Catalonia’s forestry sector: 44 organisations secure grants for bioeconomy projects

The Biodiversity Foundation has chosen and will fund 56 projects, with 44 originating from Catalonia, aimed at advancing the forest bioeconomy and its role in driving the ecological transition.

The majority of the selected projects come from local authorities, public institutions, and non-profit organisations. Among them are the Pau Costa Foundation (PCF) and the Forest Sciences and Technology Centre of Catalonia (CTFC).

Nearly one-third of these projects will be implemented in municipalities or provinces with a population density of approximately 30 inhabitants/km2, and over half of the projects are dedicated to enhancing the development and diversification of forest management and utilisation.

Read the complete list of Catalan projects here (in Catalan).

Photo by josefina – stock.adobe.com

Catalan Government creates climate credit system for CO2 absorption

The government of Catalonia will approve the creation of a system to certify, trace and market locally issued climate credits that will allow the offsetting of greenhouse gas emissions within the region for the benefit of rural areas. 

The first credits to be issued and marketed will be related to forests and forestry. They will be based on a holistic conception of forest management, considering multiple ecosystem services and facilitating investments in forest nature-based solutions to compensate for the carbon and water footprints of companies, local entities, and other organisations.  

The Catalan Government published a press release on 1 December 2023 explaining their plans to develop carbon credits for agricultural land and costal and marine habitats. In the future, climate credits generated in agriculture, soil management, and the restoration of coastal and marine habitats will be included in the system.

Read the full article in Catalan here

Featured image Minister Mascort, attending to the media at COP28 / Govern.cat

Congress in Catalonia of Bioeconomy, Innovation and Technology (Congrés BIT 2024)

Congress in Catalonia of Bioeconomy, Innovation and Technology (Congrés BIT 2024)

From 20  to 21 March 2024, join us at Congrés BIT (Congress in Catalonia of Bioeconomy, Innovation and Technology). This year’s topic is Water and Resilient Landscapes.

Follow Bioregions InfoFlash to stay updated on the Congrés BIT 2024 landing page, news, and agenda here.

Visit the Congrés BIT website.

Photo balexlukin – stock.adobe.com

Perceptions on the bioeconomy in Catalonia

The Bioregions Facility launched, in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Food of Catalonia, Spain, a survey in Catalonia targeting government, industry and research sectors from 29 September to 1 December 2022 in Catalan.

The survey sought to understand how these sectors perceive the bioeconomy, its benefits, and its challenges. Some of the key findings are the following:

  • Participants perceive the bioeconomy as a promising economic model highly related to a circular economy and providing several environmental benefits.
  • Bioeconomy is perceived to be highly linked to circularity, biomass use for multiple purposes, and sustainable land management.
  • Catalan business and policy actors suggest that bioenergy is the region’s bioeconomy sector with the highest potential for growth.
  • Participants indicate that the government and industry are equally responsible for research, development, and innovation investments.
  • According to respondents, the bioeconomy has the strongest goal alignment with climate change mitigation & adaptation, circular economy, clean energy, and rural development. Technological innovation and biodiversity conservation are other policy areas with very high overlap with bioeconomy.

Learn more about the Government and industry bioeconomy survey and ways to implement the survey in your region.

Perceptions on the bioeconomy in Catalonia, Spain

Content: a bioeconomy report targeting government and industry in Catalonia, Spain

Author(s): Siebe Briers, Inazio Martinez de Arano

Year: 2023

Learn more

Researcher in Socio-Economy & Governance

The Forest Science and Technology Centre of Catalonia (CTFC), located in Solsona (PrePyrenees, 120 km from Barcelona), Spain, employs approximately 140 staff, produces >100 scientific articles annually and has a turnover of app. 6 Mil. €/year. Further institutional information is available at: www.ctfc.cat/en.


CTFC’s research activity is organised around three programs: 1) Multifunctional Forest
Management; 2) Landscape Dynamics and Biodiversity; 3) Bioeconomy and Governance. A
Project Promotion Office supports all the researchers and technicians in managing
projects.

More information

Catalonia joins the Bioregions Facility

The government of Catalonia is joining the Bioregions Facility – as its fourth member – through its Ministry of Climate Action, Food and Rural Agenda. Catalonia is one of Europe’s most innovative regions, has a large bioeconomy potential and is already providing valuable contributions to the Bioregions Facility. 

According to Jaume Sió, Head of the Technical Cabinet of the Ministry of Climate Action, Food and Rural Agenda of the Catalan government, “For Catalonia, becoming a member of Bioregions Facility is a firm step to continue advancing in the implementation and dissemination of the Catalan Bioeconomy Strategy 2030 (EBC 2030), especially in the fields of forestry and creation of resilient agroforestry landscapes. For us, promoting interregional cooperation is key to positioning Catalonia as a region that works to achieve the circular bioeconomy at the European level. It also offers a great opportunity to exchange experiences and successful practices with other regions, as well as strengthen the Catalan forest bioeconomy ecosystem.” 

Catalan Bioeconomy Strategy 

The Catalan Bioeconomy Strategy 2030, approved in September 2021, aims to strengthen the growth and sustainable development of the Catalan economy by promoting the production of biological resources as well as local and renewable processes. The First Action Plan 2022–2024 of the Strategy contemplates 15 Transformative Actions with a funding of over €200 million. This Plan also prioritises four value chains: 

1) Improvement in forest management and the use of forest resources. 

2) Creation of resilient agroforestry landscapes and the sustainable provision of ecosystem services. 

3) Recovery of coproducts and by-products from the food chain. 

4) Resource recovery from livestock waste and organic waste.  

In relation to the first two forest-related value chains, the strategy aims to increase the use of forest resources by 30% by 2030, this within a multifunctional landscape perspective, and an emphasis on the agroforestry mosaic. This approach will help create and maintain more cohesive communities and more resilient landscapes, preserving biodiversity and promoting economic and social development. 

The EBC 2030 is a cross-cutting, forward-looking strategy seeking to enhance the sustainability and competitiveness of every sector involved – particularly the primary sector. It focuses on underdeveloped value chains and uses knowledge generation as a driver for change. Creating quality jobs and anchoring population to the rural environment are also fundamental pillars of the Strategy. 

Discover the Catalan Bioeconomy Strategy 2030 factsheet

Forest bioeconomy in action 

The implementation of the bioeconomy needs to be guided by several principles; Mr. Jaume Sió highlights the following three principles: 

1) Bioeconomy should contribute to stopping the loss of biodiversity and preserving our natural heritage. We should work in favour of nature, not against it. 

2) Bioeconomy cannot compromise or compete with food production. We cannot divert our capacity to produce food to generate energy or materials. 

3) Bioeconomy is a great opportunity to create partnerships between urban and rural areas

Bioregions Facility is open to new regions 

Any European region making tangible advances towards the forest-based bioeconomy – committed to sustainable, circular actions that consider the landscape and forest resources in a holistic way – can apply to become one of the Bioregions.