Bioeconomy

Scale level :
Definition :

Bioeconomy gathers all economical activities using biological resources with moderation. Biological resources refer to ecosystem biotic factors (organisms or populations). Their production results from ecosystem functionalities. Biological resources represent energy or matter reserves that are renewable on a human time scale (excluding fossil or fissile energy). Metabolism and photosynthesis are at the beginning of energy and materials accumulated and used by society. Therefore they are at the basis of bioeconomy.

One of the bioeconomy principles is about optimizing renewable bioresource uses.  Bioeconomy consists of the complete use (consumption, transformation, trade or production) of these bioresources, regarding the agro-ecosystem limits (level of turnover or organism reproduction or populations, absorption ability or resilience levels, limitation of human needs). It globally implies setting up a circular organization of the agricultural production. This circular characteristic, also part of circular economy, refers to the byproduct valorization, waste recycling, and energy flow optimization.

Aiming at promoting biological diversity and natural processes, agroecological practices are part of bioeconomy.  This way, it promotes any kind of energy apart from non renewable energy sources (chemical industry, gas, nuclear energy, etc.). Broadly speaking, agroecology contributes to bioeconomy, as the bioresources it provides to the whole society match a strong conception of environmental sustainability. Doing so, bioeconomy is agroecological if the use (and not the exploitation) of the living beings that compose its basis aims at maintaining the composition of (agro-)ecosystems.

Published on 10 February 2020

Bibliographic references :

Biostep-project.  What is bioeconomy?.

European Union. Bioeconomy. Horizon 2020.

Food and agriculture organization of the united nations (FAO).  Sustainable bioeconomy guidelines.

To quote this definition or part of it :
Victor Bérubé, Mathieu Lorenzo, Guillaume Bouchard, Gael Plumecocq. 2020. Bioeconomy : Definition. Dictionnaire d'Agroecologie, https://dicoagroecologie.fr/en/encyclopedia/bioeconomy/

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