Bioeconomy for sustainable agrifood systems transformation
- I have the honour to speak on behalf of the Nordic Countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Sweden, and my own country Norway). (We fully align ourselves with the EU statement).
- In the light of the global challenges of climate change, biodiversity loss and unsustainable food systems, there is a need to facilitate the development of the bioeconomy in order to accelerate the green transition and to promote self-sufficiency of regions.
- The Nordic countries agree that bioeconomy can be a key solution pathway for sustainable agrifood systems transformation. In the Nordic countries, the bioeconomy contributes positively to the national economies and welfare by providing jobs, income and recreational possibilities.
- There are three aspects to this topic that we would like to highlight:
o First, it is important to develop sustainable bioeconomy throughout the whole value chain as well as within and across different sectors. For example, bioeconomy holds potential for increased synergies between the blue and green sector. Policy actions must cover chain from primary production to product innovations, and account for the use of biological resources from land, sea and waste. This needs to be done without increasing administrative burden for involved actors.
o Second, a sustainable bioeconomy means that the resources are smartly used and not wasted. Upscaling the use of recycled materials and side streams allows the expansion of the bioeconomy without increasing the use of scarce virgin materials. Nutrients recycling is a good example of this.
o Third, a key factor of success is a balanced and fair inclusion of all relevant actors, particularly farmers and other primary producers. Particular attention must be paid to strategies that benefit local communities, promote gender and intergenerational equality and contribute to the achievement of the SDGs. Also, it is important to secure the development of the bioeconomy in rural areas and their inclusive economic growth.
- In order to enable the sustainable growth of the bioeconomy, a strong investment in research, education, information sharing, and the development of technologies should be encouraged.
- The Nordic counties welcome the FAO’s key directions for the future of the bioeconomy [as highlighted in PC137/INF/8] as effective and relevant.
- In particular, we commend the FAO for having an integrated approach that considers social, economic, environmental, and governance aspects of the bioeconomy, whilst recognizing that approaches should be context specific.