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UNEP Welcomes Alicia Bárcena Ibarra as New Co Chair of Expert Panel on Natural Resources

At the 18th meeting of the International Resource Panel, Cape Town.

9 June 2016|Press Release


Alicia Bárcena, Executive Secretary of ECLAC.
Alicia Bárcena, Executive Secretary of ECLAC.
Photo: Lorenzo Moscia/ECLAC.

(Cape Town, 8 June 2016) Mexican diplomat and biologist Alicia Bárcena Ibarra became today the new co-chair of the International Resource Panel (IRP), a body of leading natural resource scientists and experts, hosted by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

Bárcena, the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, replaces renowned sustainable development specialist Ashok Khosla, who is stepping down as co-chair but who will remain with the IRP as a Panel member.

"I am very grateful to Ashok Khosla for his commitment, guidance, and dedication to the IRP in its formative years and warmly welcome his decision to remain as a member, " said Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary General and Executive Director of UNEP. "It is with great pleasure that I welcome Alicia Bárcena, who I know will, together with the IRP's co-chair Janez Potočnik, provide insightful leadership to the future work of the Panel."

Former European Union Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik has been a co-chair of the IRP since November 2014.

The IRP, which is meeting this week in Cape Town, provides independent, coherent and authoritative scientific studies and assessments on the sustainable use and management of natural resources and in particular their environmental impacts. These have topics ranging from biofuels, metal recycling and international trade in natural resources to sustainable land use, food systems and the potential for decoupling resource use from environmental degradation. All IRP reports can be found at

For more information, please contact

Moira O'Brien-Malone, Head, Communications, UNEP Division of Technology, Industry and Economics, Paris. Tel: +33 1 44 37 76 12 / +33 6 82 26 93 73. Email:

About the International Resource Panel

The International Resource Panel was set up by the United Nations Environment Programme in 2007 to build and share the knowledge needed to improve our use of resources worldwide. It comprises eminent scientists, highly skilled in natural resource management issues. The IRP's peer-reviewed reports distil the latest scientific, technical and socio-economic findings around global resource use. These assessments are a guide to more sustainable and equitable practices that steer us away from overconsumption, waste and ecological harm to a more prosperous and sustainable future. The IRP provides advice and connections between policy-makers, industry and the community on ways to improve global and local resource management, showing a way forward to achieving a healthier planet, and so healthier lives and livelihoods for all.

Click here to access the UNEP original press release (external link): ://





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