The world's natural resources face increasing pressure due to rapid population and economic growth. Ensuring sustainable use of natural resources will require on the one hand a reduction in resource use, as well as strong, efficient and internationally valid standards. The current discussion on certification schemes for biofuels serves as a starting-point for the discussion regarding the possibilities and ways to extend a global sustainability standard with a broad coverage of natural resources. This article by Stephanie Schlegel and Timo Kaphengst outlines how a global sustainability standard for natural resources (NRS) can be designed.
The discussion paper "Options to develop a Global Standard-Setting Scheme for products derived from Natural Resources (NRS)" developed by Ecologic with support of WWF and FSC outlines different options to design an international standard whose implementation would equitably, transparently and measurably reduce the key social and environmental impacts of extraction or production of products derived from natural resources. The current discussions and activities on how best to implement sustainable bioenergy standards are seen as a window of opportunity for the development of a respective Global Standard-Setting Scheme. The discussion paper is available for download.