On 31st of May, 2021, at the invitation of the National Council for Innovation, Science and Technology (CONICYT) of Uruguay, Karen Siegel and Daniel Kefeli gave a presentation on “Agri-food governance, sustainable development and bioeconomy in Uruguay”. About 30 attendees from different institutions participated, including the National Agricultural Research Institute (INIA), the Universidad de la República (UdelaR), the Ministry of Livestock, Agriculture and Fisheries (MGAP), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the Instituto Saras (South American Institute for Resilience and Sustainability Studies), the National Secretariat for Science and Technology and the Basic Sciences Development Program (PEDECIBA).
Karen Siegel presented the main results of the Policy Brief “Promoting inclusive bioeconomies? Lessons from agri-food governance and the politics of the Sustainable Development Goals in South America” where she highlighted how Uruguay and Paraguay have taken up the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), emphasizing the level of inclusion and participation of the different actors involved. She also presented the SABio Project and its main lines of research. Daniel Kefeli described the different concepts and existing visions of the bioeconomy, as well as the characteristics of the strategies implemented internationally to promote this paradigm and to contemplate the risks implicit in it. Finally, he reported on the process that took place in Uruguay to incorporate the bioeconomy into the country’s public policies and commented on some ongoing projects related to this topic.
During the session there was an enriching and active discussion among the participants where questions were raised and comments were made regarding the challenges in the implementation of the SDGs, the participation of agroecology in the concept of bioeconomy, the role and learning of the public participation in the design of public policies, among other issues. Finally, the workshop promoted the exchange of ideas for future work on issues related to the bioeconomy.
Projects and institutions that are carrying out projects related to the bioeconomy in Uruguay:
- Research group in bioeconomy. Instituto de Economía – Agricultural, Environmental, and Natural Resource Economics Area. FCEA – Udelar. http://www.iecon.ccee.edu.uy/economia-agropecuaria-ambiental-y-de-los-recursos-naturales/area/24/es/
- ANII Project: Design and evaluation of technological alternatives for the development of bio-refineries. https://www.anii.org.uy/proyectos/FSE_1_2018_1_152900/diseno-y-evaluacion-de-alternativas-tecnologicas-para-el-desarrollo-de-biorefinerias/
- CSIC – Udelar Project: Is the bioeconomy a plausible sustainable human development strategy for the northeast of Uruguay? Theoretical-conceptual discussion and empirical bases for its implementation. Instituto de Desarrollo Sostenible, Innovación e Inclusión Social (IDIIS) – Centro Universitario de Tacuarembó – Udelar. http://www.idiis.edu.uy/