8.4.2 Domestic material consumption (DMC) and DMC per capita, per GDP (Tier I)
Material Flows Accounting is a well-established methodology with a strong conceptual basis in Physical accounting and economics. UN Environment proposes a two-pronged approach to capacity building, which is enhancing the accounting capabilities for Domestic material consumption (DMC) and Material footprint (MF) within countries, while at the same time supporting the UN Environment International resource panel (IRP), in continuing to update the global database and encouraging countries to verify and adopt the dataset made available by UN Environment to fill the gap until capacity is available in all regions and countries.
Economy-Wide Material Flow Accounts (EW-MFA) based accounts and indicators deliver a very comprehensive overview of natural resource extraction, trade in natural resources, waste disposal and emissions. They measure environmental pressures of natural resource use, and EW-MFA based headline indicators have been used as a proxy for overall environmental pressure and impact of a national economy. For this reason, indicators based on EW-MFA data sets have been adopted for monitoring progress of the 2030 sustainable development agenda and the SDG targets for resource productivity (SDG 8.4) and sustainable use of natural resources (SDG 12.2).
EW-MFA are widely used in the European Union and are part of the reporting requirements for EU member countries. UNEP and Eurostat with the IRP and UNSD have developed a global manual on EW-MFA which brings in the European guidelines, but provides a modular approach for countries looking to develop EW-MFA for the first time and it addresses specific issues related to resource extractive based economies. The approach in the manual was pilot tested in South Africa, Chile, Philippines and Laos PDR. The drafting and pilot testing was led by experts from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), University of Vienna, Vienna Institute of Social Ecology and Nagoya University. The Global Database on MFA is based on a global model implemented by CSIRO for the IRP. UNEP is working to develop a system to improve data collection from countries on MFA to replace the globally estimated data. This data also forms the basis for much of the SCP Hotspots Analysis Tool.