Virtual seminar with David Jofré (University of Santiago) on 8 September

Virtual Seminar “Mediatizing Agribusiness-related Conflicts in Chile: How Activists Still Resort to Legacy News Media to Raise Awareness on Water and Pesticides Risk

David Jofré is a journalist (Universidad de Playa Ancha, Chile) with a PhD in Politics and a MSc in Political Communication (University of Glasgow, UK). He is currently Assistant Lecturer at the University of Santiago (USACH), where he teaches contemporary politics and organizational communications at the School of Journalism. Previously, David Jofré was a postdoctoral research fellow at the Research Center for Integrated Disaster Risk Management (CIGIDEN) led by Pontifical Catholic University. of Chile His research focuses on activist media practices, social movement organizations and socio-technological change, with an emphasis on Chilean environmental governance processes, conflicts and risks.

Please e-mail Karen.Siegel@uni-muenster.de if you would like to participate in the seminar.

David Jofré
Participation in the 9th European Workshops in International Studies (EWIS) 2022: “The dark side of sustainability”

Participation in the 9th European Workshops in International Studies (EWIS) 2022: “The dark side of sustainability”

Melisa Deciancio participated of the 9th European Workshops in International Studies (EWIS) 2022, “The Interconnected Worlds of the Past and the Present: Co-constituting the International” at the University of Macedonia, Thessaloniki, 6-9 July 2022. She participated of the workshop “The dark side of sustainability” and presented her work on the analysis of the bioeconomy through the lens of Dependency Theories and its implications for the Argentine case.

SABio project present at ICABR Conference 2022

SABio project present at ICABR Conference 2022

The 26th Conference of the International Consortium of Applied Bioeconomy Research (ICABR) took place at the University of Bologna from July 5th to July 8th, 2022. The main topic of the conference was “Bioeconomy Innovation Pipelines and Supply Chain Shocks”.

Two papers by SABio researchers were accepted to present at the Conference:

How Can Market Structures Hinder the Effectiveness of Inclusive Bioeconomy Policies? An analysis of the Brazilian Social Fuel Stamp. Authors: Kemel Kalif, Jorge Sellare.

Can Auctions Foster Renewable Energy under Institutional and Macroeconomic Instability? Authors: Pablo Mac Clay, Jan Börner, Jorge Sellare.

The International Consortium on Applied Bioeconomy Research is a unique international consortium of people interested in bioeconomy, agricultural biotechnology, rural development, and bio-based economy research (https://icabr.net/)

Presentation at the World International Studies Committee Annual Conference (WISC)

Presentation at the World International Studies Committee Annual Conference (WISC)

Melisa Deciancio participated in the roundtable “The Politics of Development” at the World International Studies Committee Annual Conference, held in Buenos Aires on July 1st, 2022. She presented the chapter “Bioeconomy governance and (sustainable) development”, co-authored with Karen Siegel, Daniel Kefeli, Guilherme de Queiroz Stein and Thomas Dietz and published in her co-edited Handbook on the Politics of International Development (Elgar Publishers) with Pablo Nemiña and Diana Tussie.

Presentation at the Energy Research & Social Sciences Conference

Presentation at the Energy Research & Social Sciences Conference

Pablo Mac Clay, Junior Researcher at the University of Bonn, presented the paper “Can Auctions Foster Renewable Energy under Institutional and Macroeconomic Instability?” at the 3rd International Conference on Energy Research & Social Sciences. The paper is part of the SABio project and is co-authored by Prof. Dr. Jan Börner and Dr. Jorge Sellare.

Renewable energy auctions have become an increasingly popular policy in the last few years. Countries seeking to decarbonize their energy matrixes have been adopting auctions to replace administratively-set incentives. Moreover, many of the newcomers to auctions are Global South countries, characterized by macroeconomic and institutional instability. This paper seeks to explore whether auctions are a suitable instrument to foster investments in renewable capacity, even in contexts of weak business environments.

The 3rd International Conference on the Energy Research & Social Sciences took place between June 20 and 23, 2022 at the University of Manchester. It is among the main global forums exploring the nexus between energy and society.

In person SABio colloquium at the University of Bonn

In person SABio colloquium at the University of Bonn

After two years of working on a virtual format, on June 14th and 15th, 2022, the SABio team finally met in person!

The two research groups of the SABio Project at the University of Münster and the University of Bonn participated in the Colloquium held at the University of Bonn. They met to reflect on the project’s advance and discuss future challenges and opportunities. The colloquium was organized and coordinated by both heads of research groups, Jorge Sellare (University of Bonn) and Karen Siegel (University of Münster).

SABio at the Dresden Nexus Conference 2022

SABio at the Dresden Nexus Conference 2022

On May 23, 2022, the doctoral researcher Guilherme de Queiroz Stein and the research group leader of SABio at the University of Münster, Dr. Karen Siegel, presented the work entitled “A bioeconomy based on biodiversity in Brazil” at the session “Exploring Biodiversity and Economy Connections” of the Dresden Nexus Conference (DNC). The presentation brought the concept of socio-biodiversity to the debate on the economic potential of biodiversity. Also, it emphasized the need to pay attention to risks linked to biopiracy, the overexploitation of natural resources, and inequities in sharing benefits. The paper also discussed how governance over access to genetic resources and benefit-sharing could mitigate these risks. In addition, the panel also discussed various topics, such as the enhancement of ecosystem services, the economic potential of biodiversity, and the feasibility of seed collector projects to meet the demand for forest restoration, based on studies carried out in Namibia, Brazil, and Russia.

The DNC took place between May 23 and 25, 2022, to “create a dialogue on nexus thinking that fosters research activities and capacity development in the sustainable and integrated management of water, soil and waste.” The presentations were recorded and are available on the event’s virtual platform.

 

Colloquium “Bioeconomy and Sustainability Policies and Politics in Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay”

On March 23rd, 2022, the SABio Interdisciplinary Colloquium “Bioeconomy and Sustainability Policies and Politics in Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay” was held virtually, organized by Karen Siegel at the Institute of Political Science of the University of Münster. The two research groups of the SABio Project at the University of Münster and the University of Bonn as well as different members of the steering committee and scientific advisors of the project and some external guests from South America and Europe participated.

With the aim of discussing the policies and politics of bioeconomy and sustainability in Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina, the members of the research group in Political Science at the University of Münster gave a presentation of their research in each of the countries followed by a discussion and Q+A with the audience.

 

Guilherme de Queiroz-Stein presented part of his ongoing research on a bioeconomy based on biodiversity in Brazil. His research objective is to identify the economic potential of Brazilian biodiversity, the different conceptions regarding the development of this bioeconomy, and the possible associated risks. The analysis identified that governmental actors, civil society, academia, and national industry had presented different concepts on how to develop the Brazilian bioeconomy, converging in the search for alternatives to the hegemonic bioeconomy, based on soybean, corn, and sugarcane monocultures. In fact, he identified significant developments in sectors such as food, cosmetics, and medicines and future potentials linked to bioenergy, payment for environmental services, and ecotourism.

Daniel Kefeli presented his co-authored paper with Karen Siegel, Lucía Pittaluga and Thomas Dietz. They examine the main drivers and dynamics of environmental policy integration in Uruguay during three periods of the recent Uruguayan history between 1990 and 2020, reflecting the most significant changes in the level of policy integration. Following the framework developed by Candel and Biesbroek, they demonstrate the continuous progress in policy integration over the 30 years in the Uruguayan forestry sector.

Melisa Deciancio presented her paper on the role of the state in promoting the Argentine bioeconomy, focusing on the extent to which the state, through the promotion of various initiatives, contributed to the development of bioeconomy projects in Argentina. To answer this question, the paper examines two cases of the bioeconomy in Argentina: biorefineries and GM crops technologies. From the analysis of policies and actors involved in both projects, she states that the state has played an active role in accompanying the private sector in promoting the bioeconomy and that, despite ideological divergences, the policies designed demonstrate the continuity between the different governments.

 

For more information, please see the colloquium programme.

Concepts, Markets, and Regulations: hurdles and opportunities for a sustainable Bioeconomy in Brazil

by Guilherme de Queiroz Stein, Trevor Tisler, and Renan Magalhães

On December 14th, 2021, the SABio project held a workshop on the Brazilian Bioeconomy. SABio researchers Guilherme de Queiroz Stein and Trevor Tisler organized and facilitated the event which saw the gathering of 45 participants from various governmental, academic, non-profit, and private sector organizations who are committed to the development of a sustainable bioeconomy in Brazil. The main objective of the event was to promote an open debate and an exchange of experiences related to how the addition of new laws related to biodiversity, conservation and ecological restauration to Brazil’s environmental legal framework may shape the development of Brazil’s bioeconomy.

“Gerardo Germano da Silva harvesting agroecological cotton in Ceará, Brazil” by farmingmatters. Licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

At the onset of the debate among workshop attendees, the existence of different understandings and perspectives on what the bioeconomy is (and what it is not) were discussed, and moreover, how these differences guide separate and distinctive promotion and regulatory strategies for various bioeconomic activities throughout Brazil. The conceptual heterogeneity surrounding the bioeconomy poses methodological challenges to research projects and policy formulation. However, as this reflects the inherent complex and diverse characteristics of the bioeconomy, heterogeneous understandings cannot be ignored. For this reason, the conceptual development of the bioeconomy is still a hurdle to overcome, especially in the context of Latin America, where realities are much different than those in which the European and North American concepts of the bioeconomy were formed. In Europe and North America, the bioeconomy is repeatedly defined by the traditional boundaries of the economic sectors in which it is considered to cover and by the products these sectors develop. These sectors include agriculture, bioenergy, food production, biomass processing, high value-added biotech products, and biodegradable waste. Albeit important components of Brazil’s economy, such a limiting focus on traditional sectors and products overshadows Brazil’s potential for broader bioeconomic development especially if focus is placed upon processes of production rather than on the products produced.

Photo by Guilherme de Queiroz Stein

Workshop participants overwhelmingly emphasized that the concept of the Brazilian Bioeconomy needs to be formed in face of the country’s unique realities and potentials, which include placing the country’s biodiversity, immense natural capital, and socio-cultural diversity as central elements of the bioeconomy. The employment of these potentials must translate into the development of new activities, sectors, and industries capable of increasing aggregate value while simultaneously fostering endogenous development dynamics that break Brazil’s dependency on commodity and biomass export-oriented development. To this end, the economic dynamics in which these new processes operate must be monitored and their contribution to sustainable development must be quantified. Sustainability depends less on what is produced, but rather more on how and to what extent adopted business models, constructed values chains, and developed governance arrangements ensure environmental preservation, promote pro-social development, and respect human rights. In this light, the promotion of a new bioeconomy is necessary, one capable of valuing the immense diversity-based potentials and which can be attained via payments for ecosystem services, industrialization of natural products, and ecological recovery of degraded landscapes and lands. Furthermore, there is a place for the promotion of low-carbon agriculture, agroforestry systems, as well as innovations coming from bioprospecting, molecular biology, biomimicry and the use of micro-organisms for industrial solutions.

“Quebradeira de Côco Babaçu – Brasil – Tocantins – Pequizeiro ” by JcPietro. Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.

The legal frameworks that regulate the development of the aforementioned sectors will be important in the structuring of their future markets and for setting boundaries to the expansion of the bioeconomy, the parameters of which should focus on guaranteeing the bioeconomy’s socio-environmental sustainability. Nonetheless, these parameters by and of themselves, will not suffice to lock down on a guaranteed sustainable development trajectory. The commitment of actors involved in ensuring the sustainability of the processes and products of Brazil’s bioeconomy is of utmost necessity, arising from investment in new business models for both profitability and generating well-being. Furthermore, the implementation of policies to tackle bottlenecks is essential, and may involve remedying the lack of professional training in strategic geographic regions, ending the scarcity of venture capital and start-up support services, as well as bring stabilized and sustained levels of public investment in scientific research and innovation to avoid sudden budget cuts.

It must be emphasized that the creation of new markets, such as those linked to carbon emissions markets and ecosystem services, will only find stable footing and consumer confidence through verifiable environmental compliance and tangible progress toward meeting Brazil’s internationally assumed environmental commitments. This hinges on the reestablishment of the Brazilian state’s command and control capacities, especially in the environmental area, with an emphasis on achieving zero deforestation in Brazil as quickly as possible. The current political trajectory guiding Brazil’s federal administrative apparatus likely poses the largest current hurdle to achieving the aforementioned goals, as it has -beyond deprioritizing the goals- moved to deliberately reduce the capacity of state agencies to ensure and maintain environmental protections as well as promoted predatory activities such as, but not limited to, illegal and unregulated mining in the Amazon.

Photo by Guilherme de Queiroz Stein

Both regulatory policies in combination with active promotion of the bioeconomy will only be capable of achieving social inclusion if the active participation of civil society is guaranteed through adequate mechanisms in the formulation, implementation, and monitoring stages of the public policy process. Appropriate valuation (beyond the scope of monetary value) of the country’s ecosystems and their immense biodiversity should only occur with active engagement and dialog with indigenous peoples and their knowledge systems, traditional communities (including but not limited to Brazil’s maroon communities), and smallholder farmers, segments of which have developed and maintained knowledge systems and management practices for the sustainable use of biodiversity. A pre-condition for such a dialogue requires that the basic human rights of these peoples are guaranteed, which includes secure tenure and free unhampered access to their lands. This condition can only be achieved in a democratic state, in which the defense of democratic values becomes a fundamental factor for the promotion of a new bioeconomy that genuinely promotes sustainable development.

Below you will find the links shared by workshop participants, which include scientific publications related to the bioeconomy in Brazil and around the world as well as websites for Brazilian projects and research groups working on bioeconomy topics.


Links

A sustainable bioeconomy for Europe: https://knowledge4policy.ec.europa.eu/publication/sustainable-bioeconomy-europe-strengthening-connection-between-economy-society_en

Bioeconomia da Sociobiodiversidade no estado do Pará: https://www.tnc.org.br/content/dam/tnc/nature/en/documents/brasil/projeto_amazonia_bioeconomia.pdf

Coalizão Brasil Clima, Florestas e Agricultura: https://www.coalizaobr.com.br/home/index.php/o-que-propomos/posicionamentos-coalizao/2206-forca-tarefa-de-bioeconomia-da-coalizao-define-posicao-e-propostas-de-acoes-sobre-o-tema 

Diálogo Florestal: https://dialogoflorestal.org.br/foruns-regionais/forum-florestal-da-amazonia/

Financing mechanisms to bridge the resource gap to conserve biodiversity and ecosystem services in Brazil: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2212041621000796

Fórum Florestal da Amazônia – Plano Estratégico: https://dialogoflorestal.org.br/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/ff-amazonia-planejamento-estrategico.pdf

Grupo de Economia do Meio Ambiente e Desenvolvimento Sustentável (GEMA) – UFRJ: www.ie.ufrj.br/gema

Grupo de Pesquisa SABio: https://sabio-project.org/pt/portugues/ 

Portal de Bioeconomia: https://portaldebioeconomia.com/

Science Panel for the Amazon – Amazon Assessment Report 2021: https://www.theamazonwewant.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/211112-Amazon-Assessment-Report-2021-Part-III-reduced.pdf 

Onde Estamos na Implementação do Código Florestal? Radiografia do CAR e do PRA nos Estados Brasileiros – Edição 2020: https://www.climatepolicyinitiative.org/pt-br/publication/onde-estamos-na-implementacao-do-codigo-florestal-radiografia-do-car-e-do-pra-nos-estados-brasileiros/

Lei nº 13.123/2015 (Acesso ao Patrimônio Genético e Conhecimento Tradicional Associado): http://www.planalto.gov.br/ccivil_03/_ato2015-2018/2015/lei/l13123.htm

Decreto nº 8.772/2016 (regulamenta Lei nº 13.123/2015): http://www.planalto.gov.br/ccivil_03/_ato2015-2018/2016/decreto/d8772.htm

Decreto nº 10.844/2021 (altera Decreto nº 8.772/2016): http://www.planalto.gov.br/ccivil_03/_Ato2019-2022/2021/Decreto/D10844.htm

Presentation at the International Conference: “Environmental goods and services: International Negotiations and political dilemmas”

Melisa Deciancio participated in the panel “Environmental goods and services: International Negotiations and political dilemmas” at the Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru (PUCP), addressing the state and challenges of the bioeconomy in Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay. The other panellists included Pedro Da Motta Veiga (CINDES-Brazil), Manuel Rojas (PUCP), and Alan Fairlie (PUCP).