United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Major Group: Science & Technology

Viewpoint of the Scientific & Technological Communities on Mining
Thank you Mr. Chairman for giving the floor to the Scientific & Technological Community
Science, engineering and technology will be critically important for moving to sustainable
consumption and production patterns. Our comments today are focused on specific aspects of
sustainable production systems and also aspects of sustainable waste management.
Enhancing energy conservation and efficiency, sustainable industrial and chemical production,
sustainable buildings and construction, sustainable physical infrastructure are key areas for
decoupling economic growth from environmental impact. For moving in this direction, it will be
important to disseminate among all production and consumption sectors two main concepts:
1. knowledge of product life cycle, and 2. true cost of a product that includes the recycling
The Scientific and Technological Communities recognize the importance of recycling and the
potential of recycled materials to supplement the flow of primary materials to production
processes. We wish to comment on the importance of life cycle assessments of the
consumption cycle, and specifically recycling processes. It is essential to develop data and
information on the energy and material inputs and outputs associated with the recycling of
various products, as well as the social and environmental impacts of recycling activities. If data
and information are lacking it is often not possible to identify those instances where recycled
materials are more sustainable than those supplied from primary sources.
The engineering of recycling is far from complete. Continuing scientific and engineering
advancements are needed to ensure that recycling of the full range of materials, including
advanced composites, will be possible, which is not the case today.
We wish to express our support for the UNIDO-UNEP Cleaner Production Initiatives and note
the importance of National Cleaner Production Centres in facilitating the transfer of
engineering advancements to, and the implementation of cleaner technologies and industries
in developing and transition countries. This successful capacity building program deserves the
support of Member Nations and Major Groups.

In conclusion, the Scientific and Technological Community fully supports the development of A
10 Year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production. All domains of
science, engineering and technology are committed to contribute to this important initiative.
The contribution of the social and economic sciences will also be important in this respect.
Thank you Mr. Chairman.
Deborah Shields/ Darrel Danyluk, WFEO