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Bio-Economy in Rural AreasMore than just a supplier of renewable resources

The journal Ökologisches Wirtschaften addresses in its issue 01/2018 the focus topic Bio-Economy. Within this issue, the authors outline in their article, to what extent existing economic structures in rural areas can benefit from the transformation of a fossil to a bio-based economy. Technical and societal changes shape rural areas to this day and will continue to influence them in the future. The structural changes in rural areas are characterized by a decline in employment, an advancing mechanization and automatization of business operations as well as an ongoing digitization. At the same time, the expansion of the product range and provision of higher value products potentially lead to value added and employment effects. This development is also interesting, when it comes to opportunities of a combined material and energetic use of biomass. In order to move forward, it is worth considering the variety of utilization paths and application areas that are important for rural areas.
In addition, in order to promote a rural bio-economy, it’s necessary to have an adequate scope of action at the regional level and more good examples that are in line with sustainable development goals. This needs to be strengthened through political governance. Beyond, it’s crucial to promote networking activities of innovation leaders and support of pioneer activities. This helps to improve the visibility and dissemination of existing approaches in different regions and economic sectors.

More information about the article (german)