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6 years ago

Europe's Bioeconomy: The Business of Nature

  • Text
  • Food
  • Nature
  • Environment
  • Union
  • Agriculture
  • Forestry
  • Science
  • Biotech
  • Bioeconomy
EUobserver's 2018 Business in Europe magazine takes a closer look at Europe's bioeconomy and how "the business of nature" is changing the way people look at waste and natural resources.

not like that one day a

not like that one day a totally new product comes in, but a continuous process where we replace the use of plastics with bio-material." strategy in 2012, only a few member states have in 2011, followed by Finland (2014), Spain (2015), Italy (2016) and France (2017), according to a commission report from November 2017. "Our strategy has been developed for Finland, so it can't be copied as such to other countries. But I think for sure that EU countries can copy what is relevant for them for their process. And it is not only within the EU, also developing countries sustainable forest management and water management." RUSSIAN POTENTIAL Finland's bioeconomy is expected to reduce the country's dependence on fossils, which could perhaps serve also as inspiration for Finland's large neighbour to the east, Russia, which is heavily dependent on exporting fossil fuels, gas and oil. "I believe that it will take time but there is a great potential for them to turn from a fossil-based economy to a more bio-based economy and also to use the concept of the circular economy. They are very much interested in it. So that has huge potential because Russia is so rich in different resources – not only fossil ones," said Tiilikainen. "We have big talk in the whole world - and in the EU as well - about the increasing consumption of plastic, and whether we have a chance to develop a more sustainable material to replace plastic. Developments of bio-based materials for packaging are promising," Tiilikainen said. But the changes won't come with one single new invention, he suggests. "It is a process. Our forest-based industries produce cardboard for liquids, milk or juice. The development has led to solutions where more and more of the cardboard can be made from biomass and where the layer of plastic becomes thinner and thinner all the time. Some day we will see packaging that is not using plastic at all. So it is between Finland and Russia, and between the whole EU and Russia in the future," he said. The EU has close to 182m hectares of forests and other wooded land, corresponding to 43 percent of EU land area, which is slightly more than the land used for agriculture (some 41 percent). Sweden accounted for 16.8 percent, Spain (15.2 percent) and Finland (12.7 percent) of the total wooded land in the EU. The three countries were the only EU member states to record double-digit shares, according to the EU. BUSINESS IN EUROPE MAGAZINE 2018

Photo: The Humane League No end in sight to Russia pork ban Russia's ban on EU pork exports is costing farmers €1.4 billion a year, but reorienting sales to China might be a better bet than banking on WTO arbitration or a political detente to get the income flowing again. With Russian leader Vladimir Putin securing six more years appears to be no end in sight to the EU sanctions and Russia counter-sanctions that are costing the European pork industry €1.4 billion a year. Russia's war in the Donbass region in eastern Ukraine has become central to the pork dispute in imports in 2014, shortly before it invaded Ukraine, on the grounds they posed a risk of bringing in African Swine Fever (ASF). That followed a few outbreaks of the disease in Lithuania and Poland, even though there had already been about one million ASF-related pig deaths in Russia at the time. When the World Trade Organisation (WTO) nixed Russia's veterinary ban in January last year, BUSINESS IN EUROPE MAGAZINE 2018

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