THE PRINCE OF WALES_UK: INTEREST IN FOREST BIOECONOMY, INITIATED A PLAN TO INVEST IN NATURE
A new 10-point plan for a circular Bioeconomy, published by the European Forest Institute, calls on all bodies to invest in nature. ‘Not only is it the best, but also the unavoidable route to achieve change and a new economy,’ says Marc Palahi, the Institute’s Director and coordinator of the study. The message of the 10-point plan has been a surprise to many. ‘The study has as a core element overcoming the past dichotomy between ecology and economy by presenting an economy powered by Nature as an important strategy to protect nature and biodiversity,’ Palahi says. Yet the plan actually goes beyond this. ‘Investing in nature is a prerequisite for a long-term sustainable Bioeconomy, but also for safeguarding biodiversity and carbon sinks,’ Palahi says.
A good example of this is the Finnish family forest ownership. Every year, Finnish forest owners invest EUR 20–30 million in the biodiversity and carbon sinks of their forests, simply because they want to. ‘This wouldn’t be possible if forestry wasn’t financially sustainable, which is a result of long-term investments and commitments,’ says Palahi. Strategic guidance for the Circular Bioeconomy Alliance. Palahi says that HRH the Prince of Wales requested the 10-point Action Plan for a Circular Bioeconomy of Wellbeing as a foundational document for the Circular Bioeconomy Alliance established under his patronage, and which EFI is facilitating. The decision to draft the plan was taken last March, with EFI inviting 25 authors from all over the world to contribute. ‘They include experts on business, ecology, agriculture, forest use, industry and urban policy. Over half of the contributors are attached to universities,’ says Palahi. Since its publication, the 10-point plan has already had several consequences, as it has been used to provide strategic guidance for the Circular Bioeconomy Alliance. The aim of the Alliance is to accelerate the change towards a new world. It will bring together investors and companies offering solutions, governments, authorities and local communities, to safeguard biodiversity, the climate and sustainable economy. For more information contact: