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Issue paper

Aspirational principles and criteria for a sustainable bioeconomy

To promote the production, utilization, conservation and regeneration of biological resources in ways that support global food and nutrition security and sustainable development, it is necessary to have a holistic vision for a sustainable and circular bioeconomy. Through the International Sustainable Bioeconomy Working Group (ISBWG), a multistakeholder group established in 2016, FAO provides international support to increase national capacities to develop strategies and policies that can realize this vision for a transition towards sustainability.

Aware that the implementation of bioeconomy involves potential synergies and trade-offs with regards to sustainability, the ISBWG proposes to mainstream a set of Aspirational Principles and Criteria for a Sustainable Bioeconomy across all economic sectors. The Principles and Criteria cover the different dimensions of sustainability and provide a reference list of issues that should be addressed to develop bioeconomy in a sustainable and circular way at international, national and local levels.

The bioeconomy that is desired is one that unlocks the potential of nature to provide bioresources, bioprocesses and biodiversity, and respects the planetary boundaries. The Principles and Criteria contribute to ensuring that ‘no one is left behind’ in the transition to a greener, fairer and more profitable economy that can make possible the achievement of all the Sustainable Development Goals.

Last updated 23/03/2021

Policy Theme