19 March 2021, 12:00 – 16:15 UTC
Forests, trees and landscapes have long played a role in economic development, with the rise and fall of societies coinciding with the health of farms, fields and forests and the availability of their biological resources as renewable sources of energy, building materials, food and other ecosystem services. Now, sustainable landscapes are more important than ever in protecting the world from accelerating climate change and helping to mitigate the runaway consumption of non-renewable resources.
The circular bioeconomy – an economy powered by nature and its sustainable resources – offers a unique opportunity to use renewable natural capital to holistically transform and manage our land, food, health and industrial systems as well as our cities. If managed sustainably for people and the planet, it has the potential to decarbonize our economy and restore biodiversity while providing jobs and achieving inclusive growth.
On March 19, the European Forest Institute (EFI), the recently-merged Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) and World Agroforestry (ICRAF) and the Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra, in collaboration with the Global Landscapes Forum (GLF) and the Sustainable Markets Initiative Circular Bioeconomy Alliance (SMI CBA), will host the world’s first conference examining the forest-based bioeconomy with a focus on the Global South.
This half-day digital forum will bring together investors, scientists, forestry, agroforestry and landscape experts, practitioners, community and business leaders and policy makers to explore what it will take to shift to a circular bioeconomic model that supports people and the planet, putting nature at the heart of how we operate.
Forests, landscapes and agroforestry can catalyze this vital transformation as they are our main terrestrial natural capital supporting wealth creation in rural and urban areas.Marc Palahí, EFI
Setting the scene: the circular bioeconomy in context
Robert Nasi, Director General CIFOR, and Marc Palahí, Director EFI, will introduce and provide context on the role of trees and forests in the circular bioeconomy and welcome panelists and participants to the day’s discussions and dialogue.
Opening plenary: Why do we need a circular bioeconomy?
A transition to an economy based on renewable and circular materials and sustainable landscape management will play a critical role in replacing the wide range of non-renewable, fossil-based products we currently use. This also brings opportunities for new jobs and industries, as well as contributes to managing and rebuilding ecosystems and landscapes in a sustainable way. Why is this transition critical now and how can we establish the right policy framework to provide economic incentives and to guarantee that the transition is sustainable and just?
Session 1: Will there be enough wood?
Demand for roundwood to supply energy and materials is expected to increase significantly in the coming decades as fossil-based raw materials are replaced with forest biomass and wood products. The reality, however, is that there are currently no systematic studies offering up-to-date outlooks on the implications of forest bioeconomy development for global forests. In this session we aim to bridge that gap in understanding and offer insights into demand and supply for forest biomass as part of the shift to a circular bioeconomy, including reflections on how sustainable wood supply should be reconcile with biodiversity protection and providing inclusive prosperity for local communities.
Session 2: From theory to practice: the circular bioeconomy in action
Panelists will explore the most recent research and innovation to highlight successful forest-based solutions for the circular bioeconomy transition. What are the climate benefits of using wood- and other biobased solutions compared to fossil and non-renewable products. How we can we ensure that latest innovations and technologies are transferred to the global south?
Final Plenary: Financing the circular bioeconomy
Scaling up successful circular bioeconomic models requires investment and leadership from industry and investors in addition to the right policy and science. With plenty of small-scale examples being tested and proven, how can we unleash the power of private finance and what will it take to make these examples more common?
For more information on timings and speakers, please visit CIFOR's website
Register on CIFOR's website here