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Session Overview
KEYNOTE 8: Mountain agriculture in the bioeconomy
Wednesday, 11/Sep/2019:
9:05am - 9:30am

Location: Congress center
Sall Innsbruck
by Hilde Björkhaug

Session Abstract

Bioeconomy has been launched as one of the answers to the major societal challenges facing the world; scarcity of biological resources, deterioration of the natural environment and climate change and the subsequent challenges this has for economic development and for human health and well-being. There is a broad agreement that these challenges cannot be solved by individual actors or sectors alone. They require cooperation and coordinated planning and implementation, and it requires consensus on the visions and goals of the community's bioeconomists.

Bioeconomy is a social economy based on income and production of welfare that comes from the transformation of (renewable) biological resources into energy, food and health, fiber and industrial products, unlike the fossil-based oil economy. The bioeconomists’ are those actors who want to contribute to the transition to the bioeconomy society. The concept of a bioeconomy has become a guiding principle in agricultural policies EU and beyond. Despite the optimism the bioeconomy offers, the development of a bioeconomy is not without its challenges. EU perspectives of the bioeconomy has attracted at least two contending visions for the future. The conventional and dominant view is one where life-science based technological solutions (such as energy crops) provide a common thread to address the problems facing mankind, thus moving the focus away from social causes towards possible technologically oriented solutions Other visions, however, suggests that a sustainable bioeconomy (or “eco-economy” according to Kitchen & Marsden, 2011) can only be achieved via a recalibration of practices that potentially can realign production–consumption chains and capture local and regional value between rural and urban spaces. The existence of contrasting perspectives opens for discussing pluralistic pathways and opportunities within the bioeconomy within and across different spaces and communities.

This key note elaborates on the challenges and opportunities for sustainable agriculture in different operationalisations of the bio-economy. Special attention is put on the potential for mountain agriculture in the bioeconomy.

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