The circular forest bioeconomy in Southern Europe took centre stage at a seminar hosted by CTFC, in collaboration with EFI, and with the involvement of the European Parliament. The seminar, held in Brussels on 10 October, focused on the specific potential of southern European forests to enhance their social, economic, and environmental value through a paradigmatic — and practical — shift to the circular bioeconomy approach.
The bioeconomy concept is particularly salient for goods and services provided by southern European ecosystems, which are increasingly vulnerable to forest fires and other threats that are magnified by climate change.
The seminar elevated existing cases and key opportunities for the regional forestry sector to enter the circular bioeconomy. Presentations from leading academics and practitioners highlighted cork production, mushroom and truffle collection, ecosystem services, and landscape management aimed at enhancing fire prevention on large forest tracts.
Following these presentations, an open panel discussion led by EFIMED director Inazio Martínez framed the opportunities and challenges faced by the southern European forestry sector as a question of implementation. The speakers considered the potential for a new integrated framework to foster the expansion and creation of value chains, and promote the inclusion of environmental services in the market.
These discussions made an essential link between the efforts of the sourthern European forestry sector to work towards this new framework and the recent update of the European Commission Bioeconomy strategy, with the hope that the new strategy’s implementation will support enhanced coordination among key actors.