Meeting Title: Workshop on Material Flows Accounting in Lao PDR
Location: Lao People's Democratic Republic
Date: 13th to 16th of November 2017
SDG Indicators: 8.4.1, 8.4.2, 12.1.1, 12.2.1, 12.2.2
Type: Material Flow Accounts
Environmental pressures and impacts are unintended consequences of modern systems of production and consumption. National material flow 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 material flow accounting (MFA) headline indicators have been used as a proxy for overall environmental pressure and impact of a national economy. For this reason, indicators based on 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).
UN Environment conducted a Workshop on Material Flows Accounting in Lao PDR. This was done in close collaboration with IRP, CSIRO, Nagoya University, University of Vienna and Institute of Social Ecology. The country workshop targeted National Statistical Offices and the Ministry of Environment.
The main purpose of the workshop was to build capacity in the appropriate statistical offices of the Lao PDR with regard to Economy Wide Material Flows Accounting (EWMFA). Un Environment detailed introduction on concepts and methods of Material Flow Accounts as well as indicators derived and potential applications.
The workshop tested the then current draft of a new Global Material Flow Accounting Manual and got feedback on it. The participants gained an understanding of Material Flow Accounts, its concepts and methods as well as potential applications in policy processes. The participants also undertook the first steps of data compilation, resulting in a better understanding of system boundaries, required data, estimation methods, potential challenges and different procedures to tackle data issues.