Global Agenda Adopted for Sustainable Bioeconomy

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26.11.2015 -

At the Global Bioeconomy Summit in Berlin, more than 850 participants from 82 nations set themselves the goal of increasing the involvement of the bioeconomy in sustainable development and the battle against climate change.

The Bioeconomy Council of the German Government had invited delegates to Berlin to attend this first Global Bioeconomy Summit from 24 - 26 November. Summing up with regard to the Sustainable Development Summit in New York and the upcoming climate negotiations in Paris, Christine Lang, Co-Chair of the Bioeconomy Council, said, "Sustainability is one of the top issues on the political agenda. 2015 is the year of major international negotiations. We would like to use the Global Bioeconomy Summit to integrate the bioeconomy in this process." The participants in the summit have a common goal: to use fewer fossil resources and to use renewable resources instead. There are a great number of challenges to overcome along this route. The final communiqué of the Global Bioeconomy Summit defines five priorities of a global political agenda: 1) to use renewable resources, ensure food security and protect the ecosystem. 2) The bioeconomy's contributions towards the Sustainable Development Goals should be rendered measurable, 3) Economic and scientific collaboration should be promoted and 4) Education, joint learning and dialogue should be driven forward, and 5) Not just individual sections but the bioeconomy as a whole should be considered in the global negotiations for COP 21, the Sustainable Development Goals and trade. Daniel Barben, member of the Global Bioeconomy Summit conference committee, said, "In view of the fact that 45 countries in the world are pursuing bioeconomy strategies, the bioeconomy is underrepresented as an international policy issue. This Summit has shown that we are taking a step in the right direction." More than 100 international speakers presented policy concepts and concrete examples on over 60 posters during the conference in Berlin. The FAO, the OECD, the European Commission and the International Energy Agency also took part in the Summit with their own workshops. The Bioeconomy Council presented comprehensive studies on the bioeconomy: an analysis of the global political importance of the bioeconomy [1] and a Delphi study featuring future lead projects [2]. Joachim von Braun, Co-Chair of the Bioeconomy Council, said, "Germany has a global top position in bioeconomy. This brings us in a responsible position to share our knowledge. Together with our partners we will ensure that the results of the Summit are incorporated in international discussions." The Bioeconomy Council's goal, therefore is for the Global Bioeconomy Summit to take place again in two years' time.

[1] Bioeconomy Council (2015) Bioeconomy Policy – Synopsis of National Strategies around the world
[2] Global Visions for the Bioeconomy – an International Delphi Study

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