Press release 11th September 2020

Post COVID-19 recovery, Climate Change and Bioproducts of the Future take centre stage at the World Bioeconomy Forum held in Ruka, Finland

Ruka, Finland, September 11, 2020 (Press Release) – The World BioEconomy Forum, broadcast live from Ruka, Finland on September 10th, attracted interest from over 400 circular bioeconomy stakeholders from 50 different countries and covering all continents.

The full day event kicked off with messages from the EU Commission and the Finnish government, before the Forum addressed some of the major issues currently facing the planet, including post COVID-19 recovery and climate change, discussing how the circular bioeconomy is instrumental in tackling both challenges.

The Forum included dedicated panel discussions on subjects that covered high level strategic politics, global industry and finance, innovation in bio products, and the importance education in the circular bioeconomy. Among the almost 30 speakers were Annica Bresky (President and CEO of Stora Enso), Jim Philp (Policy Analyst, OECD), and Courtney Lowrance (Managing Director, Sustainable Banking and Corporate Transitions, Citi).

Agreed conclusions from the event included:       

  • The circular bioeconomy will play an important role in the recovery programme of the current pandemic, but action must take into consideration the planet’s ecological boundaries. The monitoring of sustainability programmes is key.
  • With the current pandemic there is a realization of how important forests and the natural world are to a healthy future.  We must use them sustainably.
  • Sustainability in finance and investments are becoming more and more important.
  • A sustainable circular bioeconomy is no longer an option, it’s a must.

Dr. Christian Patermann, member of the international advisory group for the event says, “The rich contributions in the strategy and policy session of the Forum 2020 have scientifically, economically and politically shown, that forestry based biomass and its carbon will be the strongest drivers for a successful bioeconomy to respond to climate and global challenges, which in itself will become drivers for a global bioeconomy. COVID-19 has sharpened our eyes to recognize that.”

“The online virtual event performed exactly according to our plan,” said Jukka Kantola, Founder and Chairman of the World Bioeconomy Forum “We are delighted with this year’s Forum’s outcome, despite the challenges COVID-19 has presented. The success of the Forum this year once again highlights how the circular bioeconomy is a vital tool in the mitigation of climate change.”

Three recognition awards were also presented at the event, honouring remarkable actions which have been enhanced in the circular bioeconomy. Among the winners was UPM, who received the Bio Act of the year award, as a recognition for their biorefinery investment in Leuna, Germany.

During the day, the audience was able to contribute interactively by using the event chat and polls and arrange online meetings with the other participants using the networking platform provided.

The event concluded with the usual declaration, which was performed by a Finnish choir Huutajat (Screaming Men’s Choir).

Preparations for the World Bioeconomy Forum 2021 are already underway.

See the full declaration from the 2020 Forum here.

More information:         Jukka Kantola

                                           Founder, Chairman of the Advisory Board


                                           +358 40 552 8880

About the World Bioeconomy Forum (WCBEF)

The WCBEF is a think-tank initiative which provides a platform for key stakeholders of the Circular Bioeconomy to share ideas and promote bio-based responsible innovations to replace and supersede non-renewable based industries, products and services to achieve a more sustainable economy while mitigating climate change.

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