New Action Plan puts nature at the heart of the economy
A new study published by the European Forest Institute calls for collective action to put nature at the heart of the economy and set the world on a sustainable path. ​Photo: Alain Audet Pixabay​​
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New Action Plan puts nature at the heart of economy

A new study with a ​​10-point Action Plan to Create a Circular Bioeconomy of Wellbeing published by the European Forest Institute calls for collective action to put nature at the heart of the economy and set the world on a sustainable path.​​
Göran Berndes“The transition away from fossil carbon is sometimes considered a matter of mobilising new resources to enable us to proceed in the business-as-usual direction. The 10 Point Action Plan brings forward an alternative paradigm. Contrary to the extractive and linear fossil-based economy, the circular bioeconomy relies on healthy, biodiverse and resilient ecosystems and aims to provide sustainable wellbeing for society at large”, said Göran Berndes, Professor, Biomass and Land Use at Chalmers University of Technology.

Written by a multidisciplinary team of over 25 authors, led by EFI Director Marc Palahí, the 10-point Action Plan for a Circular Bioeconomy of Wellbeing brings together the latest scientific insights and breakthrough technologies to offer a solution to current global challenges.
The publication features a Foreword by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, who says: “I have been deeply encouraged by the number of scientists and practitioners who have come together to develop a 10-point Circular Bioeconomy Action Plan inspired by my Sustainable Markets Initiative and its Circular Bioeconomy Alliance. It is time for leaders, across all disciplines, to step forward, be bold in their ambition and demonstrate what is possible so that others can follow.”

The Action Plan emphasises the importance of moving towards a circular bioeconomy to holistically transform and manage our land, food, health and industrial systems with the goal of achieving sustainable wellbeing in harmony with nature.

“It has been an honour to work with The Prince of Wales, who inspired and contributed to The Action Plan”, said Marc Palahí. “The Action Plan forms the framework for the Circular Bioeconomy Alliance established by His Royal Highness to accelerate the transition towards a Circular Bioeconomy. I am proud that EFI will coordinate such a transformative initiative.”

“Global challenges like climate change, and biodiversity loss, coupled with a growing and highly urbanised population call for new ways of producing and consuming within our planetary boundaries”, says co-author Mari Pantsar, who is Director of Carbon-neutral circular economy at The Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra. “We need a transition to a circular economy.”
At the same time, we need to achieve sustainability while ensuring equitable prosperity. The health and wellbeing of our citizens is a strong incentive to rethink our land, food and health systems, transform our industries and reimagine our cities.

The study sets out 10 Action Points which are needed to create a circular bioeconomy based on a synergistic relationship between economy and ecology:

  1. Focus on sustainable wellbeing
  2. Invest in nature and biodiversity
  3. Generate an equitable distribution of prosperity
  4. Rethink land, food and health systems holistically
  5. Transform industrial sectors 
  6. Reimagine cities through ecological lenses
  7. Create an enabling regulatory framework
  8. Deliver mission-oriented innovation to the investment and political agenda
  9. Enable access to finance and enhance risk-taking capacity
  10. Intensify and broaden research and education

Palahí, M., Pantsar, M., Costanza, R., Kubiszewski, I., Potočnik, J., Stuchtey, M., Nasi, R., Lovins, H., Giovannini, E., Fioramonti, L., Dixson-Declève, S., McGlade, J., Pickett, K., Wilkinson, R., Holmgren, J., Trebeck, K., Wallis, S., Ramage, M., Berndes, G., Akinnifesi, F.K., Ragnarsdóttir, K.V., Muys, B., Safonov, G., Nobre, A.D., Nobre, C., Ibañez, D., Wijkman, A., Snape, J., Bas, L. 2020. Investing in Nature as the true engine of our economy: A 10-point Action Plan for a Circular Bioeconomy of Wellbeing. Knowledge to Action 02, European Forest Institute. 


The publication was developed within the framework of the Sustainable Markets Initiative of
His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales. It received support from Sitra, the Finnish Innovation Fund.

The European Forest Institute (EFI) is an independent international science organization which generates, connects and shares knowledge at the interface between science and policy. EFI has 29 member countries who have ratified the Convention, and c.120 member organizations in 38 countries, working in diverse research fields.



Published: Mon 05 Oct 2020.