Natural resources are the foundation of economic development. This report reveals the patterns and the evolution of natural resource use with 118 indicators in 26 countries of the Asia and the Pacific region over the last 40 years. The analysis shows that resource use in the region is both inefficient and unsustainable. The Asia-Pacific region will not be able to base its future economic growth on declining costs of natural resources as was possible during most of the twentieth century. An increasing reliance on resources from abroad and volatility in the global resource markets will pose challenges to the economic resilience of countries in the region. In this new economic context resource efficiency and decoupling of economic growth and resource use will be fundamental to the economic success of the region. The knowledge generated by this report helps to improve the understanding of the natural resource use and emissions consequences of economic growth in Asia and the Pacific to support policy formulation, monitoring and policy evaluation in the countries of the region.
In addition to this report, a comprehensive database featuring 26 countries in the Asia-Pacific region and 40 years of resource use is available here. The database has been developed as a result of a three-year science-based consultative process mandated by countries in the region and coordinated by UNEP, the CSIRO and the Asia-Pacific Roundtable on Sustainable Consumption and Production (APRSCP), with support from the European Union's SWITCH-Asia Programme.