First Global Summit on Bioeconomy and Sustainability
The Global Bioeconomy Summit opened in Berlin today eight weeks after negotiations on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals in New York and just one week before the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris. More than 850 delegates from 82 countries have accepted the invitation extended by Germany's Bioeconomy Council to attend this first Global Bioeconomy Summit.
One of the topics is the use of renewable resources and their contribution to sustainable development. Joachim von Braun, Co-Chair of the Bioeconomy Council, says, "An increasingly biobased economy supports harmony between man and nature in a world that is heading towards a population of more than 9 billion and is affected by climate change and hunger." The German Government also attaches great importance to the bioeconomy. Johanna Wanka, Germany's Minister for Education and Research, emphasizes, "The National Research Strategy BioEconomy 2030 is an important part of the German Government's Sustainable Development Strategy. It supports innovations in the production and use of renewable resources. From an international perspective it helps drive forward sustainable economic and ecological solutions that lead to increased income and higher social standards. This helps to stabilize societies." The aim of the Global Bioeconomy Summit is to find out the level of importance the bioeconomy already possesses on the world political map. Daniel Barben, member of the conference committee for the launch of a global agenda process, says, "The potential contribution of the bioeconomy was largely underestimated in the recent negotiations on the Sustainable Development Goals and the climate change dialogue." 45 countries have already integrated the bioeconomy in their political strategy and launched scientific and political programs. Industrialized countries in Europe and North America see the bioeconomy mainly as an opportunity to develop innovative biobased products and processes, and to open up new markets. Emerging economies such as Brazil are investing in the construction of entire branches of industry. Developing countries will have the chance of economic participation within a fair international trade framework and of collaborative partnerships for technology transfer. According to Christine Lang, Co-Chair of the Bioeconomy Council, "The bioeconomy is a key to sustainable, 'green' growth which is driven by innovation. For this we need international coordination and fair rules. This is where the Global Bioeconomy Summit will provide important stimuli." At the Global Bioeconomy Summit, the Bioeconomy Council will publish its international Delphi study on the lead projects of the bioeconomy in addition to a comparative analysis of global political bioeconomy strategies. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has become the patron of the Global Bioeconomy Summit. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development OECD, the Food and Agriculture Organization FAO, the European Commission and the International Energy Agency are partners of the summit.