World Forum on Raw Materials Project launched


Brussels, 30th November, 2016

17h00 – 18h30 | OREGA Brussels Leopold | Rue du Commerce, 123 – Brussels

The FORAM project was launched in Brussels during the first Raw Materials Week, organized by the European Commission. To date it is the largest collaborative effort to improve worldwide cooperation on securing access, promoting innovation and fostering sustainable mining, recycling and use of raw materials. Apart from key stakeholders from governments, research and industry in Europe the project brings together partners from Japan, the USA, and other G20 countries, as well as key countries active in the mining and other raw materials sectors.
As Mr. Marcin Sadowski, Head of the Raw Materials Sector at the EC Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME) stated, FORAM supports the EU International Cooperation Strategy on Raw Materials and he expects that the project will be an essential contribution to its success and international uptake.

Mr. Mathias Schluep, FORAM project leader, from the Swiss based World Resources Forum, said, “common approaches and solutions for both primary and secondary raw materials will be identified”.

The event was organized and hosted by the EuroGeoSurveys, The Geological Surveys of Europe, (EGS) and brought together close to 100 enthusiastic participants, ranging from policy makers, industry, academia and research institutions who concluded that the ambitious initiative will need to be inclusive, open, and built upon the successes of related European and global initiatives in this field.

Mr. Jaco Huisman, from the United Nations University, in charge for the identification of FORAM key challenges and priorities, said: “The raw materials field is a dynamic environment with lots of initiatives and projects. However, many actors are still working in silos. It is important to track relevant information flows, identify clusters and to trigger targeted interaction where needed. Actors in the primary minerals and secondary recycling clusters in particular should talk much more to each other to fix data gaps and to foster sustainable materials supply for future generations.”

Mr. Vitor Correia, President of the European Federation of Geologists, also reiterated the need of clustering stakeholders: “Nowadays we face many different types of constraints, such as lack of food or water in certain areas of the world. Society does not always trust the mining industry and there is a lack of information. FORAM is a good opportunity to put different clusters together and discuss also how we can gain trust from communities and contribute to better governance of natural resources”.

The participants could engage in dialogue, share ideas and interact directly with the project team and Advisory Board members thanks to the dynamic format of the workshop.  A major public pilot event is tentatively scheduled for the summer of 2018. This event will present the upcoming analyses of the topic, important obstacles and opportunities for wider cooperation, and will involve the main global players. All interested parties are invited to express their concerns and needs, and help shape the recommendations on how to most efficiently and effectively establish a World Forum on Raw Materials in the near future.