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Communication for a sustainable future

How can we sustain our high standard of living, yet limit negative environmental impact? This question is at the core of countless policy discussions, public debates and international agreements. The global population looks set to reach nine billion in 2050 which according to the UN will necessitate a 50% increase in both food and energy production. How can we ensure that this increase will be sustainable?

This issue of Sustainable Growth the Nordic Way looks at how the bioeconomy can contribute to a more sustainable future. The bioeconomy consists of the management of renewable biological resources and their conversion into food, livestock feed, bio-based products and bioenergy.  Bioeconomy integrates a number of solutions for a future that is more sustainable. This can include better utilisation of industrial by-products, innovative products from existing resources, and even the cultivation of new resources like algae and seaweed.

The Nordic Council of Ministers has been actively promoting the transition to the bioeconomy for several years and we will keep on doing so for the foreseeable future.

I hope the articles we present in this issue will serve as an inspiration for all readers. The market for biological products is already big, and growing. So too is the demand for technological know-how, new innovations, new policy tools and new research. Two years ago, we coined the phrase Replace – Upgrade – Circulate – Collaborate to describe the Nordic bioeconomy. Perhaps it is time to add Communicate to the list. Happy reading!

Dagfinn Høybråten,
Nordic Council of Ministers