Special Issue:  A Green Deal for Sustainable Resources – Extraction, Recovery, Circularity (WRF 2021)


This Special Issue will host selected papers presented at the World Resources Forum 2021 (WRF 2021) conference “A Green Deal for Sustainable Resources”, which is held on 12-14 October 2021 in an innovative hybrid format, consisting of an online conference and two physical hubs, in Switzerland and Ghana. The conference is organised by the World Resources Forum Association (WRF), and co-hosted by the Ghanaian Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI), and the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (Bundesamt für Umwelt, BAFU).

In today’s world, where natural resources are finite, resource depletion is ever rising, which has resulted in social and environmental negative effects. International efforts have therefore been geared towards reducing the negative impacts of resource use. The European Union Green Deal sets policy initiatives to usher Europe into a carbon-neutral use of resources by the 2050. To do so, resource governance is crucial for all actors involved in the natural resources value chain. Similar to the goals set in the Green Deal, the Sustainable Development Agenda 2030 and the related SDGs can only be achieved using a holistic approach.

Therefore, the WRF 2021 hybrid conference covers parallel topics streams along the whole global value chain of natural resources, with the attainment of the SDGs as overarching guidelines.

Topics covered by this Special Issue include the implementation of a Green Deal for Sustainable Resources.

The Thematic Areas are:

1. Primary Resources: Fair resource extraction for a quality future 

  • Mineral governance

Responsible sourcing, Perspective of extractive economies, Public-private partnerships, Supply security

  • Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining

Social and environmental impacts, Minamata Convention, Driving forces in global value chains, Informal ASM integration

  • Trade & Finance

Trade flows, Illicit Financial Flows, Transparency and traceability methods, Sustainable financing, Legal and regulatory provisions

2. Secondary Resources: From waste to resources for development

  • Special waste

E-waste, End-of-life vehicles (ELVs), Plastics, Batteries, ODS Management

  • Innovation and technology

Hazardous waste treatment, informal – formal partnerships, take-back systems, due diligence approach

  • Favourable framework conditions

Policy and regulations, EPR and financing, transboundary movement, inclusive recycling

3. Circular Economy: Designing circular systems for resources

  • CE across different sectors and products

Electronics, Plastics, Food systems, Textiles

  • Rethinking business models (for CE)

From products to services, Product design, Industrial symbiosis, Enabling environment

  • Africa circular

The human side of circular economy, Low carbon solutions, Leap-frog opportunities, Transition process

Authors can choose to publish under the traditional publishing model (no charges apply), but the journal also provides the open access option (with article processing charges).

As a special offer by Springer, all content published will be freely accessible to everyone until the end of 2022.


Publication of this Special Issue will take place in 2022.


Prof. Dr. Patrick Wäger 
Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology – Empa, Switzerland (patrick.waeger@empa.ch)

Prof. Dr. Charisios Achillas
International Hellenic University, Greece (c.achillas@ihu.edu.gr)

Prof. Dr. Sonia Valdivia
WRFA, Switzerland & Leuphana University of Luneburg, Germany (sonia.valdivia@wrforum.org)

Dr. Masuma Farooki
MineHutte, UK (masuma.farooki@minehutte.com)