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“New” Resource Policy Makes Little Headway?

Reichstag building, Berlin

The Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, Dirk Niebel himself, presented the BMZ’s responses to the international challenges in the area of natural resources. According to him, a natural resource policy that fosters development must be able to transform the resource trap into a resource springboard by ensuring that natural resources and the income from these resources are used for the development of local communities. The minister outlined the four cornerstones of such a strategy: First, it must promote good governance, especially by creating greater transparency and also by strengthening systems of taxation and fostering civil society. Second, it must create structures for sustainable economic development (e.g., through diversification of the economy and by relocating the further processing steps in supply chains to developing countries). Third, there must be closer integration of trade and development cooperation. The same applies to the fourth point, climate protection and biodiversity, which can be addressed, for example, through focused measures for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, as are currently being debated under the REDD programme.

Niebel spoke out strongly about the pressing problem of land grabbing and severely criticized the EU’s agricultural policy. However, the minister largely failed to come up with any new approaches. The demand for resource certification, for instance, has long been raised as one possible solution. Yet it is doubtful that this new approach can be regarded as a big jump on the resource springboard. (Lukas Rüttinger)

You can find the conference documentation here (in German only).

The FÖS background paper on can be downloaded here. (in German only).

Published in: ECC-Newsletter, October 2010