Getting Smarter About Resource Use in Asia

May 29, 2015
New research on resource efficiency in the Asia-Pacific region launched

When it comes to resource use, Asia is by far the world’s biggest consumer. Yet it also has enormous potential to be more resource efficient. The results of a three-year study that shine a light on how to do just that have just been made public by researchers at the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in partnership with SWITCH-Asia Regional Policy Support Component, Australia’s national science agency CSIRO, and the Asia Pacific Roundtable on Sustainable Consumption and Production.

The researchers developed resource efficiency indicators to assess resource use in the Asia-Pacific region, with the hope of helping policymakers to make more informed decisions that can lead to greener economies. Their findings are laid bare in a well thought-out suite of communications, comprising a report, video and database.

The report, Indicators for a Resource Efficient and Green Asia and the Pacific features country profiles and goes into detail on indicators for natural resource use as well as consumption. In the report, Achim Steiner, Executive Director of UNEP, says: “This report paints a clear picture of the path taken by the countries in the region over the past 40 years in their resource use. Today, the region dominates global resource use, comprising more than 50 per cent, and consumption is rapidly rising as economies grow, infrastructure is built and the middle class expands. But even accounting for economic growth, resource efficiency in the region lags far behind the rest of the world, and varies dramatically between countries.”

The video shows how resource use in the Asia-Pacific looks with the help of custom animations and live footage filmed in the region. In the video, presenter Patchari Raksawong reports: “Resource efficiency in Asia has the potential to double or even triple.”

The comprehensive database, which features 26 countries in the Asia-Pacific region and 40 years of resource use, is available at:

In this video, host Patchari Raksawong explores the use of different resources required to garner $1 in different parts of Asia and shows how current use stacks up.