Track 2: Policy & Society

Moving towards a sustainable and circular economy: Bioeconomy Strategy Development

Shot of a diverse group of young business professionals brainstorming in a meeting
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Timing: November 17, 4-6:30 p.m. (CET)

Contents

Organizers

UN FAO

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) leads the German (BMEL) funded project “Towards Sustainable Bioeconomy Guidelines”, upon recommendation of 62 Ministers of Agriculture at the Global Forum for Food and Agriculture in 2015. The project guides countries in the development of sustainable and circular bioeconomy strategies, action plans and programs, in line with the SDGs and the Paris agreement, including in Uruguay and Namibia.

ECLAC

The United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, ECLAC, co-organized two regional bioeconomy policy-dialogues  (2015, 2018) before GBS2015 and GBS2018, produces publications on bioeconomy in Latin America, supports the Costa Rican National Bioeconomy Strategy 2020 – 2030, framed in the cooperation with the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) – German Corporation for International Cooperation (GIZ) and is currently providing technical assistance to Colombia, Costa Rica and Uruguay in the design of bioeconomy-related post-COVID-19 recovery plans.

Collaborating Partners:

The International Sustainable Bioeconomy Working Group (ISBWG) is a global Community of Practice and a South-South and Triangular Cooperation Platform, providing knowledge and experience-sharing related to bioeconomy-relevant lessons learnt and good practices, bioeconomy monitoring and policy tools. The Group comprises a diverse pool of experts from 35 institutions from all continents and acts as advisory group to the FAO Bioeconomy project.

At the Canadian Forest Service, Natural Resources Canada and at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada there are teams of economists, engineers, and policy analysts working to establish a solid foundation for policy decisions, including bioenergy and biorefining pathways in the forest sector and policies related to industrial bioeconomy applications of agricultural production.

The Fraunhofer IGB develops and optimizes processes, plants, products, and technologies in the fields of health, chemistry and the process industry as well as environment and energy. The ScienceCampus Halle – Plant-Based Bioeconomy (WCH) concentrates on primary plant production, biotechnology of plant-based products as well as social and economic impacts of innovations in the bioeconomy. The Fraunhofer Institute IMW located in Leipzig can look back over ten years of applied, socio-technical and socio-economic research and experience at the Leipzig location.

 

Chairs

Karel Callens

Senior Advisor to the Chief Economist, Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN

Adrián Rodriguez

Chief of the Agricultural Development Unit of the UN Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (UN-ECLAC)

Moderator

Anne Bogdanski

Natural Resources Officer at the Office of Climate Change, Biodiversity and Environment (OCB) of the FAO

Thematic focus

Although bioeconomy addresses global and multidimensional challenges, it does not guarantee sustainability. Thus, bioeconomy strategies should account for sustainability principles. Moreover, the cross-cutting nature of bioeconomy – regarding both the actors and sectors involved – poses additional challenges. The International Sustainable Bioeconomy Working Group, an FAO-led Community of Practice of several actors from government, civil society, research, the private sector and international organisations, have agreed on a set of Aspirational Principles and Criteria for a Sustainable Bioeconomy.  

The set of Aspirational Principles and Criteria covers the different dimensions of sustainability. Although there is not a singular relationship between each principle and each dimension, for the purpose of this workshop we propose dividing the topics by aspects, or dimensions, of sustainability (i.e. economic, social, environmental and governance), while simultaneously emphasizing the synergies and trade-offs between them.

The objective of this workshop is to foster an exchange of lessons learned from various countries about enhancing synergies and coping with trade-offs among the different aspects of sustainability in developing and implementing their bioeconomy strategies. To achieve this objective, we propose discussing country cases based on existing or forthcoming bioeconomy strategies, using the Aspirational Principles and Criteria as guidance.

To this end, we will explore the following topics from theory to practice and highlight lessons learned about mainstreaming the multiple dimensions of sustainability into bioeconomy strategies:

  • The governance dimension, particularly the role of stakeholder participation and governance mechanisms in strategy development and how they are related to addressing sustainability.
  • The social dimension, particularly the importance of food security and nutrition in the context of human and ecosystem health. Unhealthy diets lead to malnutrition, deficiencies as well obesity and non-communicable diseases.
  •  The environmental dimension, particularly the role of climate action, the sustainable use and conservation of biodiversity and environmental protection within a circular bioeconomy.
  • The economic dimension, particularly the role of technological, market and human-resource context in promoting structural, sustainable, economic change.

Agenda

All times refer to CET. Current time:

16:00 16:15: Introduction: Circular bioeconomy Strategies for Sustainable Development.

Chair: Karel Callens, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)

Co-Chair: Adrián Rodríguez, United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC)

Moderator: Anne Bogdanski, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)

Co-Moderator: María Silva, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)

16:15 – 16:30: Key-note speech: New German Bioeconomy Strategy – From theory to practice in sustainable bioeconomy strategy development.

Dr. Hans-Jürgen Froese, Ministry for Food and Agriculture (BMEL), Germany

16:30 – 16:40: Keynote speech: A circular bioeconomy for sustainable food systems transformation, contributing to a green recovery from COVID-19.

Dr. Eduardo Mansur, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)

16:40 – 16:50: Introduction to the four parallel breakout groups: Lessons learned on mainstreaming the multiple dimensions of sustainability into circular bioeconomy strategies.

Speaker: María Silva, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)

16:50 – 17:50: Parallel break out groups 

17:50 – 18:20: Plenary discussion: How can public policies contribute to enhance synergies and address trade-offs among the dimensions of sustainability in a circular bioeconomy?

Speaker: Anne Bogdanski, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)

All panelists

18:20 – 18:30: Closure

Chair: Karel Callens, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)

Co-Chair: Adrián Rodríguez, United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC)

Parallel working groups

4 Parallel working groups on how each dimension of sustainability (governance, economic and social and environmental) is reflected in the bioeconomy strategies.

For the subsequent reporting back from break out groups (Plenary discussion 17:50 – 18:20): What are some good practices in turning sustainability objectives of strategies into action?

    • Please highlight concrete actions, measures and policy tools that can promote specific sustainability dimensions.
    • Please highlight those actions, measures and policy tools that can address several dimensions at the same time, enhancing synergies and reducing trade-offs among the different sustainability  dimensions.

Guiding principles and criteria to be discussed:

      • Principle 6. Responsible and effective governance mechanisms should underpin sustainable bioeconomy.
      • Principle 10. Sustainable bioeconomy should promote cooperation, collaboration and sharing between interested and concerned stakeholders in all relevant domains and at all relevant levels.

Facilitation:
Anne-Helene Mathey from Canadian Forest Service (CFS)/Natural Resources Canada (NRCAN); Erika Van Neste from Agriculture and Agri-food Canada

Panelists:
Jeff Waring, Canadian Forest Service; Walter Oyhantçabal; Ministry of Livestock and Agriculture, Uruguay; Tuula Packalen, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Finland

Guiding principles and criteria:

      • Principle 1. Sustainable bioeconomy development should support food security and nutrition at all levels.
      • Principle 4. Sustainable bioeconomy should make communities healthier, more sustainable, and harness social and ecosystem resilience.
      • Principle 9. Sustainable bioeconomy should address societal needs and encourage sustainable consumption.

Facilitation:
Anne Bogdanski, FAO; Karel Callens, FAO

Panellists:
Julius Ecuru, International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE), BioInnovate representative for the East African Strategy; Ciaran Mangan, European Commission; Rafael Anta, Interamerican Development Bank; Fabio Fava, University of Bologna

Here we will highlight the environmental dimension, particularly the role of climate action, the sustainable use and conservation of biodiversity and environmental protection for the transition to a circular bioeconomy.

Guiding principles and criteria:

      • Principle 2. Sustainable bioeconomy should ensure that natural resources are conserved, protected and enhanced.
      • Principle 5. Sustainable bioeconomy should rely on improved efficiency in the use of resources and biomass.

Facilitation:
Adrián Rodríguez, ECLAC; Marta Gómez San Juan, FAO

Panelists:
Federico Torres, Ministry of Science, Technology and Telecommunications, Costa Rica; Timothy Ong, Senior Vice-President, Agensi Inovasi Malaysia (AIM); Hugo De-Vries, National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and Environment (INRAE), France

Here we will highlight the economic dimension, particularly the role of technological, market and human-resource context in promoting structural economic change.

Guiding principles and criteria:

      • Principle 3. Sustainable bioeconomy should support competitive and inclusive economic growth.
      • Principle 7. Sustainable bioeconomy should make good use of existing relevant knowledge and proven sound technologies and good practices, and, where appropriate, promote research and innovation.
      • Principle 8. Sustainable bioeconomy should use and promote sustainable trade and market practices.

Facilitation:
Henrik Beermann, Fraunhofer Institutes; María Silva, FAO

Panelists:
Gerd Unkelbach, Fraunhofer Institutes; Paulus Mungeyi, National Commission for Research, Science and Technology, Namibia; Tatiana Schor, Secretariat of Science, Technology and Innovation, Amazonas State, Brazil; Sakarindr Bhumiratana, Board Director of Biotec and committee advisor of National Science and Technology Development Agency, Thailand