9.05.01 - Bioeconomy policy
Call for submissions: Justice and Power in Bioeconomy and Biosociety: a Multidisciplinary Perspective
Submissions are invited for a Special issue of Forest Policy and Economics (IF 3.099).
The policy discourse of bioeconomy calls for transitions of economy from fossil-fuel driven systems of production and consumption to systems based on renewable-materials. It also calls for societal transformations. While these transitions and transformations hold various opportunities, they also imply various risks. The self-sufficiency in bio-resources in many EU countries is decreasing, while demand and import of bio-resources from Asian and African countries, among others, are increasing. Transition to bioeconomy in these countries may exacerbate climate risks, food insecurity and eviction of local people. In particular, less powerful and small-scale actors and the politically and socially marginalized groups are likely to bear the associated burdens and risks. The local access to genetic materials and the traditional knowledge are also at risk of abuse and commercial exploitation, considering the prominent role of agribusiness and pharmaceutical industries in bioeconomies of many industrialized countries.
The current state of the art in bioeconomy predominantly focuses on economic, technological and innovation dimensions towards more sustainable production and consumption patterns. It also mainly focuses on trends and discourses in European and industrialized countries. It is therefore crucial to study the societal and political struggles and tensions associated to bioeconomy transitions at the global level, and especially in the context of non-industrialized countries of the ‘Global South’. We invite contributions exploring the concepts of social and environmental justice, power and hegemony, extractivism, discourses and politics in the context of bioeconomy and biosociety transformations. We invite contributions from the following disciplines: environmental and forest policy and governance, human geography, development and indigenous studies, political economy, political ecology, feminist political ecology, social transformations and decoloniality perspectives.
Submission period: 1 January 2021 – 30 June 2021
Guest authors: Sabaheta Ramcilovik-Suominen, Helga Pülzl, Wolfram Dressler, Markus Kröger, Mary Mention, Juha Hiedanpää
Increasingly countries, regions and localities, governments and industry are looking at the ‘bioeconomy’ as a way to reduce waste and emissions, add value to biological resources and expand the use of forest biological resources. While there is an IUFRO Task Force “Unlocking the bioeconomy and non-timber forest products” (James Chamberlain and Carsten Hall-Smith) our unit aims to put a main research focus on the policy analysis and in this regards look at the meaning of a forest-based bioeconomy across the globe, perceptions of actors and stakeholders as well as compare forest bioeconomy decision-makign and implementation practices as well as allow for cross-disciplinary and methodological interactions.
Considerable research in this area has been done by a diverse set of IUFRO researchers, but so far they have no place to connect and gather in a more structural way. Therefore we think that this new unit could become a good place to gather more experienced researchers, but also junior ones and be open to those that become interested in the topic as IUFRO opens up such a coordination space.
The Unit will specifically focus on analysis of bioeconomy activities at all levels – sub-national, national, regional and global – from multiple perspectives – social, political, economic and cultural.
Four aims of the Working Party are:
- Analyse forest bioeconomy policy-making and implementation regionally, natonionally and globally;
- Analyse perceptions of forest stakeholders (including next-generation stakeholders) and urban consumers;
- Compare bioeconomy policy-making and implementation experiences globally; and
- Disciplinary and methodological interactions to understand the bioeconomy.
State of Knowledge
Some of the knowledge gaps that the unit aims to address include:
• Influence and impact of discourses and narratives at different scales on the design of bioeconomy strategies and policies;
• Foundations of the multitude of different meanings and definitions of bioeconomy (including practices) at all scales;
• Governance platforms and institutions required to implement the bioeconomy
• Perceptions of stakeholders (including next-generation) and urban consumers of a forest- based bioeconomy
• How to better inform forest stakeholders and the broader public about the forest-based bioeconomy
• Different modes of governance (policy, polity and politics) to uncover what policy instruments local regions, countries and regions develop to improve forest bioeconomy policy-making and implementation in a comparative way;
• Differing terminology and definitions in light of unique cultural and social contexts to devise comparative metrics for different sub-national, national and regional bioeconomy policies;
• The complex elements of social, political, economic, cultural, environmental pillars to better understand their interactions and contributions to a bioeconomy and deep-dive within disciplines to more thoroughly understand the complexity of each element;
• Bring together qualitative and quantitative studies of the bioeconomy.