Sustainable and circular bioeconomy for food systems transformation

What is the International Sustainable Bioeconomy Working Group (ISBWG)?

The ISBWG is a multi-stakeholder expert group that serves as an informal platform for knowledge – and experience – sharing concerning sustainable and circular bioeconomy and, inter alia, acts as an advisory body to FAO's bioeconomy programme.

The Group is composed of around 35 members of a broad range of expertise and backgrounds, from policy to research, private sector, civil society and international organizations, from all five continents.

International Sustainable Bioeconomy Working Group (ISBWG)

The ISBWG supports countries in building a sustainable and circular bioeconomy. The group offers a unique opportunity for countries to gain knowledge and share their experiences in the development of strategies and programmes and enhances stakeholder coordination.

The ISBWG is a platform for South-South and Triangular cooperation in the bio-based sectors. In general, countries in the global South have extensive knowledge and experience in the production and use of food, feed, fiber, biopharmaceuticals and other bioproducts.

The ISBWG is an example of how to achieve SDG17, in particular target 17.9 on enhancing international support for implementing national plans.


FAO facilitates the annual meetings and videoconferences of the ISBWG on specific topics. The meetings include presentations, workshops and field visits. Members also regularly share news on bioeconomy from their countries and institutions. The purpose of these meetings is to:

Provide guidance to national and regional stakeholders on the development of sustainable and circular bioeconomy strategies, programmes, and action plans.

See country support.

Support monitoring and evaluation of the bioeconomy for a sustainable economy, based on the Aspirational Principles and Criteria for a Sustainable Bioeconomy agreed upon by the Group in November 2016.