Perspectives in bioeconomy: strategies, Green Deal and Covid19

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The importance of a sustainable and circular bioeconomy in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) has been recognized at various political levels. The EU Green Deal is one of the most transformative European political initiatives in recent decades. However, such a great vision and ambition can not be delivered without looking at the essence of the economic model we have created, without fundamentally rethinking the way we produce and consume. What is needed is a system change. We have to connect and implement transformative policies holistically to achieve the systemic change that is urgently needed. The bioeconomy, a circular economy based on renewable biological resources and sustainable biobased solutions, could certainly contribute. Three features could help to connect the dots in the Green Deal: bioeconomy is fundamental for inclusive prosperity and fair social transition; moving towards a carbon neutral EU requires moving towards fossil-free energy and fossil-free materials, to replace carbon intense products, such as nanocellulose, wood based textiles, wood engeenering; address the past failure of the economy to value nature and biodiversity. Biological diversity determines the capacity of biological resources to adapt and evolve in a changing environment and is a prerequisite for a long-term, sustainable and resilient bioeconomy. Therefore, bioeconomy is a great opportunity to modernize and make industries more circular: renewable biological resources, like forest resources, are, if managed sustainably at local and responsibly at global level, circular by nature and often easier to manufacture. The potential and crucial role of forests and forestry is not yet addressed enough at European level. Some good examples from member states and economic sectors should be adopted as the main way to promote sustainability at all levels, social, ecological, economic. The stewardship of forest ecosystem services such as biodiversity provision, hydrogeological protection and landscape conservation has increased. In addition to the main dramatic role for the conservation of biodiversity and the mitigation of climate crisis, forests could pave a strategic road to the creation of new green jobs, tackling the new direction that are requested after the current time of pandemic for rethinking our common future. Also in Italy, nowadays the conditions are ripe to plan for a responsible management of the natural capital in the country’s forests.

The paper is written by EFI Board member Marco Marchetti and EFI Director Marc Palahí. Note that the paper is in Italian with an English abstract.

Full reference: Marchetti M and Palahí M (2020). Le prospettive della bioeconomia, tra strategie, Green Deal e Covid19. Forest@ 17: 52-55. - doi: 10.3832/efor0059-017