3.4 Usability and sustainability of bioresources and other ecosystem services
Bioresources refer to all bio-based materials such as plants, animals, microbes and bio-based process side streams. Sustainable biomass production based on Finland’s abundant renewable resources and water systems provides a solid basis for bioeconomy value chains, the most important of which are currently agriculture, the food system, forestry, forest-based products and materials, wood construction, wood products and bioenergy, as well as food, energy and other commodities produced from water. There are still unused possibilities in water biomass (e.g. underexploited fish species and algae). Sustainable forest management and use as well as plant breeding ensure the availability of bioresources and ecosystem services also in the changing climate.
The basic requirement for the availability of bioresources is profitable agriculture and forestry, as well as fishing and aquaculture, while safeguarding ecological sustainability and social equity. The use of renewable natural resources will increase as we move from the fossil economy to the bioeconomy, while the strong growth of the world’s population will also increase the demand for food. There are many ways to increase the sustainable production of bioresources while ensuring biodiversity.
The growth potential of the Finnish bioeconomy is largely due to the resource-efficient utilisation of our biomass reserves and the increased value added of products and services based on them. We will need research-based information on the availability and sustainable use of biomass resources, new business models and funding models as well as cross-sectoral cooperation.
Ecosystem services is a concept developed in environmental economics, which refers to tangible and intangible services produced by natural processes. They are transformed by human activity into goods for which a monetary value can be determined. The operation of land and water ecosystems will be secured intergenerationally.
Increasing information on the demand, availability and competitive status of biomass and side streams by improving statistics and ensuring that information is available to actors. Developing digital platforms and increasing their number in cooperation with different actors
- Determine the impacts of carbon compensation on the sustainable production, use and market of biomasses
- Utilise and develop existing digital marketplaces for side and waste streams
- Encourage companies in different sectors to engage in regional cooperation to develop a business ecosystem based on side and waste streams
- Develop monitoring methods to demonstrate the origin and sustainability of biomass to the consumer, including information on the environmental sustainability of new technologies and processes;
- Introduce new tools for gene technology, make more versatile use of genetic resources and enhance breeding processes
Responsibility: Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, Ministry of the Environment, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health
Actors: Natural Resources Institute Finland, National Land Survey of Finland, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, vocational institutions, higher education institutions, Finnish Forest Centre
Increase the value added of industries based on ecosystem services by improving the supply of ecosystem services and strengthening the natural product sector;
- Examine the sustainable value added potential of ecosystem services, develop business models and markets based on them, and, where necessary, develop technologies (e.g. soil carbon sequestration and maintenance of carbon stocks by developing technologies, health tourism, adaptation to climate change)
- Developing production methods and plants for the production of and new business models for biomass grown in former peat production areas
Responsibility: Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment
Actors: Advisory organisations, research institutes, companies, landowners, Finnish Forest Centre