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Results of Public Consultation about EU Policy for the emerging Bioeconomy

BioSTEP is an EU-funded project that aims to promote a participative governance of the European bioeconomy through engagemnt of stakeholders and citizens.  

BioSTEP carried out a stakeholder consutation to provide insights on existing (policy) challenges related to the bioeconomy and potential (policy) measures to adress them.

This consultation includes views of 180 stakeholders, involving univeristies/research centres, government and private sector. The sectors represented in this survey are biofuels, biomaterials and biorefinery, 62% of the total participation in equal proportion, and the 38% represented forestry, food, environemnt, pulp and paper, aeronautics, biomass, bioenergy, policy, research, education, innovation and life sciences. 

Overview of the responses:

Benefits and Challenges of the Bioeconomy

Perceived Benefits

Strongly Agree

  1. Managing Natural Resources Sustainability

Agree

  1. Supporting Investment in new infrastructures
  2. Supporting investment in Knowledge, Innovation and Skills
  3. Creating jobs and maintaining European competitions

Critical

  1. Reducing dependence on non-renewable resources
  2. Mitigating and adapting to climate change

Perceived Challenges 

Strongly agree

  1. Sustainable assurance
  2. Policy coherence

Agree

  1. Appropriate Financing
  2. Participative dialogue with the public and bioeconomy stakeholders.

Potential Social Impacts and Challenges of the Bioeconomy

Perceived as Negative Impacts 

Strongly Agree

  1. Food Security

Agree

  1. Participation (effective participation process, information transparency)
  2. Distribution of revenues created

Concerns

  1. Ethical implications
  2. Health risk
  3. Land Tenure
  4. Employment and labour rights

Environmental Impacts of the Bioeconomy

Concerns

Strongly Agree

  1. Resource Use (land use efficiency, energy efficiency)

Agree

  1. Climate Change (life cycle based CO2 eq. emission, including direct land use change)
  2. Water (availability, stress, quality, water use efficiency)
  3. Soil (erosion, soil organic carbon, soil nutrient balance)
  4. Biodiversity (protected areas, biodiversity conservation and management)

Strategies to address the challenges

Measures to Ensure Sustainability with in Emerging Bioeconomy

Strongly Agree

  1. Measurement of sustainability performance
  2. Incentives to improve sustainability performance

Agree

  1. Mandatory sustainability certificated biobased feedstock

Ensuring Policy Coherence within emerging bioeconmy

Strongly Agree

  1. Integrating bioeconomy strategies into agricultural, environmental, energy, regional, climate and industrial policies.

Agree

  1. Adapting EU research & Innovation strategies and funding programmes
  2. Developing policies promoting the availability of renewable raw materials
  3. Developing appropriate regulations for the bioeconomy

Measures to improve Intra-governmental Communications

Strongly Agree

  1. Establish multi-level working group(s) made up to central/regional/local government department representatives.

Agree

  1. Scheduling regular inter-departmental meetings to promote dialogue between them

Measures to Promote Participative Dialogue

Strongly Agree

  1. Establish working group(s) made up by public sector representatives and bioeconomy stakeholders
  2. Introducing grant or loan-based financing schemes for public-private initiatives in the bioeconomy
  3. Local/regional workshops attended by public sectors representatives and bioeconomy stakeholders

Agree

  1. Establish national Knowledge Exchange Network to promote information sharing between bioeconomy actors.

Measures to share best practice

Strongly Agree

  1. Establish networks of best practice bioeconomy regions in Europe

Agree

  1. Organising best practice workshops for information sharing

Measures to Ensuring appropriate financing

Strongly Agree

  1. Build investor confidence in the bioeconomy
  2. Promoting public private partnership
  3. Public funding for demonstration projects
  4. Funding from national programmes for the bioeconomy

Agree

  1. Implement green public procurement

The outcome of this consultation and engagement process will be a list of policy recomendations for the developemtn of balanced and informed bioeconomy strategies at the regional, national and Europena levels.

See the full report here

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