Press release 3rd July 2020

UNESCO and World Bioeconomy Forum to collaborate for 2020 event

Press release 03.07.2020. World BioEconomy Forum (WCBEF) and UNESCO will partner at the Forum’s 2020 event to be broadcast live from Ruka, Finland, 10th September. WCBEF and UNESCO are seeking to establish a long term collaboration on the circular bioeconomy, in recognition of the growing importance of the sector in the field of education. This collaboration is vital in further enhancing the attractiveness of the circular bioeconomy to future generations. 

The special focus this year will be on the next generation and education. The session will be opened by policy analyst Jim Philp from OECD, and a panel discussion will take place on the Circular BioEconomy and Education. On the panel there will be representatives from some of the foremost universities around the world, including Sao Paulo, Kobe, Cambridge, and a representative of Eastern University Finland at the European Bioeconomy Alliance. The panel will be moderated by professor Mark Rudnicki from Michigan Technological University

Ahmed Fahmi, Section of Innovation and Capacity Building, UNESCO, says, “According to the latest Global Sustainable Development Report, the world is not on track for achieving most of the 169 targets that comprise the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Four in particular fall into that category: rising inequalities, climate change, biodiversity loss and increasing amounts of waste from human activity that are overwhelming capacities to process them.

“UNESCO programs in biotechnology and engineering research and education are geared towards addressing these gaps especially in the global south. Science research and education increasingly confronts issues of global reach and even existential urgency — from the need for a carbon-neutral economy, to epidemics and water security. Yet these changing demands are not reflected in education programmes, funding mechanisms, or popular narratives. Thus, platforms like the World BioEconomy Forum are ideal meeting points in which these issues can be jointly elaborated.”

Henna Virkkunen, Chairperson of the Finnish National Commission for UNESCO, says, “The Circular bioeconomy has always been important in Finland, as are education and research. We appreciate the WCBEF for providing an excellent platform for sharing views and learning from each other in building a sustainable future. It’s our great pleasure to be a co-host of the Session 4 and we look forward to establishing a long-term collaboration with the WCBEF.”

Jukka Kantola, Founder and Chairman of the Forum, says, “The foundation for Session 4 was already laid at the forum in 2019 when we recognised the need to address educational and communication issues in our program. We selected Looking to the Future to reflect the Forum’s interest to embrace future challenges.”

“We are very proud to have an important partner and renowned speakers and panellists to contribute to such an important theme. We’ll hope this is just the beginning for further and continuous cooperation.”

This will be the third World BioEconomy Forum event to be held in Ruka – this time virtual. The organisers plan to move the next event in 2021 to another prime location around the world where the circular bioeconomy takes centre ground. In the future the event will be held in Ruka every two years and at another location around the globe in the years in between.  

The full programme and registration information can be found at http://www.wcbef.com/.

More information:           

Jukka Kantola

Chairman of the Board

World BioEconomy Forum

Tel: +358 40 552 888

Email: info@wcbef.com

Ahmed Fahmi

acting Chief of the Section of Innovation and Capacity Building

UNESCO

Tel: +33 6 30 25 89 13

Email: a.fahmi@unesco.org

Zabrina Holmström

Secretary-General

 Finnish National Commission for UNESCO

Tel: +358-(0)295 3 3011

 Email: unesco@minedu.fi

Background

The World BioEconomy Forum (WCBEF) was born in Finland in 2018. The founders of the forum are a team of global experts – including experts in technology, marketing, stakeholder engagement and sustainability in forestry, pulp and paper industry – who realised that sustainable, circular, forestry bioeconomy is our future. In the last two years, WCBEF has been providing the global platform for Circular Bioeconomy stakeholders to get together, exchange views and come up with a joint agenda on this increasingly important topic. 

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