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Establishing a Resource-Circulating Society in Asia

Challenges and Opportunities

image of Establishing a Resource-Circulating Society in Asia
This publication addresses the issues associated with sustainable resource-circulating societies. It focuses on Asia, where both population growth and economic growth are increasingly prominent in the global context. It covers topics related to technological or socioeconomic issues or a combination of both. It provides policymakers, business leaders and experts in the field with comprehensive knowledge concerning future visions, initiatives and practical applications in the promotion of a sustainable resource-circulating society in Asia.

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Introduction: Asian perspectives of resource-circulating society - Sound material metabolism, resource efficiency and lifestyle for sustainable consumption

Overconsumption and inefficient production systems in the last decades have caused pollution, environmental degradation and the depletion of scarce resources in both developed and developing countries. In response, international organizations such as the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) have promoted the exchange of policy initiatives, action programmes and practices among member countries, industrial associations and academic institutions. For example, UNEP introduced cleaner production (CP), which promotes a shift from end-of-pipe treatment to pollution prevention, while the UNDP has appealed for environmentally sound technology in technology transfer programmes and assistance to developing countries. In the follow-up meeting after the Rio Declaration and Agenda 21, the International Human Dimensions Programme (IHDP) was established as a collaborative platform for social scientists and policy-oriented academics. The IHDP is supported by the United Nations and numerous international associations. Activities of industrial transformation, which is a prioritized domain in the IHDP working team, have implemented a number of industrial ecology (or resource metabolism) practices and performances in various regions and nations around the world (IHDP-IT, 2001).

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