St. Gallen, 16 March 2012. Against the backdrop of the multiple crises of the past years – financial, food and energy – the World Resources Forum announced today an expansion of its activities. On top of the successful bi-annual events in Davos, Switzerland, the Forum will start organizing conferences and smaller sized meetings in all regions of the world. An independent association has been set up to this end, supported by governments, industry and NGO’s.
The new World Resources Forum (WRF) Association was inaugurated today at the town hall in St. Gallen, Switzerland, in the presence of representatives of its founding members BAFU/FOEN (the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment), Empa (Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology), HP (Hewlett-Packard) and the city of St. Gallen.
The first WRF outside Switzerland will be held in Beijing, China, October 21-23, 2012, and will address the Green Economy. This conference is organized with the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Institute for Process Engineering. An India Resource Forum is tentatively planned for the beginning of 2013, and the WRF plans to support meetings in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (African Development Forum, 23-25 October this year) and Berlin (European Resources Forum, 13-14 November).
The new Association will be led by former UNEP diplomat Bas de Leeuw, who says that “more and more organizations are working in this field, for specific resources or for specific audiences. We welcome these initiatives and would like to provide a global platform, giving our members and our conference audiences the possibility of practical implementation-oriented snapshot experiences, where they can inform themselves about the latest trends and new cutting edge initiatives and partners”.
Urging policy makers to demonstrate a sense of urgency for resource issues similar to what they do for financial crises, De Leeuw points out that addressing resources challenges require significant investments on a global scale. Sharing information about trends and options helps ensure that these investments will be efficient and effective. In developing countries, the World Bank has estimated, that the need for investments in greening infrastructure, such as buildings, the energy and transport sectors, could reach US$264-$563 billion by 2030. “This is why it is so important that the WRF works with and for developing countries as well”, he says, “decision-makers from these countries are very welcome to join our initiative, and many of them have already done so.”