The year 2020 has been exceptional due to the pandemic. How do you see 2021 unfolding - what are your expectations for this year?
The development of the pandemic and its consequences powerfully showed us the complexity and fragility of our system. Nevertheless, a situation like this also provides chances and opportunities to gain new strength. I am very convinced that a growing bioeconomy is one of the most effective instruments. The bioeconomy should play an important role in Europe and within the Green Deal. This European Union’s action plan may boost the efficient use of resources by moving to a clean, circular economy and to restore biodiversity and cut pollution.
Bavaria has recently revealed its biostrategy. Can you please tell us a little bit about the strategy, and the plans to implement it?
The Bavarian Bioeconomy Strategy “Future.Bioeconomy.Bavaria” has been developed in a participatory process. It addresses all relevant players: society, administration and politics, agriculture and forestry, industry and science. On the one hand, our strategy contributes to environmental, resource and climate protection and, on the other, it aims to provide added value for locally sourced raw materials, create new workplaces, strengthen international competitiveness and develop new markets. We want to actively shape the transformation towards a knowledge-based bioeconomy. We are aware that the implementation of this strategy and its fifty measures can only be successful if all relevant players participate in the process. Thus, we will focus on that.
World BioEconomy Forum 2021 is planned to take place in Belem, Brazil later this year. What are your expectations for the event?
From my point of view, some important issues can only be solved successfully by global measures like internationalizing CO2 pricing or implementing uniform standards for bio-based products and product labelling. Therefore, it would be great if the World BioEconomy Forum 2021 could address these topics and adopt ideas for a joint approach. Furthermore, Brazil is a country rich in bio-based resources. Presenting sustainable ways of using these via the World BioEconomy Forum will create value for Brazil and countries with comparable ecosystems. It could create opportunities for future collaborations. I hope very much that the pandemic situation will allow a meeting.