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Towards a World Forum on Raw Materials (FORAM)

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - FORAM (Towards a World Forum on Raw Materials (FORAM))

Reporting period: 2017-11-01 to 2018-10-31

The H2020 project Towards a World Forum on Raw Materials (FORAM) was implemented to setup a platform of international stakeholders, aiming to share experiences, increase each other’s understanding, identify common needs and threats and together develop ideas for enhanced international cooperation on raw material policies and governance. The project is a response to the “Global Raw Materials Governance and Dialogue” action area of the 2016 Strategic Implementation Plan (SIP) of the European Innovation Partnership on Raw Materials. Objective of this action is to improve raw materials supply conditions for the EU economy and the world market. Strategies include an improved dialogue with trading partners and key stakeholders from resource producing and resource consuming countries along the supply chain of non-energy abiotic raw materials.
The main objectives of FORAM were:
• Gain an overview and a better understanding of the current ongoing efforts on raw materials,
• Set-up a platform of the relevant stakeholders working on different sectors of the raw materials value chain and involve these stakeholders into a dialogue to understand the needs, challenges and opportunities towards enhancing international cooperation,
• Evaluate and advance the idea of the establishment of a World Forum on Raw Materials,
• Provide a roadmap based on the recommendations received on how to improve the cooperation on a global level.
As a first step, FORAM has performed a comprehensive desk research to identify and characterise the existing EU and global initiatives and programmes, as well as data availability on raw materials at different steps of the value chain. With this practice, the project created an overview of the current situation and laid a solid foundation for the future orientation of the stakeholder dialogues. A total of 103 European and international multi-stakeholder initiatives were identified (Fig.1). Furthermore, a directory composed of 108 databases which have a focus on both primary and secondary raw materials was developed. With an international mineral policy contexts report, FORAM provided an overview of emerging future political agendas and visions that are likely to shape the future global contexts (Fig.2).

Based on a solid understanding of the current international challenges as well as policies and strategies on raw materials, FORAM developed a strategic position for a World Forum on Raw Materials. The anchor point was to define the values, vision, purpose and mission of a World Forum on Raw Materials, combined with an appraisal of stakeholders’ needs, existing factors of competition and the knowable core competences that can be gathered in a future Forum (Fig.3).

FORAM has set up a Stakeholder Network composed of more than 170 international experts coming from different sectors of the raw materials value chain and started a dialogue among these stakeholders. A structured dialogue was initiated by clustering the stakeholders into five target groups: 1) Innovation, Security of Supply and Growth, 2) Resource Efficiency, Environmental and Social Aspects, 3) Policies, Legal and Financial Frameworks, 4) International Cooperation and Outreach, 5) Research, Capacity building and Education. Through several rounds of online videoconferences as well as face-to-face discussions during the FORAM 18 Pilot Event (held on 27 June 2018 in Nancy, France), the stakeholders concluded that there is clear and urgent need for a global dialogue platform to contribute to improved international raw materials governance. Furthermore, they stressed that creating accurate data and making these globally accessible in a structured and harmonized way is a crucial support for improving international cooperation and knowledge exchange.

By analyzing the outcomes of all project activities, a synthesis report presents recommendations in two main areas: i) How to structurally improve international cooperation and knowledge exchange, and ii) An overview of policy recommendations for improved raw materials governance at global level.

During the stakeholder consultation process, a vivid interest in “breaking the silos” by improving international cooperation has been revealed. By compiling the outcomes of the project and in particular stakeholder’s recommendations, the FORAM project has proposed a roadmap and a number of organizational models for improving international cooperation on raw materials. These cooperation models cover a broad range of options ranging from “loose and informal cooperation” models to “establishment of a new entity” such as a World Forum on Raw Materials.

During two years of the project, several dissemination strategies and communication activities were performed. The main objectives of these tools were to create awareness about the project, to ensure that all the interested stakeholders are reached, as well as correctly and regularly informed about the project status. To measure the impact of these activities a series of key performance indicators were defined. Comparison of the achieved and expected results reveals that the project has successfully reached out to a broad group of stakeholders and has been able to establish a well-recognized identity among the community.

Deliverables are publicly available on project's website.
In two years, FORAM has received high recognition and visibility and has generated strong commitment, also on personal level and between the various organizations. There is a clear potential for further exploring common grounds for cooperation and thus it has been recommended to use the FORAM partners and network and materials for deepening and broadening the work in progress. It is expected that a small group of most interested parties will work together and implement the “joint-activities” model of cooperation on voluntary and self-funded bases. The involved partners will present the project’s results at different events and will explore interest beyond the current group of stakeholders and reach out to China and other countries in Asia-Pacific, Latin America and Africa.
Wide range of outcomes of the project will have significant impacts and benefits for the EU:
- By conducting a baseline analysis of the existing global actions, the project has identified the gaps and common needs and established a framework for continued mapping of initiatives. This has in particular contributed to increasing transparency of the complex maze of the initiatives and actors in this field;
- FORAM has been able to set up a network of stakeholders covering the entire raw materials value chain and to engage them into a structured dialogue with the aim to “break the silos”;
- Multi-stakeholder awareness about the necessity of enhancing international cooperation on raw materials was raised;
- FORAM showed the need for a standard protocol on the performance of mining activities, and to improve the data basis along the whole value chain, including recycling;
- The necessity of a World Forum on Raw Materials was assessed and a related common understanding of its vision and strategic position was developed;
- The project has contributed to enhancing networking between key institutions in Europe and beyond;
- The project has led to sustained cooperation between key partners also after the formal project end. This include in particular FORAM consortium partners, EIT Raw Materials, UNEP IRP and the World Materials Forum.
Purpose and vision of a World Forum on Raw Materials
A selection of national mineral policies and strategies per country and region provided by FORAM
Map of initiatives available on the FORAM website