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Change in perspective Bioeconomy – for more sustainability A dialogue project in the science year 2020

With the bioeconomy topic, the German science year 2020 is dedicated to the transformation from an oil-based to a bio-based economy. In times of a rapidly growing world population, dwindling biodiversity and irreversible impacts of climate changes, the sustainable use of biological resources – i.e. plants, animals and microorganisms – Is of particular importance. However, bioeconomy is not per se better for the environment just because it uses biological rather than fossil resources. On the contrary: with a view to the planetary boundaries, it must be aligned with the criteria of a sustainable development – both with regard to land use and the patterns of consumption.

How can this perspective become more emphasized in the bioeconomy debate? This also addresses the question on the contribution of the bioeconomy to a sustainable development, respectively the question on conflicts of the bioeconomy with other goals, with regard to the use of natural resources or climate, environmental and nature protection. The IÖW, together with partners, invites to this change of perspective in the science year through a dialogue between science, civil society and citizens.

The goal: to carry various topics connected with the bioeconomy further into society and to have a critical reflection. The formats: three regional workshops with interested citizens in the German Federal States of Baden-Württemberg, Mecklenburg-West Pomerania and Berlin in cooperation with the Zukunftsstiftung Landwirtschaft. The workshops take place on one of the three German “Global Fields”. This offers the opportunity to get to know different forms of land use on site. In addition, a further workshop with actors from civil society organizations and a final event with the scientific community at the end of the project are planned.

The IÖW prepares scientific background materials for the questions raised in the workshops and presents them to the participants. These are findings on topics such as the provision and utilization of biological resources, competition for space and use, as well as on technologies, concepts and processes for the utilization of renewable raw materials, including their effects on society and the environment. A background paper and information sheets are planned for this. Together with the partners, the IÖW also conceives the final scientific event at which the gained results of the three regional workshops and the workshop with the civil society are played back to science in order to have a joint reflection.

How sustainable is the bioeconomy concept really? Stimulus for a change of perspective – thus a socially and ecologically fair economy can succeed

The starting point for the planned societal dialogue with citizens, organized civil society and science in the IÖW project for the Science Year Bioeconomy 2020/2021 is a 6-page info sheets. This covers the development of the bioeconomy and future perspectives with regard to cultivation and use of biomass. The leaflet also looks at how the prosperity of the bioeconomy can be fairly distributed and how our growth-oriented form of business can be reconsidered. In order to better illustrate and deepen individual topics, several 2-page info sheets were developed in the project.
The products are fed into regional webinars planned in the project as well as face-to-face workshops with citizens in the Federal States of Baden-Württemberg, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and Berlin. Beyond, they also serve as a basis for discussion for an exchange between civil society and science. This exchange also takes place via a webinar and a final face-to-face workshop.

IÖW Project Team