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Transforming Natural Resource Management for a Sustainable Planet

The global acceptance of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development marked a new era in global development. Natural resources are essential for attaining most of the agenda’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Whether these measures have created value will depend on why, how, when, and where natural resources are discovered, produced, consumed, recovered, and reconsumed. In response, the United Nations Framework Classification for Resources (UNFC) is transforming into a comprehensive and integrated system that can be used for managing these resources to ensure balanced, responsible, and resilient development. This paper presents the recent expansion of UNFC guidance to cover social and environmental effects and the further transformation of the system to make it a valuable tool in resource management for governments and businesses.

Introduction

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, with its SDGs, has ushered in a new era in global development marked by pursuit of economic, social, and environmental gains in equal measure. The transformation is accompanied by a commitment to meeting the needs of two key beneficiaries—the people and the planet—through the common goal of sustainable prosperity for all.

The UNFC is a unified, global system for policymaking, government resource management, business-process innovation, and financial management and reporting that applies to key energy resources, including oil and gas, renewable energy, nuclear fuel resources, minerals resources, injection projects, and anthropogenic resources. The current UNFC grew partly out of the pre-existing United Nations International Framework Classification for Reserves/Resources–Solid Fuels and Mineral Commodities and the Society of Petroleum Engineers Resource Classification of 2000. It largely is compatible with the current SPE Petroleum Resource Management System in that it addresses not just what has been found, which was the case for the earliest classifications, but also what can be gained, in a manner that follows the industrial value chain. The UNFC additionally addresses the economic and social conditions that allow, or do not allow, projects to proceed.

This article, written by JPT Technology Editor Judy Feder, contains highlights of paper SPE 191537, “Transforming Natural Resource Management for a Sustainable Planet,” by David MacDonald, SPE, BP; Julian Hilton, Aleff Group; David Elliott and Sigurd Heiberg, SPE, Petrad; and Harikrishnan Tulsidas and Charlotte Griffiths, United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, prepared for the 2018 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, Dallas, 24–26 September. The paper has not been peer reviewed.
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Transforming Natural Resource Management for a Sustainable Planet

01 August 2019

Volume: 71 | Issue: 8

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