Nature should be at heart of the economy, say researchers

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A new study published by the European Forest Institute calls for collective action to put nature at the heart of the economy and set the world on a sustainable path.

Written by a multidisciplinary team of over 25 authors, including Professor Kate Pickett from the University of York, the 10-point Action Plan for a Circular Bioeconomy of Wellbeing brings together the latest scientific insights and breakthrough technologies to offer a solution to current global challenges.

The Action Plan emphasizes the importance of moving towards a circular to transform and manage land, food, health and industrial systems with the goal of achieving sustainable wellbeing in harmony with nature.

Fundamental change

Professor Pickett, from the University of York's Leverhulme Center for Anthropocene Biodiversity, said: "This report builds upon our work to model and measure sustainable wellbeing and place it as a central aim of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The need for a socially just transition to inclusive and sustainable development and prosperity for all has been heightened by the coronavirus pandemic and it is vital that researchers work together to come up with proposals for fundamental change."

Sustainable wellbeing

The study sets out 10 Action Points which are needed to create a circular bioeconomy based on a synergistic relationship between economy and ecology:

  1. Focus on sustainable wellbeing
  2. Invest in nature and biodiversity
  3. Generate an equitable distribution of prosperity
  4. Rethink land, food and health systems holistically
  5. Transform industrial sectors
  6. Reimagine cities through ecological lenses
  7. Create an enabling regulatory framework
  8. Deliver mission-oriented innovation to the investment and political agenda
  9. Enable access to finance and enhance risk-taking capacity
  10. Intensify and broaden research and education.


The publication features a Foreword by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, who said: "I have been deeply encouraged by the number of scientists and practitioners who have come together to develop a 10-point Circular Bioeconomy Action Plan inspired by my Sustainable Markets Initiative and its Circular Bioeconomy Alliance. It is time for leaders, across all disciplines, to step forward, be bold in their ambition and demonstrate what is possible so that others can follow."

Equitable prosperity

The plan outlines that sustainability should be achieved whilst ensuring equitable prosperity. Researchers are argue that the health and wellbeing of citizens is a strong incentive to rethink land, food and , transform industries and reimagine cities.

Marc Palahí, Director of the European Forest Institute (EFI), who led the study, said: "The Action Plan forms the framework for the Circular Bioeconomy Alliance established by His Royal Highness to accelerate the transition towards a Circular Bioeconomy. I am proud that EFI will coordinate such a transformative initiative."

More information: Marc Palahí et al., Investing in Nature as the true engine of our economy: A 10-point Action Plan for a Circular Bioeconomy of Wellbeing. Knowledge to Action 2 (2020). DOI: 10.36333/k2a02 … -circular-bioeconomy

Provided by University of York

Citation: Nature should be at heart of the economy, say researchers (2020, October 6) retrieved 26 February 2024 from
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