Sustainable use and increasing the value of goods produced from biological aquatic resources plays an important role for driving sustainable economic growth in the Artic - particularly for development in coastal and rural communities. This is what we call the blue bioeconomy. Put simply, it is about sustainably maximising the value and use of aquatic bioresources, producing food, feed, bio-products and bioenergy. The main drivers behind the development of the blue bioeconomy are research and development, innovation and knowledge transfer.
One of the priorities under Iceland´s Arctic Council chairmanship 2019-2021 is the Sustainable Development Working Group (SDWG) Blue Bioeconomy in the Arctic Region project. It was initiated in October 2019.
The SDWG Blue Bioeconomy in the Arctic Region project will map key opportunities for enhancing and further developing the Arctic blue bioeconomy with a focus on balancing economic growth, social inclusion and environmental protection. The project will collect success stories and describe best practices, as well as identifying obstacles that could hamper progress.
The project´s participants come from different parts of the region and have varied backgrounds. Jointly they will draft a report summarizing their findings and circulate it among stakeholders in early summer of 2020. In September 2020, a workshop will be convened in Iceland, where different experts and stakeholders will have the opportunity to further develop the contents of the report and give valuable input. By the end of 2020, the final project report will be presented to the SDWG, including recommendations on possible measures to create a favourable environment for sustainable blue bioeconomy growth in the Arctic.
Article by Bryndís Björnsdóttir
Photo by Kristin Edda Gylfadottir