11 Mai 2020

World BioEconomy Forum goes virtual – live from Ruka!

The event will deliver the usual high-level content - while providing a unique experience for all bioeconomy stakeholders from around the world

This year’s third World BioEconomy Forum (WCBEF) will be broadcast live from Ruka on September 10th, 2020.  Due to the current global pandemic the Advisory Board has decided to take a cautious approach and will provide delegates with a high-quality, interactive virtual event which will be moderated from Ruka in Finland. The event will deliver the usual high-level content, while at the same time as providing a unique experience for all bioeconomy stakeholders from around the world.    

The full programme will be six hours in duration and will consist of four dedicated sessions: Regulators and Climate Change, Global Leaders and Financial World, Bioproducts around us, and Looking to the Future. In each of these sessions the WCBEF has once again attracted the most prominent speakers in their respective fields to share their views. The audience can contribute interactively on message walls and arrange online meetings with the other participants using the technology and channels provided.

“The main focus of the forum will once again be the importance of the bioeconomy and the growing use of renewable biological resources for a better and healthier planet at the same time creating a more sustainable global economy for the future.” Says Dr. Christian Patermann, known as the “Father” of European bioeconomy. Christian is also a former Director EU Commission and Advisor to the German Government on bioeconomy matters.

The Covid-19 pandemic has emphasized the importance of the bioeconomy even further. Aida Greenbury co-founder of WCBEF says, “The links between pandemics and the climate emergency, including escalating emissions and deforestation rates, have been reported worldwide. Countries have been issuing numerous economic stimulus packages valued at around 10% of their respective GDPs to rescue the world from economic collapse. The question ‘how are we going to pay back these debts while ensuring that future pandemics will be avoided?’ has been in the minds of many country leaders. We can’t continue to pay our debts through further environmental destruction. The bioeconomy community can play an important role in shaping the future global economy by addressing these environmental issues head on.”

Speakers and panellists already lined up include Commissioner Mariya Gabriel from the EU Commission, Petter Taalas Director General of the WMO and Mette Wilkie from the FAO. On the enterprise side, CEO of pulp giant Suzano, Walter Schalka will join the forum, along with General Partner Michael Nettersheim of the European Circular BioEconomy Fund and Ahmed Fahmi Chief of the Section of Innovation and Capacity Building in the Natural Sciences sector at UNESCO.  Only a few examples showing diversity of the speakers and the program, which focuses on circular bioeconomy and climate change. As always, the event will end up with a joint declaration.

“All of us are facing major changes in our lifestyle and future perspectives during this major turbulence that COVID 19 brought to the world. After the emergency health period it’s clear that bioeconomy will have and even more important role on the required changes and priorities on our global society “emphasizes Walter Schalka, CEO of Suzano who will join for the session Global Leaders and Financial World.

Global reach is important. We will hear voices from each continent.

Honourable Pohamba Shifeta, Minister of Environment, Forestry and Environment of Namibia also comments on the importance of global agendas in the environmental field, especially during these special times: “As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Earth Day this year under the theme “Climate Action”, it gives me great pleasure to recognize the WCBEF’s noble actions in the global agenda. The Covid-19 pandemic has shown us how humanity has impacted the environment. Reduced human activity during this period has allowed us to see the “hidden stars, mountains and cities” from afar. Going forward, every effort must be put to good use to ensure environmental sustainability.”

The event organisers agree that this is not just a high-level programme, but that the latest communication technology will reinforce the forum this year to have wider global reach and be interactive for the delegates and participants.  The core WCBEF team will be orchestrating the event from Ruka, Finland.

“COVID-19 has put us into a completely new situation and we need to act in a responsible way. First, I thought that this would hit us hard regarding our proposed event in Ruka this year, but now I see our virtual event as a great opportunity. We can reach an even larger audience. “says Founder and Chairman of the Board Jukka Kantola. He adds, “We are excited about the new format and see this global platform as an opportunity to reinforce our message and our influence on the global bioeconomy and climate change agenda.”

More information:

Jukka Kantola, Founder and Chairman of the Advisory Board
info@wcbef.com, +358 40 552 8880

Source: World BioEconomy Forum, press release, 2020-04-28.

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