SUBMARINER Network at the Global Bioeconomy Summit 2020

 During this year’s Global Bioeconomy Summit that took place 16 – 20 November online, SUBMARINER co-organised two workshops!

The first workshop that took place on 16. December in the morning, it was called Land and sea: sustainable bioeconomy and inter-regional ecosystems, and was focusing especially on the agenda topic 3 – Ocean bio-economy – scaling up regional blue bio-economy.

The session had four presentations including the introduction by the Vincent Doumeizel, Director Food Programme, Lloyd's Register Foundation and Senior Advisor Ocean, United Nations Global Compact. Introduction to the Global perspective on Ocean Bioeconomy was followed by the information about the “Seaweed Manifesto” developed under the United Nations Global Compact along with large private and public organizations calling action to scale up seaweed industry in order to address some of the world’s global challenges. This was followed by a presentation from Efthalia Arvaniti, Programme Manager at the SUBMARINER Network, who emphasised on the importance of the regional approach and the role of multi-level, cross-sectoral networks and accelerators, including the Blue Growth Accelerator of the SUBMARINER Network, for creating a suitable product development ecosystem and initiating and scaling up sustainable bio-economy solutions. Ivana Lukic, Senior Ocean Planning and Policy consultant from s.Pro - sustainable projects have stressed the importance of using a more space-efficient and synergistic approach to ocean bio-economy development which can be realised through a so-called “multi-use” approach where two or more ocean users are sharing resources in close geographic proximity (e.g. offshore wind farm and aquaculture multi-use platforms), establishing important socio-economic and environmental synergies. The final presentation from Niphon Phongsuwan, Department of Marine and Coastal Resources, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Thailand, has showcased an example of sustainable marine tourism that integrates fishing and nature consideration. This example highlighted the synergies that can be established between these different marine sectors; such as an alternative source of income for fishers, better awareness about environmental impacts and more sustainable tourism activity.

The workshop has touched upon many innovative bio-economy activities including novel uses of seaweed aquaculture for making bioplastics and for battling eutrophication. The combination between the restoration efforts and other ocean uses such as offshore wind farms was also discussed. It was highlighted that the systems approach should be used in the new offshore designs where restoration and/or biodiversity enhancement can also be considered and integrated right from the outset in order to maximize local environmental, as well as socio-economic benefits.

The second workshop ran on 18 November, where SUBMARINER Network organised a breakout group session on the topic of the Blue Bioeconomy, showcasing opportunities for how the sustainable and circular blue bioeconomy can provide to make local and national economies more resilient and to stimulate growth for the COVID-19 recovery as well as for the green transition towards a carbon neutral future, through the collection of scalable and actionable bioeconomy solutions from different continents.


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