Total material requirement of the Basque Country
Foreword from report:
In the coming decade the Basque Country will have a great opportunity to produce more well-being using more human resources and less natural resources. It is essential that economic growth be decoupled from the use of resources and from contamination if sustainable development is to be achieved. A transformation can and must take place which will reduce the use of natural resources and increase productivity, thus generating lower environmental impacts in all sectors of the economy throughout the life cycle of products and services.This new document has been drawn up under the Environmental Framework Programme to analyse the progress made in this decoupling process. It looks at developments in the use of natural resources in the Basque Country between 1989 and 1998. It also presents a series of indicators which can be used to monitor the pressure exerted by the Basque production system on the environment year by year, to determine the sources of that pressure and to promote action to palliate them. Chief among these indicators is the Total Material Requirement, which indicates the accumulated volume (measured in tonnes per inhabitant per annum) of materials extracted from nature by economic activities.This study has been drawn up by the Environmental Economy Unit of the University of the Basque Country. This unit was set up jointly by the Basque Government Department of Land Use and the Environment and the Institute for Public Economics of the University of the Basque Country. Its main purpose is to analyse the relationship between economic activity in the Basque Country and the environment.