Effective resource management in a globalizing economy requires accurate assessments of fossil energy and minerals resources. The recoverable quantities must be described and categorized in a manner that is consistent with scientific and social/economic information describing the economy as well as with the information describing the projects to recover them. A number of different standards have evolved over time in response to various professional needs Under a mandate given by the United Nations Economic and Social Council, the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) has cooperated with Governments, regulatory agencies, industry, international organizations, and professional organizations (including Committee for Mineral Reserves International Reporting Standards (CRIRSCO), the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE), the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG), and the Society of Petroleum Evaluation Engineers (SPEE)), as well as with outstanding experts, to define a global classification for extractive activities (including oil, gas, heavy oil and bitumen extraction) that reflects the principal concerns of existing petroleum and mineral classifications. The United Nations Framework Classification for Fossil Energy and Mineral Reserves and Resources-2009 (UNFC-2009) aims to serve the following four principal needs: 1. The needs in international energy and mineral studies to formulate robust and long-sighted policies. 2. The needs of governments in managing their resources accordingly, allowing market prices to be transferred to the wellhead with as little loss as possible. 3. The industries' needs for information while deploying technology, management and finance to secure energy supplies and capture value efficiently within the established frameworks to serve its host countries, shareholders and stakeholders. 4. The financial community's need for information to allocate capital appropriately, providing reduced costs and improved long-sightedness through the application of lower risk-compensated discount factors. The projects are categorised with respect to economic and social viability, project feasibility and maturity and uncertainty with respect to the quantities addressed. The categorisation of projects rather than of accumulations provides coherence with other critical management information such as production, cash flows, value and demand for various input factors. This key aspect of UNFC-2009 reflects the critical relationship between the quantities that can be recovered economically and the recovery processes (projects) that must be implemented to achieve those recoveries. It facilitates the recognition of potential wastage of resources through flaring or inefficient recovery processes and therefore also the potential for improvement. Copyright 2011, Society of Petroleum Engineers.