Material Flow Data Book
Recognition that the environment is finite as the source of resources supply and as the recipient of pollutants is the most essential standpoint to discuss sustainable development. The chapter 4 of the Agenda 21 points out that current production-consumption pattern of industrial economies is far from sustainability. The Basic Environmental Plan of Japan states that it is necessary to transform our production and consumption pattern more sustainable. Such statements are based on the recognition that pursuing too much "material wealth" has led to the environmental crisis.
In order to analyze relationships between environmental problems and current socio-economic activities characterized by massive use of materials, it is indispensable to comprehensively quantify flows of materials between the economy and the nature and those among various economic sectors. The Material Flow Accounting / Analysis (MFA) is a powerful tool for such comprehensive analysis. The Center for Global Environmental Research (CGER) in the National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES) has been carrying out a study on environmental and natural resources accounting by the Global Environmental Research Fund since 1991. One of the priority issues of the study is accounting of imported natural resources, on which Japanese economy depends, and their environmental implications are of interest. Data on international trade of natural resources collected for that study is hereby recompiled in this publication.
Based on such background, this data book is compiled to provide fundamental information to understand the recent state of international trades of natural resources, and to recognize the Japanese position in the world trade market. Data records in physical units are extracted from trade statistics of the United Nations then aggregated and converted when necessary. In order to provide concise and easy-to-understand information, inter-regional trade flows are presented as color maps by resources categories. In addition, numerical data tables in trade matrices format are attached.
This data book is intended to show a first step to study environmental implications of international trades. The book will be useful as a basic reference for "from-cradle-to-grave (life cycle)" viewpoint. This may also contribute to more specific scientific use, such as environmental-economic modeling.
|Updated: November 2, 2006||Copyright(C) Center for Global Environmental Research.|