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Indicators are essential means to quantify the state of complex systems. To make indicators meaningful they have to be linked to ecological, economic, or political goals. It is mandatory that there is a strong correlation between indicators and goals. Indicators should be reliable and robust. If an indicator is determined on a regular basis then it can serve to control the goal-orientation of measures. However, indicators alone do not provide information about the system itself. They rather deliver a result but not the reason for it.

Existing indicators for raw material use and management will be compiled and analysed against a set of criteria determined by MinFuture partners like life cycle stage, criticality or environmental and social aspects.

Several resource related indicators are available. They should be tested against significance, coverage, reliability, etc. and the most useful ones should be selected and routinely implemented in resource policy and management. It is important that indicators are based on sound scientific and technical systems/models. The knowledge and understanding of the system is essential - only then the validity of the indicators can be regularly checked.


The MinFuture workshop synthesis brief describes the main insights from discussions on:

  • How can we add more relevance and credibility to data published on raw materials? What context is missing that might enhance their status? How could we present data using a systemic MFA? perspective
  • How do raw material data reporting schemes (information flows) currently operate at national, regional and global level?
  • What raw material indicators are often used to identify issues with raw material supply/ demand? What are their strengths and weaknesses and how do they relate to material flow analysis?

Aimed at developing a common framework to analyse global mineral raw material flows, which can be agreed and used at international level, the MinFuture project intends to support data collectors, providers and users. Improving knowledge and quality of data on material cycles was found to be essential, but is faced with challenges such as interrupted information flows or lacking data availability. The first MinFuture Workshop (‘Methodology workshop’) served to discuss how MinFuture could support key data providers and users.

Group photo of the participants of the 2nd MinFuture workshop

The purpose of this workshop was to initiate a dialogue with key stakeholders that report raw materials data, use data to develop MFA models, or use MFA models to inform decision making. The knowledge and needs of data providers, users and decision actors are different, but in order for a ‘common approach’ to be developed their input is required.

MinFuture Deliverable D3.1

The brief presents key discussion items and main findings from the June 2017 Workshop in Vienna. In order to tackle challenges such as insufficient information flows or lacking data availability, a (more) systemic understanding of global mineral raw material flows is needed. Mapping the system context and making data/information gaps explicit will help identifying possible improvements.

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