Resourcing Future Generations

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Resourcing Future Generations. an IUGS initiative. Roland OBERHÄNSLI International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS). International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS). - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

Transcript of Resourcing Future Generations

The Great Debate Metals in our backyard: to mine or not to mine

Resourcing Future Generations

an IUGS initiativeRoland OBERHNSLIInternational Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS)

International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS)Impartial international scientific union addressing global issues that contribute to the advancement of geological research and inform, provide advice and influence decision makers throughout the worldWith 120 national members, the IUGS promotes development of the Earth sciences through Geological conventions and standards and promote their worldwide acceptanceInvolvement in developing interdisciplinary solutions to global problemsCollaboration between more developed and less developed countries in earth science research, capacity building and applicationsContribute to earth science education and the visibility and public understanding of the earth sciences and their profound influenceCareer development of young earth scientists

2IUGS Role & MissionIUGS is a member of ICSU and represents all geological scientists at the highest international level since 1961

IUGS supports broad-based scientific studies relevant to the entire earth-system and applying the results of these and other studies to preserving Earths natural environment, using all natural resources wisely, and improving the prosperity of nations and the quality of human life by:

Fundamental research and applied aspects of the Earth sciences of an international and interdisciplinary natureThrough its Commissions, Task Groups and InitiativesWorks with its Affiliated Organizations on topics of mutual interest

MINERALS & SOCIETY

~ 99.5 % of human development !!It appears inevitable that the demand will continue to rise for most commodities Global population continues to burgeonPopulous BRIC economies continue their rapid development Africa strives to develop its cities and deliver services

It is a priority to find and develop natural resources for future generationsGreater efficiency of use, recycling and substitution will all be vital, but insufficient4It appears inevitable that the demand will continue to rise for most commodities Global population continues to burgeonPopulous BRIC economies continue their rapid development Africa strives to develop its cities and deliver services

It is a priority to find and develop natural resources for future generationsGreater efficiency of use, recycling and substitution will all be vital, but insufficientMINERALS & SOCIETY

5Mining will continue to be an essential activity to meet the needs of future generations.While this is not easily accepted by all, it cannot be ignored in deliberations of the future. Any goals or visions for the future that simply ignore mining, or assume it will phase out, will be seriously compromised

Responsible production of natural resources needs to be accepted as part of integrated regional/national development plans and as a pathway to global Sustainable Development.It offers major opportunities for development of countries with good mineral and energy endowments.

MINERALS & SOCIETY

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Exploration expenditure at highest levels ever, but low discovery rateFalling rate of discovery of large mineral deposits over the past quarter of a century, despite high levels of exploration expenditureFalling rate of discovery of large mineral deposits over the past quarter of a century, despite high levels of exploration expenditureIn part, reflects the successes of earlier explorationMost easily accessible mineral resources of commercial interest in the developed world have been tapped already

There are still opportunities at depth But the bulk of the mineral resources for the future are in the less developed worldMuch of which is under-explored because of limited geoscientific information and difficult access7Satisfying future needs for mineral resourcesis a challenging goal to ensure a supply of natural resources for global society for the next centuryWhile meeting the environmental and social imperatives for sustainable development researchers, academics, government agencies and industry globally will need to play roles

In general, available technologies and good practices can minimise lasting impacts from resource productionMajor reasons for bad economic and social outcomes are corruption, conflicts of interest, ineffective regulation, incompetence and lack of regional planning

MINERALS & SOCIETY

8MAJOR CHALLENGESContinuing to mine lower grade and lower quality deposits is unlikely to be the answerHigher energy and water useLarger areas of disturbance Decreasing land area accessible for exploration and production More land is tied up for housing, feeding and servicing people and sustaining natural systemsRegions where wastes and pollution are difficult to control are unlikely to be mined in the futureChanging widespread negative perceptions of mining and demonstrating how it can be conducted with sustainable benefits

Global economic and social development relies upon the discovery and extraction of mineral, energy and water resources.How can demand for these resources accommodate continued population growth, and the right of people to improve standards of living?How do we secure resources for future generations in ways economically, environmentally and socially responsible?RATIONALE FOR RESOURCING FUTURE GENERATIONS

Articulation of most basic thesis / questions.10IUGS - RFG can provide an independent, non-government, international framework

Well-placed to play an international honest-broker role circumventing potential concerns about roles of some individual countries/organisations

Four Themes seem important with respect to Resourcing Future Generations

Comprehensive evaluation and quantification of 21st century supply and demandResearch programmes in enhanced understanding of subsurface as it relates to resourcesResearch focussed on evaluation of where additional natural resources are likely to be foundBuilding capacity in developing nations for responsible stewardship of natural Earth Resources

11The geoscientific data, skills and infrastructure required for locating mineral and energy have wider public-good applicationsWater resources = vitally importantEnvironmental protection/rehabilitation Building cities and infrastructureUnderstanding soils and landformsMitigating hazards and risksMapping biodiversity domainsEngage in geogovernance12Geogovernance - education/training

Earth in Transition: Preparing for the Unpredictable

GeoGovernance is an initiative of theUniversity of Potsdam's focus research areas of Earth Sciences and Politics, Administration and Managementhttp://geogovernance.deThank you

4 year old Rike managed to put & hold the Earth together