Report

Strengthening Stability and Sustainability

July 4th 2017 - 14:00

The rising demand for natural resources including energy, minerals and agricultural products, has been driven mainly by population growth in developing countries and an improvement in living standards in many countries around the world. Various factors however serve to limit the availability of natural resources. First of all, resources are not equally distributed across the globe. Second, there are serious environmental consequences to expanding production and consumption of natural resources, such as climate change. Third, natural resource extraction and export can be hampered by armed conflict. Finally, large exporters at times choose to restrict the export of certain commodities, for instance to promote domestic growth.

Open, transparent, and well-functioning markets for metals, minerals and other natural resources are essential for ensuring access to supply and to safeguard the economic wellbeing of nations worldwide. However, corruption, political instability and violence are factors that act as important constraints to growth in the production of natural resources and cause economic pain in countries that depend on their import.

As the second largest importer and transit hub of critical raw materials in the European Union (EU), the Netherlands has a vital interest in ensuring that global resource markets function in an open and transparent manner within a rule-based order. This report, commissioned by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), takes a closer look at the global institutional architecture that focuses on the governance of natural resources, abiotic minerals and metals in particular. In doing so, this study seeks to identify gaps in the thematic coverage and actor representation, and come up with ways in which the Dutch MFA can improve the way it advances Dutch interests with respect to the functioning of natural resource markets. Thematically, the study devotes particular attention to the issue of security of supply, as well as sustainability (e.g., resource efficiency and environmental care) and transparency (due diligence, human rights etc.). Finally, the study identifies points of intervention in relation to specific organizations and raw materials where the MFA can exert the most influence.

The report can be downloaded using the button on the right.

Sijbren de Jong is a Strategic Analyst at HCSS and lecturer in Geo-Economics at Leiden University, The Hague. He has a PhD in EU external energy security relations from the University of Leuven and holds degrees in Economic Geography (MSc) from the University of Groningen and Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding (MA) from the University of Leuven. His geographical areas of expertise include Russia, Central Asia and the Caspian Sea Region; Central and Eastern Europe; and the Western Balkans.

Willem Oosterveld is a Strategic Analyst at HCSS. He holds degrees in political science, law and history, having studied in Amsterdam, Leiden, Paris, New York and Harvard. A former Fulbright scholar, he earned a PhD in the history of international law from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva. 

Michel Rademaker is the Deputy Director of HCSS. He has a degree in Transport and Logistics, which he obtained at the University of Tilburg. He has fifteen years of hands-on experience as an officer in The Royal Netherlands Army, where he held various military operational and staff posts and also served a term in former Yugoslavia. After leaving the armed forces, Mr. Rademaker went on to work at the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO) as a project and program manager and senior policy advisor for ten years.

Hannes Rõõs is a data scientist at HCSS. He has a Master’s degree in Sociology from the University of Tartu and also holds Bachelor’s degrees in both Political Science and Sociology from the same university. In addition, he studied at the University of Oslo and the University of Mannheim for a total of three semesters. Prior to HCSS, Hannes worked as a research and teaching assistant at the University of Tartu and the associated Centre of Excellence for Strategic Sustainability. 

Artur Usanov is a strategic analyst at HCSS. He has an MBA with distinction from the London Business School and an MSc in Engineering with distinction from Kaliningrad Technical University. He is also currently finishing his doctoral dissertation in policy analysis at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. Prior to HCSS, Artur worked at RAND Corporation in the U.S., the Kaliningrad Regional Economic Development Agency and the EastWest Institute in Russia. He also taught at Kaliningrad State Technical University and Kaliningrad International Business School.