EFG’s active involvement in the UNECE Expert Group on Resources Classification is confirmed by the election of Michael Neumann to the position of Vice-Chair

Since several years, the European Federation of Geologists (EFG) actively participates in the meetings of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe’s (UNECE) Expert Group on Resource Classification (EGRC). The EGRC which develops and maintains the United Nations Framework Classification for Resources (UNFC), a global tool for understanding and managing the resource base of energy and raw materials, meets in general in April in Geneva (Switzerland) during the UNECE Resource Management Week.

The UNFC has been developed with the aim of classifying natural resources under a common and consistent system. This includes primary energy sources such as petroleum or coal, but also renewable energies such as bioenergy, geothermal, solar, wind or hydropower. It also covers raw materials such as iron, copper, aluminium, rare earths elements (REEs) and essential fertilizers, including potash and phosphates. UNFC offers a common framework that allows countries and companies to manage how the required energy and raw materials could be assured in an affordable and sustainable manner and this offers opportunities for the active involvement of geoscientists in the management of natural resources, one of the main motives for EFG’s long-standing participation in the EGCR.

The cooperation between EFG and the UNECE has already been endorsed in November 2017, when both institutions have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). The Memorandum provides for the active participation of EFG’s experts in the EGCR meetings, a reason why this year’s meeting, held from 25 to 27 April 2018, has notably been attended by EFG President Vitor Correia and Vice-President Michael Neumann.

From left to right: Olaf Klarner, Coordinator of the EFG Panel of Experts on Oil and Gas, Vitor Correia, EFG President, and Michael Neumann, EFG Vice-President.

The significant contribution of the EFG to the UNFC also justifies the election, on 26 April 2018, of Michael Neumann to the Vice-Chair position of the EGRC.

In addition, Michael Neumann is active as the chair of the UNFC minerals working group, whereas Vitor Correia chairs the Competent Person working group – in which both the EFG Executive Director Isabel Fernández and Vice-President Michael Neumann are involved – and participates actively in the Sustainable Development Goals working group. Some of the EFG Panels of Experts, especially those on Minerals, Geothermal and Oil & Gas, are also active contributors to the advances of the UNFC, fostering the transition from a classification system to an universally acceptable and internationally applicable scheme for the sustainable management of natural resources.