Kolkata/Bangkok, May 19 : tural resource use in the Asia-Pacific region is growing at a rate of five percent per year, which is faster than the rest of the world, a UNEP report said on Tuesday. The report “Indicators for a Resource Efficient and Green Asia and the Pacific” was launched in Bangkok by United tions Under-Secretary-General and UNEP (United tions Environment Programme) executive director Achim Steiner at the First Asia Pacific Forum of ministers and environment authorities.
On materials’ use, it said: “Driven by rising consumption linked to a growing population and middle class, Asia-Pacific use of materials, including biomass, metals, industrial and construction minerals and fossil fuels, is growing at five percent annually, faster than the rest of the world.” The assessment highlighted the explosion in tural resource use between 1970 and 2010. “The use of materials in the region increased yearly from 5.7 billion to 37 billion tonnes between 1970 and 2010, compared to global consumption of 70 billion tonnes in 2010. Per capita material use increased fourfold from 2.3 tonnes to 9.3 tonnes over this period, the bulk of this growth happening after 1990,” said the report.
Linking low-efficiency of tural resource use with economic growth, it pointed out that “it took an estimated 3 kg of materials to produce one dollar of GDP in the region in 2010, compared to 1 kg for the rest of the world”. “Developing Asia-Pacific countries needed 5 kg of materials to produce a dollar of GDP in 2010. This low efficiency points to the great potential to improve efficiency by which materials are used in the region,” it said.
Using 118 indicators to assess tural resource use over the past 40 years in 26 Asia Pacific countries, the report is the outcome of a three-year science-based consultative process initiated by UNEP, Australia’s tiol science agency CSIRO and the Asia Pacific Roundtable on Sustaible Consumption and Production and supported by the European Union. It also provides estimates of tiol material footprints. These adjust tiol resource consumption to account for trade. Overall, the report indicated lower material footprint. “The material footprint of the region grew threefold between 1990 and 2010 with a maximum increase of 400 per cent in the construction sector. Agriculture saw the smallest increase of 1.8 times in its material footprint during this period,” the report revealed. (IANS)