A4 Conference proceedings

Forest-based bioeconomy in 2060: Back from the future through sustainable pathways

Publication Details
Authors: Mikkilä Mirja, Luhas Jukka, Kylkilahti Eliisa, Malkamäki Arttu, Miettinen Jenni, Pätäri Satu, Korhonen Jaana, Tuppura Anni, Pekkanen Tiia-Lotta, Lähtinen Katja, Autio Minna, Linnanen Lassi, Ollikainen Markku, Toppinen Anne
Publication year: 2020
Language: English
Title of parent publication: IUFRO WG 5.10 Online Conference
JUFO-Level of this publication: 0
Open Access: Not an Open Access publication


planetary boundaries (biodiversity loss, climate change, ocean acidification,
change in biogeochemical flows, such as altered nitrogen and phosphorus cycles,
land use change, fresh water use, chemical pollution and ozone depletion,
atmospheric aerosol loading, and the release of new compounds, such as
plastics, into the environment) represent critical thresholds for shifts in the
major earth system processes beyond which non-linear, abrupt environmental
change may occur on a continental or planetary scale. The planetary boundaries
for climate change and biodiversity loss are the most critical for global
sustainability. Both European and Finnish bioeconomy strategies emphasize the
economic value of the sustainable utilization of natural resources but
recognized the crucial role of natural resources in the climate mitigation and
biodiversity conservation.

Due to the
global, regional and national essence of the biodiversity conservation and
climate change mitigation, we study the sustainable visions of the future
forest-based bioeconomy within the assumption that the future pathways meet the
sustainability criteria of biodiversity and climate change. We applied backcasting
techniques in assessing the future of three value chains wooden multistorey
construction, fibre-based packaging, and biorefining. Backcasting refers to the
creation of the sustainability vision and stepping back from the vision to the
current time point assessing on the way the limitations for the sustainable
pathway. We created two different future pathways for each value chain. The
first alternative met the European and Finnish climate targets meanwhile the
biodiversity was the sustainability target for the other pathway. The pathways
were created by expert panels composed of the representatives of industries,
consultancy business, forest sector associations, environmental
non-governmental organizations, authorities, education and research.

On one
hand, the pathways include examples of increasing role of forest-biomass-based
solutions in construction, packing and biorefining. On the other hand, the
flexible, resource efficient utilization, combining and applying of various
materials was outlined to be the pathway to sustainability. For example, the
value of biofiber in the future as a raw material of high-value products was
recognized in that one pathway was built the assumption that the future packing
is based on the efficient recycling of existing waste plastic resources instead
of utilization of biofibres as packing material. It can be concluded that the
future, biodiversity and climate sustainable forest-based bioeconomy is
flexible in technological solutions and resource-efficient in utilization and
combining of various materials.

Last updated on 2020-10-11 at 08:37