The Circular Bioeconomy Alliance is delighted to announce that two new organisations have joined its work to place nature and people at the heart of a global circular bioeconomy.
GSK is a global biopharma company with a purpose to unite science, technology and talent to get ahead of disease together. It is committed to a net zero, nature positive, healthier planet with ambitious goals set for 2030 and 2045. GSK is investing in high quality nature protection and restoration projects that support its climate and nature goals, and deliver co-benefits to human health.
Earthbanc is a tech enabled nature based carbon project developer on a mission to accelerate landscape regeneration and carbon sequestration at scale to avoid runaway climate change. The company has a partnership with the UNCCD to leverage Earthbanc’s MRV App and sustainable finance products to support the restoration of 2.5 billion hectares of land by 2030. Earthbanc is a top innovator in the 1 Trillion Trees platform and a winner of the Mastercard Lighthouse FINITIV program.
CBA Chair Marc Palahí said: “The two new members of CBA, GSK and Earthbanc, represent very well the cross-sectoral ambitions of our Alliance and the vision we have for our world: a healthy world that prospers in harmony with Nature.”
GSK Partnerships & Strategy Director Adele Cheli said: “Investing in nature protection and restoration projects is an important step for our climate and nature goals, as well as positively impacting human health. We are delighted to join CBA, a network of likeminded organisations working to address shared challenges.”
Earthbanc CEO Tom Duncan said: “We are joining CBA today, to massively scale up our nature based carbon and circular bioeconomy projects in partnership with farmers and innovative business leaders. Mobilising private sector commitments and funding is essential to help humanity and nature to thrive in harmony and abundance, now and for future generations.”
The Circular Bioeconomy Alliance was established in 2020 by His Majesty King Charles III (formerly His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales).
CBA activities include its global network of Living Labs for Nature, People and Planet, which are the start of a journey towards sustainable and resilient communities and landscapes. The Living Labs use nature-based landscape restoration projects as the starting point to catalyse the development of circular bioeconomy value chains while restoring biodiversity, mitigating and adapting to climate change and enhancing local livelihoods.
The Alliance is facilitated by a Secretariat hosted by the European Forest Institute.
For more information please contact: Yitagesu Tekle, CBA Coordinator (firstname.lastname @ efi.int)
On 4 May a special event took place in Buckingham Palace as part of the Coronation celebrations. Indigenous Elder UyunkarDomingo Peas and Ms. Atossa Soltani, representing the Amazon Sacred Headwaters Initiative, an alliance of 30 indigenous nations from the Ecuadorian and Peruvian Amazon presented HM King Charles III with a feathered crown in recognition of The King´s visionary leadership and commitment to rainforest protection and to restoring harmony between humanity and nature.
Photo: PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo
The Indigenous leader emphasized that the coronation was not only a significant ceremony for the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth but also a crucial moment for the future of Mother Earth and especially the Amazon given the King’s vision for a sustainable world that works for the benefit of all people, nature and the planet. The representatives from the Amazon Sacred Headwaters also thanked HM for the support provided to the Indigenous nations of the Amazon by the Circular Bioeconomy Alliance, founded by The King (when The Prince of Wales) and chaired by Marc Palahí, who was also present in the event.
The Circular Bioeconomy Alliance (CBA) and the Sacred Headwaters Initiative have been working together to preserve one of the richest regions in the planet, encompassing a continuous mosaic of 86 million acres of rainforest between the Ecuadorian and Peruvian Amazon which are home to 600,000 people from more than 30 indigenous nationalities.
As result of this collaboration, a Living Laboratory has been developed by the indigenous communities to accelerate landscape restoration while creating new forest-based value chains around cocoa, vanilla, medicinal plants and even eco-tourism, financing regenerative landscapes while preserving ancient traditions. The Living Lab also supports a new school for young indigenous leaders, to build new capacities to scale up restoration work and bio-based business models.
The Circular Bioeconomy Alliance is pleased to announce that Professor Hartmut Vogtmann has joined its Scientific Advisory Board (SAB).
Professor Vogtmann has had a long and distinguished career in research in the areas of animal nutrition, organic agriculture, food quality, sustainable resource management and the value of biodiversity and ecosystem services. He is currently chair of the project ‘Working together for a healthy soil” with the largest German nature and environment conservation NGO, NABU, and Honorary President of the International Federation of Organic Agricultural Movements (IFOAM).
He is the former president of the umbrella NGO “German League for Nature and Environment” (DNR), the Foundation for the Conservation of the European Natural Heritage “Euronatur”, and the German “Federal Agency for Nature Conservation” in Bonn, as well as the former CEO of the Hesse State Office for “Regional Development and Agriculture”, and the founder director of the “Swiss Research Institute for Organic Farming” (FIBL).
Professor Vogtmann was appointed as a professor for agriculture at the University of Kassel, holding the first chair for Organic Farming in Germany (and certainly European wide) from 1981 – 1994. During this time he saw the ‘circular economy’ as a key factor in environmental protection.
The Scientific Advisory Board provides scientific advice on CBA principles, strategic plans and activities. The SAB is chaired by Professor Bart Muys, and currently has five members.
The CBA warmly thanks previous SAB member Professor Demel Teketay Fanta for his contribution during his time in office.
Thursday, March 23, 2023 marked the launch of the “Building resilience to climate change and sustainable agriculture value chains in agro-systems around Mukura Forest and Lake Kivu Catchment Landscape”, known as “MuLaKiLa project” in Rwanda. This partnership between multiple actors aims to implement and finance the transition to sustainable land use in the Western province of Rwanda. The project’s overall target is to restore an estimated area of 15,000 ha of land in the Rutsiro and Ngororero districts by planting over 4.5 million trees that will, in the end, benefit more than 30,000 farming households.
Land and forest degradation are major environmental and social issues in the northwestern part of Rwanda: increasing population pressure leads to high dependence on traditional agriculture and deforestation to access forest resources. The negative impacts, strongly exacerbated by climate change, are now causing massive land erosion, affecting the water and biodiversity of the whole region/landscape.
The project will be implemented by the Albertine Rift Conservation Society (ARCOS) in collaboration with the Government of Rwanda and in partnership with Reforest’Action, an ecosystem restoration company, to co-design, monitor and assess the long-term impacts of this landscape restoration initiative. The MuLaKiLa project is developed within the framework of the Circular Bioeconomy Alliance (CBA), and the project design and implementation follow CBA principles. To make this large-scale project happen as of now, seed funding has been secured from AstraZeneca, a CBA member, which is the single investor.
The strong integrated approach promoted by ARCOS, and fully embraced by all partners, involves the long-term mobilization of local farmer communities and the commitment of local and national authorities.
The main objective of the project, starting in March 2023, is restoring the ecological functionality of the Mukura Forest-Lake Kivu Catchment Landscape through the development of agroforestry systems and the improvement of communities’ livelihood.
Creation of sustainable value chains through agroforestry
The promotion of sustainable tea and coffee value chains is the core aspect of the project. To do so, a mixture of fruit trees – including avocado and coffee trees – indigenous and fast-growing trees will be planted in agroforestry within the coffee and tea crops of smallholder farmers.
The project’s activities will also include a training program, in order to introduce all participants to agricultural methods that shift agricultural practices toward sustainable land use.
Enhancement of the beneficiaries’ socio-economic conditions
Through the sustainable production of tea and coffee, the project intends to enhance the community’s resilience to climate change, while allowing the population to generate a durable income and improve their food security. The active participation of farmers in the entire process will be ensured by the engagement and empowerment of a community groups network called the “Friends of Nature Association (FNAs)” and the establishment of 16 community tree nurseries.
A memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Reforest’Action and ARCOS was signed to enable the project to be converted into a carbon project. Hence, the feasibility study was launched in December 2022. Partners are now moving forward step by step to certify the project by an international standard, which will allow its scale-up after this first year of implementation. Once this step is completed, Reforest’Action will become the project proponent and will thus have responsibility for the project.
“The CBA Living Lab that we are launching in Rwanda is another example of how restoring landscapes can catalyse the creation of sustainable markets that are both nature- and people-positive,” said Marc Palahí, Chair of the Circular Bioeconomy Alliance.
“Our commitment to Africa extends beyond our medicines and health access programmes. We recognise that a healthy environment is deeply connected to the health of people, society, and the planet. Through seed funding for the CBA MuLaKiLa community landscape restoration project in Rwanda, we are firmly committed to supporting a healthy environment and improving socioeconomic development and livelihoods for Rwandans. I am excited to see how the MuLaKiLa project progresses,” Gagan Singh, AstraZeneca Country President for African Cluster (SA, SSA, FSA).
“We are delighted to be partnering with major players to bring this important project to life in Rwanda. The MuLaKiLa project, one of the largest restoration projects in Rwanda, will help address environmental and socio-economic issues. Reforest’Action is fully committed to the long-term success of this project”, Stéphane Hallaire, President and Founder of Reforest’Action.
“The Gishwati-Mukura and Lake Kivu catchment is part of the Albertine Rift Hotspot and the Eastern Afromontane Ecoregion, one of the global biodiversity hotspots. Though, the region has been a subject to social, economic, and ecological challenges as a result of climate change and an increasing demography. It is in this context that we anticipate the project to restore the ecological functionality of the region and improve its community’s livelihoods”. Dr Sam Kanyamibwa, ARCOS Founder & CEO.
The Circular Bioeconomy Alliance was established in 2020 by His Majesty King Charles III (formerly His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales). It provides knowledge-informed support as well as a learning and networking platform to connect the dots between investors, companies, governmental and non-governmental organizations and local communities to advance the circular bioeconomy while restoring biodiversity globally. The European Forest Institute hosts the Secretariat of the Alliance.
The Albertine Rift Conservation Society (ARCOS) is a regional conservation organization that aims at enhancing biodiversity conservation and sustainable management of natural resources in the Albertine Rift region, Africa Great Lakes region and African Mountains through the promotion of collaborative conservation action for nature and people.
Reforest’Action is a B Corp certified company whose mission is to preserve, restore and create (agro)forestry ecosystems around the world to help address climate change and biodiversity loss. To achieve this, Reforest’Action supports and develops projects that generate ecosystem services that are monitored and assessed over time. Since its inception in 2010, Reforest’Action has implemented more than 1,440 projects in 43 countries, mainly through funding from over 3,000 companies. As a fast-growing company, Reforest’Action aims to restore and regenerate 1 million hectares of (agro)forestry ecosystems by 2030, thereby contributing to the global forestry goals. By providing nature-based solutions that meet the objectives of corporate model transformation, consistent with their carbon strategies, Reforest’Action aims to contribute to the transition to a regenerative economy.
AstraZeneca is a global, science-led biopharmaceutical company that focuses on the discovery, development, and commercialisation of prescription medicines, primarily for the treatment of diseases in three therapy areas – Oncology, Cardiovascular, Renal & Metabolism, and Respiratory & Immunology. Based in Cambridge, UK, AstraZeneca operates in over 100 countries and its innovative medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide. AstraZeneca supports the principles of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity and shares their 2050 vision of ‘Living in Harmony with Nature.’ The AZ Forest initiative is AstraZeneca’s global initiative to plant and maintain 50 million trees by the end of 2025, working with communities to maximise the co-benefits reforestation can bring to the local context. Please visit AstraZeneca.com and follow the Company on LinkedIn @AstraZeneca (https://bit.ly/3Lbwx0W).
CBA Chair Marc Palahí spoke about Developing a sustainable forest bioeconomy that works for forests and people to an audience of Heads of State and Ministers at the One Forest Summit, which took place in Gabon on March 2.
He focused on why the emerging forest bioeconomy offers unprecedented opportunities to decarbonise our economy while creating economic and social value to ensure the sustainability of forest ecosystems.
Forest resources, if managed sustainably, are renewable and circular by nature. With emerging science and technology, wood can be transformed into a new range of biobased solutions that can replace and environmentally outperform fossil products from industrial sectors which are hard to decarbonize. These include wood engineering products that can replace concrete and steel, wood-based textiles and advanced materials such as nanocellulose.
The EU hosts 4% of the world´s forests but the European forest sector is responsible for 40% of the global forest products export value. Africa as a continent harvests 54% more wood than the EU but the forest products export value is 16 times lower – 90% of the wood harvested is used for low efficient energy such as cooking and heating, and exports take the form of logs. This does not create the right incentives to avoid degradation and deforestation. “Using half of the wood for producing wood-based textiles we could replace all the polyester we are currently using. That would have both great climate and economic benefits”, Marc explained.
The One Forest Summit in Libreville was announced during COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh, by President Emmanuel Macron of France and President Ali Bongo Ondimba of Gabon. It brought together Heads of State and Ministers from three continents to move forward on climate action and the preservation of biodiversity, by promoting solidarity between the three major forest basins on a global scale: the Amazon forest, the Congo basin and the tropical forests of South East Asia.
Palahí, M. et al. 2020. Investing in Nature as the true engine of our economy: A 10-point Action Plan for a Circular Bioeconomy of Wellbeing. Knowledge to Action 02, European Forest Institute. https://doi.org/10.36333/k2a02
Hetemäki, L., Palahí, M. and Nasi, R. 2020. Seeing the wood in the forests. Knowledge to Action 1, European Forest Institute. https://doi.org/10.36333/k2a01
Members of the Circular Bioeconomy Alliance were honoured to attend a reception at Buckingham Palace on 17 February, hosted by His Majesty The King.
The reception brought together environment ministers, business leaders and indigenous representatives in support of action on global biodiversity. The event offered the opportunity to discuss the practical delivery of the Global Biodiversity Framework, which consists of four overarching goals to protect nature and aims to address biodiversity loss and restore ecosystems.
Progress on three Living Labs in the Himalayas, the Amazon and Rwanda was shared with the King, who met a number of CBA members, including Lombard Odier, Palladium Group, ZSL, Reforest’Action, ARCOS Network and Fundación Pachamama, as well as SMI Fashion Task Force members with whom the CBA collaborates. The King was given a colourful necklace by the CBA Amazon Living Lab leader, Domingo Peas.
The Circular Bioeconomy Alliance is pleased to announce that two new organisations have joined its work to place nature and people at the heart of a global circular bioeconomy.
The Zoological Society of London (ZSL) is an international non-governmental organization with the vision of enabling a world where wildlife thrives. ZSL delivers innovative conservation in the UK and around the world, driven by science and supported by its zoos. They provide scientific expertise on monitoring habitat change at scale, human wildlife co-existence, wildlife health and species recovery.
Palladium is a global impact firm operating in over 90 countries. Palladium works with governments, businesses, and investors to solve the world’s most pressing challenges, including tackling the climate crisis through projects that invest in forests and sustainable land use, facilitate multi-stakeholder dialogue, and reimagine value chains on behalf of their clients.
CBA Chair Marc Palahi said:
“The CBA was established in 2020 by His Majesty King Charles III (formerly His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales) to connect the dots between investors, companies, scientists and local communities to advance the circular bioeconomy while restoring landscapes globally. I welcome the two new members, who will advance science-based action on the ground.”
ZSL Director General Matthew Gould said:
“ZSL is excited about joining the Circular Bioeconomy Alliance. We are committed to building a world in which wildlife can thrive alongside people. So we are absolutely aligned with the Alliance’s vision. We are looking forward to working with the Alliance and its members to drive sustainable and nature-positive business.”
Palladium CEO Christopher Hirst said:
“Joining the CBA gives Palladium the opportunity to bring our experience to this global alliance. The most prominent multinationals and advanced investors want to support business models that protect and restore nature, and we’re proud to be able to continue this work alongside the CBA’s impressive and growing network.”
Circular Bioeconomy Alliance activities include its global network of Living Labs for Nature, People and Planet, which are the start of a journey towards sustainable and resilient communities and landscapes. The Living Labs use nature-based landscape restoration projects as the starting point to catalyse the development of circular bioeconomy value chains while restoring biodiversity, mitigating and adapting to climate change and enhancing local livelihoods.
The Alliance is facilitated by a Secretariat hosted by the European Forest Institute.
For more information please contact: Yitagesu Tekle, CBA Coordinator (firstname.lastname @ efi.int)
Regenerative agroforestry for sustainable cotton production and land restoration in Chad
This Living Lab aims to restore degraded land and improve the livelihoods of local populations through sustainable agroforestry cotton farming approaches in Logone Occidental and Lac Provinces.
Project launch: November 2022 Location: Logone Occidental and Lac provinces, Chad Objectives: Restoring degraded land, improving biodiversity, water management, soil health, rural livelihoods and tackling social exclusion Key activities: Establish cotton agroforestry / Training and capacity building / Establish tree nursery / Provide technical assistance to cotton farmers Main species planted: Acacia Nilotica, Khaya Senegalensis, Faidherbia Albida, Balanites aegyptica, Zizuphus mauritiana Partners: International Rescue Committee, Reforest´Action, European Forest Institute, LVMH, Pretaterra, local government and research organizations
Cotton is the main cash crop produced in the western provinces of Chad, and more than 4 million Chadians rely on cotton production for their livelihoods. However, the high-water requirements of cotton, climate change, current farming practices and the lack of finance and training for farmers are crucial limitations for the crop’s long-term sustainability. Lake Chad has shrunk by 90% from 1963 to 2001, and at current rates could disappear in 20 years’ time. The drying of the lake has led to a decline in cotton production capacity in the region, leading to internal migration and increasing strain on the environment.
Following recent reforms, the government aims to achieve production of more than 900,000 tons of cotton per year, positioning Chad among the top African cotton producing countries. The key question is how to achieve this sustainably while reversing the degradation of Lake Chad, the surrounding land and biodiversity. This Living Lab aims to address these challenges while creating economic opportunities for the local population linked to sustainable cotton value chains.
Action on the ground This Living Lab aims to restore degraded land and improve the livelihoods of local populations through sustainable agroforestry cotton farming approaches in Logone Occidental and Lac Provinces.
Establishing cotton agroforestry demo sites In collaboration with local farmers and partners, the Living Lab will co-design and establish cotton agroforestry demonstration plots to showcase the multiple benefits of regenerative agroforestry for sustainable cotton production.
Training local farmers The Living Lab will provide training on regenerative agroforestry for the 500 farmers already organized in associations. We will train lead farmers, who can then give practical demonstrations for local farmers. This will include techniques like pruning and management of trees, seedling production, crop protection and effective water management.
Supporting access to technology The Living Lab will support access to technologies like planting or harvesting equipment, storage or sustainable irrigation technologies that reduce workload and save time for farmers (especially for women and young people), as well as increasing production capacities.
Establishing community tree nurseries The Living Lab will establish community tree nurseries to produce high quality tree seedlings to local farmers. The community nursery will be managed by groups of 10 to 12 people (50% women) trained in nursery and tree growing techniques.
Restoring degraded land We will implement a portfolio of restoration strategies, that are tailored to local needs and local conditions to restore the degraded lands surrounding Lake Chad.
The project directly contributes to the achievement of 11 of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals, which provide a roadmap to a better and more sustainable future.
Five scientists have joined the newly established Circular Bioeconomy Alliance Scientific Advisory Board (SAB), to provide scientific advice on CBA principles, strategic plans and activities.
Bart Muys has been appointed as the first Chair of the SAB for 2022-2025. Bart is a Professor of Forest Ecology and Management at KU Leuven (Belgium). His research focuses on the role of tree diversity for forest ecosystem functioning under climate change, on restoration ecology of dry forests, and on sustainability evaluation of forests and bioenergy systems. He is supervisor of 47 graduated and 15 ongoing PhDs. Several of the papers he co-authored have been highly cited, and in 2021 he featured in Reuters’ hot list of most influential climate scientists.
Nathalie Seddon is Professor of Biodiversity and Founding Director of the Nature-based Solutions Initiative in the Department of Biology at the University of Oxford, and Director of the Agile Initiative and co-lead of the Biodiversity and Society Programme at the Oxford Martin School. She is also founding non-executive Director of the Oxford University Social Venture, Nature-based Insetting.
José J. Campos Arce is the executive director of the Sustainable Agriculture Network, a global collaborative network that works towards transforming agriculture. He has 35 years of experience in international cooperation, technical, academic and scientific organizations and NGOs, working in international development, science and education. José is the former director general of CATIE, and former Co-Chair of the Board of Trustees and Executive Committee of CIFOR.
Demel Teketay Fanta is Professor in Forest Sciences and Dean of the Faculty of Natural Resources at Botswana University of Agriculture and Natural Resources. His research focuses on diversity, stand structure, dynamics and restoration of vegetation in the different forest types, as well as sustainable/responsible forest management, the role of fire in the regeneration of plant species, and invasive plant species.
Sonya Dewi is the ICRAF country programme coordinator of Indonesia and is a Senior Landscape Ecologist. During more than twenty years of professional career as a researcher, she has focused on the understanding of the trade-offs and integration between conservation and development agendas at the landscape level across different contexts, and on identifying options to change the trajectories in several countries, such as Indonesia, India and Brazil.
LVMH has joined the Circular Bioeconomy Alliance as a member, becoming part of a global movement powered by nature and people.
The Circular Bioeconomy Alliance (CBA) was established by King Charles III in his former role as The Prince of Wales in 2020.
The CBA is an action-oriented partnership that connects the dots between investors, companies, governmental and non-governmental organizations and local communities to advance the circular bioeconomy on the ground while restoring biodiversity globally. Activities include its global network of Living Labs for Nature, People and Planet which use landscape restoration projects as the starting point to catalyse the development of circular bioeconomy value chains while restoring biodiversity and local livelihoods.
LVMH provides support for the CBA’s Living Lab in Chad which focuses on sustainable cotton production via regenerative agroforestry and land restoration, working with farmers to plant fruit or timber trees alongside their cotton crops. The project was launched on 7 November 2022.
The Alliance is facilitated by a Secretariat hosted by the European Forest Institute. For more information please contact:
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