zero harm and zero waste - will provide practical knowledge-based tools linking top-down policy objectives and bottom-up project implementation for the sustainable production and use of resources.

UNFC is used directly by BulgariaFinlandIndiaNorwayRomaniaSwedenThailandUkraine, and indirectly by the European UnionAustraliaBrazilCanadaChileMongoliaSouth Africa, and the USA. The Russian Federation and China have directly bridged UNFC to their national systems. Several continent-wide initiatives to deploy UNFC are underway – in Europe, led by the European Commission, which is using UNFC to manage critical raw materials needed for battery production; in Africa – led by the African Union Commission; in Eurasia, through a pilot project in the Russian Federation; and in the Americas, led by Mexico.

Across the world, 153 countries share rivers, lakes and aquifers. Transboundary basins cover more than half of the Earth’s land surface, account for an estimated 60% of global freshwater flow and are home to more than 40% of the world’s population. Cooperating on these water resources is essential for environmental protection, drinking water and sanitation, agriculture, industry and energy production, affecting millions of people living in shared river basins. The Water Convention, serviced by UNECE, enables an effective framework for cross-border cooperation to ensure the sustainable management of shared water resources.

UNECE “nexus” assessments have helped 20 countries in 7 shared basins to sustainably address the interconnected objectives of water managementfood and energy production and environmental protection. In the Drina River Basin, shared by Bosnia and HerzegovinaMontenegro and Serbia, this has helped to bring energy, water and environmental actors together, supporting efforts to formalize river flow regulation, address erosion and sedimentation, and promote renewable energy investment.