Bioeconomy means diversification for the forest-based sector

Prof. Dr Hetemäki, Head of Foresight and Policy Support at EFI, explained that this ‘creative destruction’ should be seen as a positive development because it means a new era for the forest sector, which is undergoing the biggest changes for a century.

This issue was intensively dealt with at the seminar, and it showed that we do not necessarily have a clear, well-defined and common understanding of what bioeconomy actually means. However, more important than concepts is that the forest sector is in the process of becoming a more diversified sector with a variety of new opportunities, e.g. in the field of nanotechnology, energy and even community planning. This will also help in answering the great environmental and societal challenges Europe is facing, such as climate change and unemployment.

Among the other speakers of the day was Göran Persson, former Prime Minister of Sweden, who stated in his keynote that the new EU bioeconomy strategy is excellent, but it lacks institutions and hard political tools for its implementation. He also noted that the success of the strategy will also be impacted by the European economic development.

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Approximately 100 forest experts, researchers, and policy makers took part in the EFI seminar ‘Future of Bioeconomy in Europe’ held in conjunction with the EFI Annual Conference in Bilbao, European Forest City 2014 on 11 September.

More information: Lauri Hetemäki, Head of Foresight and Policy Support Programme, firstname.lastname@efi.int

Photos by Inigo Sierra Gomez

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