Dr Heinz Schandl, Dr Graham Turner, Dr Franzi Poldy and Prof Steve Keen presented their environment-economy model to UNEP in Bangkok 2009.
Resource efficiency in Asia and the Pacific
CSIRO worked with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to assess the challenges associated with resource use in the Asia-Pacific region.
2 October 2011 | Updated 31 August 2012
An international consortium of research institutes and universities, led by Dr Heinz Schandl of CSIRO Ecosystem Sciences, worked together to create a detailed picture of resource use patterns in the Asia-Pacific region from 1970 to 2005, a period of rapid growth in natural resource use.
The team looked at past, present, and future resource use patterns, including material, energy, water, land use, carbon emissions and air pollutants in the Asia-Pacific region. They used economic modelling to provide a range of possible scenarios for the future and to explore ways in which policy can support sustainable development.
The project involved innovative modelling using a technology-based physical stocks and flows model created by CSIRO Ecosystem Sciences. This model traces all resource flows that occur in production and consumption activities. In addition, a non-equilibrium, multi-sector economic model created by the University of Western Sydney was used to represent the inherently cyclical nature of national economies.
Based on these two models, the team established three scenarios, (i) a business as usual, (ii) resource efficiency and (iii) systems innovation scenario, in order to identify resource use constraints to economic development.
Particular attention was given to the comparative situations in Australia, Japan, India and China.
The research has resulted in a detailed report addressing firstly the concepts of resource efficiency and systems innovation, then related policy decision making, and resource efficiency challenges in the region, concluding with specific policy recommendations. Research products include:
- The first Resource Efficiency: Economics and Outlook for Asia and the Pacific (REEO) Report produced in 2011 . This report focuses on the demand for and use of natural resources both as drivers for and as consequences of economic activity and social development. It highlights the recent history of natural resource use in the Asia-Pacific region from 1970 to 2005, a time of unprecedented economic development in many countries in the region.
- A Summary of the Resource Efficiency: Economics and Outlook for Asia and the Pacific (REEO) Report. A summary providing succinct information for decision makers in government and scientific bodies is also available.
- The draft version of Recent Trends in Material Flows and Resource Productivity in Asia and the Pacific report formerly available is currently undergoing review, and should become available in its final form here by late October 2012.
These reports were prepared for the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Australia, in collaboration with the University of Western Sydney, Australia, the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES), Japan, The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), India, and the Institute of Policy and Management Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China.
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