Outlook for Sustainable Forest Bioeconomy in Gabon, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa and Tanzania

How could the circular forest-based bioeconomy contribute more to Africa’s wellbeing and prosperity, while helping to tackle climate change and other sustainability challenges?

A new CBA publication analyses the situation in five different countries – Gabon, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa and Tanzania – and offers recommendations for the short, medium and long-term.

Download the study

Read the news item: New CBA study explores forest-based bioeconomy in Africa

Publication date: 2 December 2023

Pages: 132

ISBN: 978-1-7384682-0-1

DOI: https://doi.org/10.62164/20241

Recommended citation: Hetemäki, L., Tegegne, Y.T., Ochieng, R.M. 2023. Outlook for Sustainable Forest Bioeconomy in Gabon, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa and Tanzania. Circular Bioeconomy Alliance. https://doi.org/10.62164/20241

Authors:

Lauri Hetemäki is Professor of Practice at the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry, University of Helsinki.

Yitagesu Tekle Tegegne is Director of Programmes at the Circular Bioeconomy Alliance, and a Senior Researcher at the European Forest Institute.

Robert Mugabe Ochieng is an independent consultant based in Nairobi, Kenya.

The views expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of the Circular Bioeconomy Alliance, or of the funders.

Photo: P.Augenstein/SEE-Intl

CBA calls for nature powered circular bioeconomy to be the driver of climate solutions at COP28

Founding Members Lombard Odier, AstraZeneca and LVMH provide their backing to the Circular Bioeconomy Alliance as it delivers transformative action on the ground.

At COP28, the Circular Bioeconomy Alliance (CBA) called on leaders from across government, corporate, finance and civil society spheres to play their part in creating regenerative landscapes, and sustainable communities and markets.

As world leaders gathered at the summit to discuss and agree collective ambitions on climate, the CBA convened private, public and community partners to galvanise collective action that delivers tangible progress on the ground. The scaling up of nature-based solutions and regenerative value chains will be central to the success of efforts to secure a sustainable future for people and planet.

At an event co-hosted with the UK Government on 2 December 2023, and in support of the COP28 Presidency’s efforts to ‘put nature, people and livelihoods at the heart of climate action’, the CBA brought together leading voices to highlight the critical role of nature, and the circular bioeconomy it powers, in driving the transition to a net-zero, climate positive and inclusive economy. When properly valued by economic systems, nature’s benefits can help to address complex global and interconnected crises.

With the backing of Founding Members Lombard Odier, AstraZeneca and LVMH, the event also marked the CBA’s official launch as a British charity, as the UK forges a global leadership role in securing nature as the world’s most precious economic asset, at the heart of the global climate agenda.

The Circular Bioeconomy Alliance is a leading collaborative platform that facilitates public-private partnerships to accelerate the transition to a circular bioeconomy that is climate-neutral, inclusive, and prospers in harmony with nature. The Alliance was established in 2020 by His Majesty King Charles III (formerly His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales).

CBA’s Living Labs across four continents demonstrate how investing in nature and empowering local and indigenous communities can catalyse the development of circular bioeconomy value chains, while restoring biodiversity and local livelihoods. These public-private-community partnerships aim to create a scalable blueprint that drives progress towards global climate targets.

Dame Amelia Fawcett, CBA Chair and Co-Chair, International Advisory Panel on Biodiversity Credits said “Our world, powered by an extractive and fossil-based economy, has reached a tipping point. We need a new economy powered by Nature – a circular bioeconomy that prospers within our planetary boundaries to support human health and sustainable wellbeing. The Circular Bioeconomy Alliance is connecting the dots between local and indigenous communities, investors, companies and NGOs to accelerate action on the ground to create regenerative landscapes and sustainable communities as the basis for a circular bioeconomy.”

Hubert Keller, Senior Managing Partner at Lombard Odier said: “A new economic paradigm is beginning to emerge, as the financial community wakes up to the essential role that nature will play in tackling the climate challenge. Lombard Odier is delighted to be a Founding Member of the Circular Bioeconomy Alliance, leveraging our expertise in attracting investors to the opportunity offered by Nature-based solutions, including the protection, restoration and sustainable management of our land systems. By unlocking and accelerating investment into nature at scale and working with like-minded partners within the Alliance, we look forward to supporting efforts to boost biodiversity and secure regenerative value chains – the very basis of a nature-positive economy.”

Juliette White, Vice President Global Sustainability, AstraZeneca said: “The Circular Bioeconomy Alliance is a unique organisation, whose support for sustainable and resilient landscape regeneration is building ecological and community resilience around the world. As founding members of the CBA Charity, we are delighted to be deepening our collaboration, and continuing to support community-led reforestation and circular business models. I’ve seen first-hand from our partnership with the CBA on AZ Forest projects in Ghana and Rwanda how effective public-private collaboration can drive sustainable impact at scale.”

Uyunkar Domingo Peas Nampichkai, Technical Advisor and Field Representative for the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of the Ecuadorian Amazon (CONFENAIE) said: “We talk a lot about transition. How can we change? Ecological transition? For me the rainforest will not undergo transition. It automatically regenerates. The transition must be human. Human transition, a change of hearts and minds.

Why nature?
Nature across the globe has been significantly altered by multiple human drivers, with the great majority of indicators of ecosystems and biodiversity showing rapid decline. Nature loss is fundamentally and bidirectionally interconnected with climate change – both crises accelerate each other and present systemic risks. Climate change is a key driver of nature loss and degradation (e.g., wildfires, droughts, pest and diseases) reducing nature’s ability to provide climate change mitigation and adaptation benefits and in many cases turning natural sinks into important sources of greenhouse emissions. This in turn intensifies the impacts of climate change, resulting in a vicious cycle of escalating effects.

The UK Government are leading the drive for nature focussed solutions as one of the first countries to pledge to protect 30% of their land for nature by 2030. They played a leading role at the COP15 UN biodiversity summit in Montreal in December 2022, driving negotiations and securing international commitments to protect nature and reverse biodiversity loss.

What is a circular bioeconomy?
A circular bioeconomy offers a conceptual framework for using renewable natural capital to holistically transform and manage our land, food, health and industrial systems, as well as our cities. A circular bioeconomy is a boundaried ecosystem, through which biological resources (plants, animals, micro-organisms and derived biomass, including organic waste) are sustainably managed and transformed in a circular manner into food, feed, energy and biomaterials. The aim of a circular bioeconomy is to ensure we are living within our means, and within the ecological boundaries of the environment.

How does the CBA protect nature?
The CBA mobilises transformative action on the ground towards nature restoration and sustainable development through its global network of Living Labs for Nature, People and Planet. The aim is to create scalable blueprints to transform degraded landscapes and non-sustainable value chains into regenerative landscapes and sustainable markets that are inclusive, biodiversity-positive and climate-neutral.

Each Living Lab mobilises funders, NGOs, governments, and local communities, using a landscape restoration project as the starting point to catalyse the development of circular bioeconomy value chains while restoring biodiversity and local livelihoods. Living Labs test holistic approaches to landscape restoration and sustainable value chain creation; focus on research and capacity building; and are based on public-private-community partnerships. They place local and Indigenous communities at their centre, empowering nature and people in a concrete territorial context and integrating traditional knowledge as well as science-based research and innovation.

The Circular Bioeconomy Alliance’s aspiration is to create a proof of concept – a blueprint- to scale up the transformation our landscapes and value chains need. CBA are excited to share this solution with stakeholders at COP28, and demonstrate to the climate community a tangible answer to landscape degradation, whilst building sustainable value chains for local communities. This supports governments to develop science-informed strategies to transition towards a circular bioeconomy and advance global action on climate.

ENDS

Download the media advisory (pdf)

For opportunities for interviews and any media enquiries
Sanctuary Counsel
Anna Watkins +44 777 836 4986

New CBA study explores forest-based bioeconomy in Africa

How could the circular forest-based bioeconomy contribute more to Africa’s wellbeing and prosperity, while helping to tackle climate change and other sustainability challenges?

A new CBA publication analyses the situation in five different countries – Gabon, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa and Tanzania – and offers recommendations for the short, medium and long-term.

Woman watering the land

Africa is at a crossroads. The last 20 years have been marked by a profound turn-around in perceptions of the continent, both within its borders and internationally. This change has been driven primarily by exceptional economic growth in many parts of Africa, and expectations of its increasing global role in the coming decades.

Today, Africa’s population is 1.34 billion and the UN medium variant projection expects it to be 2.08 billion by 2040. Renewed confidence among many African states is reflected in the Agenda 2063 of the African Union, a blueprint and master plan for transforming Africa into the global powerhouse of the future. It puts an important focus on the rapid urbanization of Africa – by 2030 more than one billion Africans are projected to be city-dwellers.

However, as well as the expected development and potential future opportunities in Africa, there are many questions and challenges. African cities face challenges in terms of infrastructure, energy, housing, technology, and mobility. Is it possible to manage an urbanization wave in a sustainable manner? What are the impacts of the changing climate and possibilities to adapt and build resilience to it? What role do governments play, and what type of policies are most promising for a sustainable future in Africa?

A new publication from the CBA explores the role the circular forest-based bioeconomy could play, to fulfil African aspirations and answer many of these current and future challenges. As Africa consists of 54 countries with vast differences between them and the forests which they contain, the study takes an in-depth look at five different countries: Gabon, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, and Tanzania.

Recommendations from the authors include:

  • Launching a dedicated national bioeconomy strategy is an essential tool for forest bioeconomy development.
  • Good governance is a pre-condition for a flourishing forest bioeconomy.
  • A circular bioeconomy can help to support biodiversity and climate mitigation – and biodiversity and climate mitigation considerations are necessary for a successful forest bioeconomy.
  • There is an immediate need to stop subsidising fossil fuel production in African countries in which subsidies are in place. This not only provides funding opportunities for the forest bioeconomy (and other societal needs), but drives the demand for non-fossil solutions, such as forest bioeconomy.  
  • Investments in research, development and innovation need to increase to strengthen the foundations for a circular bioeconomy.
  • The bioeconomy needs to be seen as a key strategy for cities and urban areas, not only for rural areas. An evidence-based circular forest bioeconomy narrative and its efficient communication is needed to support engagement with society.

More information

Download the study

Hetemäki, L., Tegegne, Y.T., Ochieng, R.M. 2023. Outlook for Sustainable Forest Bioeconomy in Gabon, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa and Tanzania. Circular Bioeconomy Alliance. https://doi.org/10.62164/20241

Lauri Hetemäki is Professor of Practice at the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry, University of Helsinki.

Yitagesu Tekle Tegegne is Director of Programmes at the Circular Bioeconomy Alliance, and a Senior Researcher at the European Forest Institute.

Robert Mugabe Ochieng is an independent consultant based in Nairobi, Kenya.

The views expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of the Circular Bioeconomy Alliance, or of the funders.

Photo: P.Augenstein/SEE-Intl

Wildfire-Resilient Landscapes Network launched, ahead of COP28 UAE

  • New network launched at a reception attended by His Majesty King Charles III, ahead of COP28 in Dubai, UAE.
  • Joint initiative between the Circular Bioeconomy Alliance and the Commonwealth Secretariat brings together indigenous and scientific knowledge on wildfires to create resilient landscapes.
  • Planned initiatives include action on the ground via Living Labs, and the development of innovative financial tools with the finance industry.

The Wildfire-Resilient Landscapes Network was launched at a reception attended by His Majesty King Charles III, on 30 November ahead of the start of COP28, in Dubai.

The network brings together indigenous and scientific knowledge to develop Living Labs that demonstrate how to create resilient landscapes to deal with the increasing problem of wildfires in fire-prone areas of the world. The initiative will work with the finance industry to develop innovative financial tools (for example around emerging Nature markets) that can generate the necessary investments to support the transition to resilient landscapes. The founding of the network was inspired by The King’s interest in linking Australia’s indigenous fire experts with Canadian experts to share best practices following Canada’s horrific fire season.

Marc Palahí, CEO Circular Bioeconomy Alliance, Baroness Scotland, Commonwealth Secretary-General and Dame Amelia Chilcott Fawcett, Chair Circular Bioeconomy Alliance meet His Majesty King Charles III.

Climate change is resulting in unprecedented wildfires, as fire suppression has reached its limits. The world is witnessing escalating human casualties and serious health impacts, as well as huge economic losses, increased greenhouse gas emissions, and catastrophic loss of the natural world. This summer we witnessed extreme wildfire events, with Canada now experiencing its most severe wildfire season on record. More than 18.5 million hectares of land has been burned (as of 2nd October) and this has resulted in emissions of more than 2.2 billion tons of CO2 eq, likely tripling the annual greenhouse emissions of Canada’s entire economy.

Innovative financial tools are also needed to play a catalytic role. Currently, the costs related to wildfire prevention and landscape management comes from public subsidies, which is insufficient to deal with the scale of the problem faced globally. Private-public partnerships and private finance are crucial for deploying investments at scale to harness new technologies and create a new model for designing resistant and resilient landscapes. In this context, carbon and possibly also the future biodiversity markets provide an interesting opportunity for private finance.

The savanna fire management programme across northern Australia is a good example of how indigenous knowledge can be the basis for new financial tools that generate income for Indigenous Communities, while supporting resilient landscapes through carbon markets. The network will build upon the work of the International Savanna Fire Management Initiative, which has developed leading technologies based on traditional fire management (TFM) approaches deployed in the management of land for generations, while generating carbon credits. The application of TFM has delivered substantial additional benefits including creating market-based jobs in remote and vulnerable communities, and improving biodiversity, food security and health.

The new Network will be established under the Circular Bioeconomy Alliance together with the Commonwealth Secretariat. It will be coordinated through partnerships with the ISFMI, which will contribute unique indigenous knowledge and experience in wildfire risk management, and FIRE-RES, who will bring their scientific knowledge to bear.

PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo

Commonwealth Secretary-General, the Rt Hon Patricia Scotland KC said: “The Commonwealth looks forward to contributing to this timely collaboration on wildfire resilience. Our climate work is rooted in knowledge sharing – from helping vulnerable countries unlock critical access to climate finance to climate-related capacity development and the promotion of climate-resilient and sustainable land management.

Marc Palahí, CEO of the Circular Bioeconomy Alliance, said: “We are honoured to host this network which will build on the success of our Living Labs and connect the dots between science, indigenous knowledge and the financial sector to enable a holistic approach to creating wildfire-resilient landscapes. As leaders gather to agree climate action at COP28, the start of this collaborative endeavour will facilitate vital progress on the ground that works to embed resilience, while contributing to nature protection as well as climate adaptation and mitigation efforts.”

Cissy Gore-Birch, on the Advisory Committee of the ISFMI, said: “Reigniting Indigenous fire management practices is an opportunity to share our knowledge with the world, to secure all of our futures and bring us together.”

Antoni Trasobares, Coordinator of FIRE-RES, said: “Fire suppression has reached its limit. We need to invest in science and indigenous-informed actions to transition to wildfire resilient landscapes.”

Notes to Editors

Photographs from the reception attended by His Majesty The King will be available from Press Association and Getty Images. Broadcast footage will be available via the UK broadcasters’ Royal Rota system.

About the CBA

The Circular Bioeconomy Alliance initiative was established in 2020 by His Majesty King Charles III, when Prince of Wales. The CBA provides funding, expertise, and know how to facilitate projects designed to accelerate the transition to a circular bioeconomy that is climate neutral, inclusive and prospers in harmony with nature.

www.circularbioeconomyalliance.org
@circbioalliance

About ISFMI

The International Savanna Fire Management Initiative (ISFMI) is a charity working in partnership with Indigenous peoples, local communities, research institutes and governments, revitalising indigenous fire management and fire management techniques around the world based on the Australian experience. 

www.isfmi.org

About FIRE-RES

FIRE-RES is an international research and innovation project that works towards developing holistic and integrated fire management strategies to efficiently and effectively address the problem of Extreme Wildfires. The FIRE-RES consortium is formed by researchers, emergency-response bodies, technological companies, industry and civil society from 13 countries, linking to broader networks in science and disaster reduction management. The Forest Science and Technology Centre of Catalonia, Spain, coordinates the FIRE-RES project, which is funded under the European Union’s H2020 research and innovation programme.

www.fire-res.eu
@FIRERESProject

About the Commonwealth

The Commonwealth is a voluntary association of 56 countries and home to 2.5 million people, including advanced economies and developing countries. Our experts provide technical support to vulnerable member countries and facilitate knowledge-sharing about solutions to some of the world’s most pressing issues. We help countries tackle climate change and adapt to its worst impacts, by unlocking access to climate finance. Our Living Lands Charter seeks to address challenges such as climate change, biodiversity loss and land degradation or desertification, through concerted, coordinated, and integrated action. 

@commonwealthsec

 

King Charles III welcomes ANAES initiative

King Charles III welcomes ANAES initiative by ARCOS and CBA during state visit to Kenya

Nairobi, November 1, 2023 – His Majesty King Charles III, accompanied by Her Majesty Queen Camilla, embarked on a state visit to Kenya. As part of his visit, His Majesty attended an event celebrating the enduring legacy of the Nobel Laureate, the late Professor Wangari Maathai.

His Majesty, who also established the Circular Bioeconomy Alliance in 2020, was introduced to the newly launched African NGOs Alliance for Environmental Sustainability (ANAES), an initiative by the Albertine Rift Conservation Society (ARCOS), Circular Bioeconomy Alliance (CBA) and committed NGOs in Africa. His Majesty embraced and commended this initiative as a vital solution to address environmental challenges on the continent.

ANAES, a collaborative endeavour between ARCOS and CBA, represents a unifying force that brings together 32 prominent conservation and development NGOs from 18 African countries to work together to restore biodiversity and put nature back to our economy and community livelihoods.

His Majesty visited one of ARCOS’ sites in Rwanda in 2022 during the Commonwealth meeting in Kigali. During this visit, he had the opportunity to witness collective landscape restoration efforts aimed at enhancing climate change resilience in the region.

About ANAES:

ANAES’ Objectives: The primary goal of this NGO Alliance is to unite the conservation efforts of African NGOs, fostering leadership, sharing experiences, and promoting active engagement in environmental sustainability practices across the continent. ANAES aims to empower over 3 million farmers in Africa, roughly 10% of the current total, in landscape restoration, smart agriculture, and sustainable livelihoods by 2030 through a proficient network of NGOs and CBOs.

About ARCOS:

The Albertine Rift Conservation Society (ARCOS) is a distinguished regional champion in restoration, headquartered in Rwanda. ARCOS is a member of the Circular Bioeconomy Alliance (CBA) and has received multiple accolades, including the 2012 MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions and the 2023 One Tree Planted Award for Outstanding and Long-Standing Landscape Restoration in Africa.

About CBA:

The Circular Bioeconomy Alliance (CBA) initiative was founded by His Majesty, as Prince of Wales. Established today as a charity in the UK, the CBA provides funding, expertise, and know-how to facilitate projects designed to accelerate the transition to a circular bioeconomy that is climate-neutral and prospers in harmony with nature.

African NGO alliance initiated

On 20 October in Kigali, Rwanda, the Circular Bioeconomy Alliance and the Albertine Rift Conservation Society (ARCOS Network) initiated the African NGOs Alliance for Environmental Sustainability (ANAES).

Africa faces numerous environmental challenges, including ecosystem degradation and biodiversity loss, wildlife poaching, poverty and pollution, all accelerated by climate change. These challenges are complex and require collective efforts to address effectively. ANAES aims to bring leading conservation NGOs in Africa together to achieve meaningful and lasting environmental change, safeguarding Africa’s natural heritage and promoting sustainable development.

By sharing information and expertise, they can collectively address emerging threats and develop innovative solutions towards a sustainable future. Different NGOs often possess unique areas of expertise and focus. By collaborating, they can leverage each other’s strengths and complement their skills to create comprehensive and integrated conservation programs that address multiple facets of environmental protection and sustainable development, instead of working in isolation.

Read more: https://arcosnetwork.org/?p=13182

Download the ANAES flyer: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1PFukCTyKQFmAi4Jtnd82Qvsylp8lZhoA/view

Photo: ARCOS Network

Forum discusses action on climate and nature

The CEO of the CBA Marc Palahí attended the Climate and Nature Finance Mobilisation Forum on 21 September at the National Museum of Natural History in Paris. At the event, President Macron and His Majesty King Charles III heard how key organisations from the private and public sector are supporting action on tackling climate change and nature loss in emerging and developing economies.

Participants at the forum, including CBA member LVMH, discussed practical actions that investors and companies are already taking, and what more can be done to increase investment, particularly in emerging markets and developing economies.

Marc Palahí said: “We need to avoid seeing Nature as a “tactic” to compensate for our “broken” economic system (i.e. an offsetting approach) but rather take the view that Nature is our best “strategy” and business partner to transform our economy. Investing holistically in nature-based solutions and circular bioeconomy opportunities is key to both restoring Nature and transforming fossil-extractive sectors into renewable and regenerative ones.

For example, the Circular Bioeconomy Alliance’s Living Lab in Chad is rethinking the landscape-value chain for cotton, thanks to the support of LVMH. It puts forward new sustainable and regenerative methods of cotton production while restoring biodiversity and creating economic opportunities for the local population linked to sustainable cotton value chains. The project also involves another of CBA’s members, the International Rescue Committee, which has extensive experience in crisis management and livelihoods restoration.

Mobilising investments at scale for climate-biodiversity requires new partnerships between financiers, corporations and local operators supported by the best science and technology available.”

Marc also accompanied His Majesty on a visit to the Floirac experimental forest in Bordeaux on 22 September, to see the devastating impact of last year’s forest fires, and how the community has recovered. They also heard how fire prevention and forest resilience strategies have been implemented on the ground.

More information

Read the joint statement on the Forum by the UK and French governments: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/joint-uk-france-statement-climate-mobilisation-forum

Photo: PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo

CBA welcomes two new Scientific Advisory Board members

This news item relates to the EFI-led initiative which ran from 2020 to September 2023

The Circular Bioeconomy Alliance is pleased to announce that two new members have joined its Scientific Advisory Board.

Dr Marina Guyot is an experienced professional with a history of working in the non-profit organization sector on forest, land and agriculture. She is skilled in commodity risk management in agricultural and cattle supply chains, especially on deforestation-free and respecting human rights agendas via multistakeholder dialogue. Marina graduated from Sao Paulo University with an MSc in Agroecology and Rural Development, and PhD in Applied Ecology.

Professor Salome Bukachi holds a PhD in Anthropology from the University of Nairobi’s Institute of Anthropology, Gender and African Studies, specializing in Medical Anthropology. She is one of the Members of Africa One Health Network Steering Committee, a Board member of the International Association of Ecology and Health, Member of the One Health High Level Expert Panel, former Member of the Global Advisory Panel (GAP) for the REACH  Oxford Programme – Improving Water Security for the Poor, Ad-hoc Committee member for the TDR and WaSH/WHO to support activities to control water-related infectious diseases with a special focus on vector-borne diseases. She has won several research grants and fellowships from organisations/Institutions such as the Government of Kenya, EU, IDRC, BMGF, WHO/TDR, Universities of Oxford & Cambridge, Netherlands Fellowship Program.

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 seven members.

Photo: AdobeStock/ Kalyakan

CBA launches first of a kind Principles for Regenerative Landscapes

This news item relates to the EFI-led initiative which ran from 2020 to September 2023

CBA has published its science-based framework for sustainable and resilient landscape regeneration, developed in partnership with AstraZeneca, the European Forest Institute (EFI), and the CBA Scientific Advisory Board.

The ‘CBA Principles for Regenerative Landscapes’ take a unique, multidimensional approach to harmonize bioeconomy value chains with nature. The Principles have been, informed by the latest scientific evidence and operational knowledge on how we can transform degraded areas into regenerative landscapes.

Prof. Bart Muys, chair of the CBA Scientific Advisory Board said: “The Principles are pioneering as they integrate elements of resilience and adaptive capacity for people and ecosystems into the framework of strong sustainability. It makes them a powerful tool to pave the way to a harmonious joint future for nature and people”.

Juliette White, Vice President Global SHE & Operations Sustainability, AstraZeneca said: “Through AZ Forest, we have committed to plant and maintain 200 million trees by 2030, restoring 100,000 hectares across six continents. Our focus is on reforestation that supports nature, human health and local communities, with a science-driven approach. We are proud to be collaborating with recognised experts like the CBA on our projects, and we hope that the framework we have co-developed will support sustainable and resilient landscape regeneration for decades to come.”

There are 7 principles, which focus on sustainability, resilience and local context:

Sustainability is assessed via three principles focusing on the impacts on nature and the environment; social wellbeing and economic prosperity of the landscapes and value chains created.

Resilience is assessed via three principles: diversity, connectivity and adaptive capacity.

Local context is assessed using one principle, harmony.

The Principles will be used to inspire, select, implement and assess the CBA’s Living Labs for Nature, People and Planet, as well as other CBA-related efforts, projects and funds which aim to scale up landscape regeneration globally.

These Principles will form the basis for the CBA standard of criteria and indicators, to be launched in beta form this autumn.

More information

Download the Principles

Note: The Principles are a living document, which will be revised and updated following their implementation on the ground.

Contact Yitagesu Tekle (yitagesu.tekle @ efi.int)

Photo: (c) P.Augenstein/SEE-Intl 

New Living Lab in collaboration with The Armani Group announced

This news item relates to the EFI-led initiative which ran from 2020 to September 2023

The Armani Group announces a new project in collaboration with the Sustainable Markets Initiative’s Fashion Task Force and the Circular Bioeconomy Alliance: Apulia regenerative cotton project, paving a sustainable and innovative path for fashion in Italy

On the occasion of World Environment Day, the Armani Group further testifies to its commitment towards environmental issues and the active promotion of sustainable practices with the announcement of a new project in collaboration with the Sustainable Markets Initiative’s Fashion Task Force and the Circular Bioeconomy Alliance, both founded by His Majesty King Charles III in his former role as The Prince of Wales. The Apulia Regenerative Cotton Project will focus on the development of agroforestry-based cotton production. 

Supported by the Sustainable Markets Initiative’s Fashion Task Force in partnership with the Circular Bioeconomy Alliance and coordinated by the European Forest Institute (EFI) together with the Council for Agricultural Research and Economics of Italy (CREA) and with PRETATERRA, the objective of this pilot project is to develop an experimental agroforestry regenerative cotton site, among the first of its kind, to test and scientifically assess new ways to implement sustainable cotton production in Italy. The aim is to demonstrate how to enhance landscape diversity, water saving and soil fertility as well as biodiversity-related ecosystem services while producing cotton with a low carbon footprint through the use of agroforestry systems. This innovative approach responds to increasing consumer demand for sustainable fashion globally, and at the same time, it ensures traceable and resilient value chains as well as the safety of resources. 

I am very glad that the partnership with the SMI Fashion Taskforce, led by Federico Marchetti, is resulting in a pioneering project with Giorgio Armani to establish the first Agroforestry cotton experimental site in Europe. This project is crucial to generate new scientific knowledge to guide the transition towards nature-positive and climate-neutral cotton production” said Marc Palahí, Chair of the CBA.

“In fashion, everything begins from the material: all my designs start with the choice of fabric. And it was by experimenting and using non-traditional fabrics that I revolutionized fashion. But the textile industry is one of the sectors with the greatest impact on the planet and that is an issue that cannot be neglected. Our commitment with Sustainable Markets Initiative is to drive positive change: it is a bold and innovative project and one that is particularly meaningful for me and my company. Actively participating in the development of agroforestry regenerative cotton, especially on Italian soil, is an important step and will also have a real impact on local communities. Once a utopia, regenerative fashion finally begins to assume a tangible form” said Giorgio Armani.

Puglia (Apulia) has a mild climate which creates the perfect environment to grow a great diversity of agricultural crops and this project contributes to the reintroduction in the region of a long tradition of cotton farming, which dates back to the 12th century. After the initial cotton planting on one hectare of land which started being implemented last May, from 2024 cultivation will gradually expand to occupy a total farm area of five hectares. 

Over five years, this farm site will be among the first field experiments in Europe testing agroforestry cotton with alternative tree species and regenerative practices. Regular scientific reports will evaluate the properties of the cotton yielded and will assess the environmental impacts and production levels of the different plots established. 

The Apulia Regenerative Cotton Project is part of the Regenerative Fashion Manifesto, developed by the Sustainable Markets Initiative’s Fashion Task Force, chaired by entrepreneur Federico Marchetti in partnership with the Circular Bioeconomy Alliance (CBA), led by scientist Marc Palahí. By adhering to the manifesto, members of the Sustainable Markets Initiative’s Fashion Task Force are committing to a progressive shift towards regenerative fashion – a circular biobased industry that uses newly created or restored regenerative landscapes as the basis for bioeconomy value chains and practices that empower local communities and support their prosperity.   

This initiative is in line with the pledge of the Armani Group to integrate and strengthen sustainable and responsible development into the company’s values and business strategies. Indeed, in 2021 the Group enhanced its governance on this issue and launched a new sustainability strategy based on three main pillars “People, Planet, Prosperity”. The Group has also defined concrete objectives for the company and along its entire value chain according to the ESG approach (Environmental, Social, Governance).

About The Armani Group

Established in 1975 by Giorgio Armani, Chairman and CEO, the Armani Group is one of the leading fashion and luxury goods companies in the world. The Group designs, manufactures, distributes and directly retails fashion and lifestyle products including apparel, accessories, eyewear, watches, jewellery, cosmetics, fragrances, and furniture and home décor and operates in the areas of food and beverage and hotellerie.

www.armanivalues.com

About the Sustainable Markets Initiative

In his former role as The Prince of Wales, His Majesty King Charles III launched the Sustainable Markets Initiative (SMI) in January 2020. The Sustainable Markets Initiative is a network of global CEOs across industries working together to build prosperous and sustainable economies that generate long-term value through the balanced integration of natural, social, human, and financial capital. The Sustainable Markets Initiative also launched its Terra Carta in 2021, which provides a practical roadmap for acceleration towards an ambitious and sustainable future; one that will harness the power of Nature combined with the transformative power, innovation, and resources of the private sector.

www.sustainable-markets.org/

About the Circular Bioeconomy Alliance (CBA)

The Circular Bioeconomy Alliance was established in 2020 by His Majesty King Charles III (formerly The Prince of Wales) to connect the dots between finance, companies operating within biobased value chains and action on the ground to restore land, enhance biodiversity and provide jobs and prosperity to local and indigenous communities. Members include intergovernmental organizations, companies, investors, research organizations and NGOs providing expertise and implementing projects in areas related to the circular bioeconomy.

About the European Forest Institute (EFI)

The European Forest Institute (EFI) is a pan-European international organization conducting scientific research and providing policy support on forest-related issues. EFI has 30 Member Countries and c. 130 member organizations from 40 different countries working in diverse research fields. EFI has more than 25 years of experience in coordinating complex transnational scientific forest-related projects funded by the European Commission and Member States. EFI will have the overall coordination and management of the project and communication with the donor. EFI will lead the experimental design and contribute to all phases of the project.

https://efi.int

About Council for Agricultural Research and Economics of Italy (CREA)

The Council for Agricultural Research and Economics of Italy is organised into 12 Research Centres located throughout Italy. CREA-AA (Centre for Agriculture and Environment) carries out studies and research for the characterization, sustainable management, and the space-temporal modelling of agricultural and forestry ecosystems by means of an inter- and multi-disciplinary approach. The CREA-AA based in Bari (Puglia region), owning five experimental farms, will be the implementing partner of the consortium. CREA-AA will be responsible for implementing the experimental sites, monitoring and scientific assessments in the 5 hectares of the “Venezian experimental farm” in Rutigliano.

www.crea.gov.it

About PRETATERRA

PRETATERRA develops and implements replicable, regenerative agroforestry systems, combining scientific data, empirical ancestral information, and traditional knowledge with technological innovations. PRETATERRA will contribute to the co-designing of the agroforestry cotton experimental sites and regenerative practices to be tested.

https://pretaterra.com/english

Photo: Pasquale Campi (CREA)