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  • Writer's pictureFiona Smith

Ireland’s first national Bioeconomy Action Plan published to 'harness our natural resources'

Ireland’s first national Bioeconomy Action Plan has been published by the Government to coincide with Bioeconomy Ireland Week 2023, with a key action "to develop an agreed approach to Natural Capital Accounting"

The ‘Bioeconomy Action Plan 2023-2025’ - jointly issued by the Department of Agriculture, Food & the Marine and the Department of the Environment, Climate & Communications - includes 33 actions to accelerate support for the development of Ireland's bioeconomy to bring sustainable scientific practices, technologies and bio-based innovation and solutions into use on farms and by bio-based industries in Ireland.

The purpose is to further develop Ireland’s bioeconomy in delivering the vision of the 2018 National Policy Statement on the Bioeconomy - for Ireland “to be a global leader for the bioeconomy through a coordinated approach that harnesses Ireland’s natural resources and competitive advantage and that fully exploits the opportunities available while monitoring and avoiding unintended consequences”.

Minister for Agriculture, Food & the Marine, Charlie McConologue said: "The bioeconomy is a new approach to utilising the products, services, wastes and side-streams from sectors such as agri-food, forestry, fisheries, and aquaculture more sustainably.

"It offers opportunities to reduce GHG emissions in the agri-food system by replacing fossil-based resources with biological ones, from biofertilisers and biopesticides, to new food sources, bio-plastics and textiles, and biological waste management..."

The 7 inter-related pillars of the bioeconomy as listed in the Plan are:

  • Governance & Awareness

  • Research, Development & Innovation

  • Nature, Climate, Energy & Circular Economy

  • Agriculture, Food, Forestry & Marine

  • Communities, Regions & Cities

  • Industry & Enterprise

  • Knowledge & Skills

One of the key actions under the Nature & Climate Pillar is to "develop an agreed approach to Natural Capital Accounting".

"At this juncture, it is important that we have full oversight of our natural capital baselines to

fully ensure that our bioeconomy complements and does not negatively impact our natural

resources. Natural capital accounting will help us achieve this, therefore frameworks for natural

capital accounting aligned with the bioeconomy will be developed to help measure changes in

the stocks and flows of natural capital at a variety of scales, for better management of nature

and biodiversity."

You can access the Bioeconomy Action Plan 2023-2025 HERE.

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