Session 6: Economic and social challenges for the bioeconomy

The rise of an increasingly integrated biomass-based industry that spans forestry, agriculture, the chemical and energy sectors has ramifications at the levels of socio-economic structures, cultures and practices, affecting European forestry and farming sectors, land use and landscapes. It is unclear how the EU’s technology and industry-focused vision of the bioeconomy will be integrated in business concepts, and how social innovation in multi-stakeholder practices, agro-ecological concepts and ecosystem service provisioning will be affected.

As a result of the lack of consensus over what the bioeconomy is and should look like, there is also a lack of integrated biomass policy frameworks. In terms of social and environmental safeguards, the EU’s biofuel and bioenergy sustainability legislation faces criticism for its inability to account for indirect price - or land use effects, which have been associated with land grabs and conversions in biomass-exporting countries. Forest conservation and forest carbon storage initiatives funded by developed countries face similar questions as to how they can guarantee free choice, engagement, and benefits for local communities.

The session was chaired by Jean-Luc Peyron, Managing Director of ECOFOR, France. The presentations were the following:



Presentation title

Presentation (15 min.) / Speed talk (1 min.)

Alessandro Paletto

Researcher at the Forest Monitoring and Planning Research Unit of the Italian Council for Agricultural Research and Economics (CREA), Italy

Cognitive mapping approach to analyse the stakeholders’ opinions and preferences on forest-based bioeconomy


Päivi Pelli

PhD Candidate, School of Forest Sciences, University of Eastern Finland

Rethinking service logics in forest-based Bioeconomy


Nadine Pannicke

The Hemholtz Centre for Environmental Research, Germany

The political economy of fostering a wood-based Bioeconomy in Germany


Irmeli Mustalahti

Academy Research Fellow, Institute for Natural Resources, Environment and Society,  University of Eastern Finland

Responsive Bio-economy: Interaction of states, citizens and corporations in everyday practices of forest governance


Anna Harnmeijer

Researcher, MHG Systems, Finland

Beyond technology innovation: a holistic assessment of sustainability policy for bioenergy production systems in the UK


Elena Gorriz

Researcher at European Forest Institute and Forest Sciences Centre of Catalonia (CTFC), Spain

Social Capital in the design and implementation of a wild mushroom picking permit in Poblet (Catalonia, Spain)

Speed talk

Mihail Hanzu

Research assistant at the

National Institute of Forest Research and Development "Marin Drăcea", Romania

Holistic indicator for optimal forest governance

Speed talk

Sabaheta Ramcilovic-Suominen

Academy postdoctoral researcher, Institute for Natural Resources, Environment and Society,  University of Eastern Finland

Sustainability – A ‘selling point’ of the emerging EU Bioeconomy?

Speed talk

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