Plans for Europe’s Monitoring System for the Bioeconomy

Brussels, 6 December 2018 – BioMonitor project coordinator attended the European Commission’s Knowledge Centre for Bioeconomy workshop on November 21, 2018 in Brussels.

Press release - 10 Dec 2018

The European Commission – Joint Research Centre (JRC), a partner of BioMonitor, organised a Community of Practice workshop entitled, “Setting the scene for monitoring the economic, environmental and social progress of the EU bioeconomy”. In this event, BioMonitor project coordinator Justus Wesseler from Wageningen University and Research sat down with 50 researchers, administrators and policy makers and discussed the future of Europe’s monitoring system for its bioeconomy.

The Knowledge Centre for Bioeconomy set up by JRC aimed on providing real-time data sets related to Europe’s long-standing progress on the bioeconomy. Based on the European Bioeconomy Strategy released on 2012, the Commission expects to adopt an updated strategy to maximise the bioeconomy’s contribution that meet the demands of the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement goals on climate change while accounting for the need to modernise Europe’s industry grounded on circular economy and healthy ecosystems.

An overview of the monitoring framework situation was provided by Eurostat in relation the EU policies on SDGs and the circular economy. Just like a pie, the problem was broken down into pieces as it was understood at a regional perspective. Given the varying ways in which EU Member States monitor and measure their bioeconomy, leading experts shared their knowledge on developing the more robust system that tracks the economic, environmental and social progress of the EU bioeconomy.

Justus Wesseler presented BioMonitor’s objectives and its three pillars of actions to the participants. He was joined by representatives from the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) and the Natural Resources Institute (LUKE)’s MontBioeco project as they presented the ongoing activities that monitor the bioeconomy at an international and at a European level.

Looking at it from the inside source, researchers from the JRC reported the bioeconomy’s biophysical, socio-economic dimensions as well as its environmental and forward-looking indicators. In this way, everyone will be able to understand on how to integrate the bits and pieces of everyone’s knowledge so that they can better develop an EU-wide monitoring system, which helps professionals and policymakers better grasp the bioeconomy situation in Europe.

“The bioeconomy can make a significant contribution to reach the Sustainable Development Goals. This contribution needs to be made visible by using a selection of well-defined indicators,” states Justus Wesseler as he is hopeful that by working together, we can provide a better future for Europe thanks to its bioeconomy.