Metals & Minerals

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Economic activity, in particular within the building and manufacturing sectors, strongly depends on the supply of minerals and metals as core raw materials. Between 1995 and 2005, extraction of construction and industrial minerals increased by 178 percent and emerging economies with large populations (such as China and India) had strongly increased their demand for minerals to build up infrastructure (UNIDO, 2011). This growth is expected to continue, fueled by the rapid industrialization of developing countries and the development of more metal intensive technologies in the developed world.

Green growth policies are important to reduce the negative impacts of the mining sector on ecosystems and landscapes, including pollution, dangerous waste and carbon emission; they are also critical for reducing the ecological footprint of these materials across their entire life-cycle, from extraction to final user, helping to promote the sustainable growth of the industry and the creation of new jobs.


United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment), United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS), Environmental Change Institute (ECI), Infrastructure Transitions Research Consortium (ITRC-Mistral), Global Environmental Policy Programme (GEPP), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), The Nature Conservancy, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF)

Learning Products

World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), Social & Human Capital Coalition
National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAP) Forum, Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, Governance of Extractive Industries (GOXI), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)


Resource Recovery from Waste