'Significant opportunity' in Ireland's Bioeconomy 

First meeting of the National Bioeconomy Forum takes place 
'Significant opportunity' in Ireland's Bioeconomy 

Minister Eamon Ryan says Ireland's natural resources can be used in a renewable and sustainable way. Picture: Damien Storan.

The first meeting of the National Bioeconomy Forum took place on Friday.

The National Bioeconomy Forum aims to promote, support and advocate for the sustainable development of the Bioeconomy in Ireland in line with the progression of a circular economy, climate action and a climate-neutral, sustainable and innovative agri-food sector.

The Forum will provide a voice for a broad range of stakeholders, including primary producers, industry, community groups, NGOs, innovation clusters and relevant semi-state bodies.

Minister of State, Martin Heydon who opened proceedings said that producing sustainable and renewable biological resources from the country’s farms, forests and seas would provide key business opportunities.

He also pointed to the use of biomass through biorefining to create “innovative, high-value biobased products including food, feed, alternative biobased chemicals and materials”. 

“These products will replace and reduce our dependence on fossil-based resources and most importantly generate sustainable new economic opportunities for farmers, foresters and fishers, as well as for young and skilled rural entrepreneurs and the agri-food sector in rural, regional and coastal areas,” the Minister added. 

Meanwhile, the Bioeconomy seeks to consider the various sectors of agriculture, fisheries, aquaculture, forestry, food and feed inclusively.

The coordinated approach is focused on:

  • Developing carbon and nature sinks;
  • Avoiding harmful pressure on ecosystems and the environment;
  • Using biological resources through sustainability, circularity, knowledge and innovation.

Opportunity 

Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan said that Bioeconomy offered a significant opportunity to use Ireland’s natural resources in a renewable and sustainable way.

“By learning from nature and moving away from the ‘take, make and dispose of’ model towards a circular economy, we can both create sustainable employment, protect our environment and meet our climate goals,” he continued.

“Ireland has real potential in this area, and the establishment of the National Bioeconomy Forum is a significant step toward realising this ambitious goal.”

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