The Bioeconomy–Biodiversity Nexus: Enhancing or Undermining Nature’s Contributions to People?

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by Mairon G. Bastos Lima 1,2,* andUlrika Palme 3,41Stockholm Environment Institute, 104 51 Stockholm, Sweden2Physical Resource Theory, Chalmers University of Technology, 412 96 Gothenburg, Sweden3Environmental Systems Analysis, Chalmers University of Technology, 412 96 Gothenburg, Sweden4Gothenburg Global Biodiversity Centre, Carl Skottsbergs Gata 22B, 413 19 Gothenburg, Sweden*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.Academic Editor: Antoni MargalidaConservation20222(1), 7-25; Received: 14 October 2021 / Revised: 29 November 2021 / Accepted: 19 December 2021 / Published: 22 December 2021View Full-TextDownload PDFBrowse FigureCitation Export


Bioeconomy has become fundamental for a post-fossil-resources society, in line with climate change mitigation ambitions. Although it does not have a single, consensual definition, the bioeconomy encompasses various bio-based value chains and economic activities relying on biodiversity. How these burgeoning developments may affect biodiversity, however, still needs further examination. This article explores the bioeconomy–biodiversity nexus through the lens of nature’s contributions to people (NCPs). Drawing from the bioeconomy literature and Amazonian experiences, we argue that the bioeconomy may: (i) help conserve or restore habitats, (ii) improve knowledge on biodiversity, (iii) valorize livelihoods and increase social participation, and (iv) aid in moving beyond the commodification of nature. However, none of these achievements can be taken for granted. To date, the bioeconomy has focused mainly on extracting goods from nature (e.g., food, energy, or biochemicals), often at the expense of NCPs that require integral ecosystems and are decisive for a sustainable society in the longer run. Moreover, we assert that it is critical to discern the beneficiaries of various contributions, as “people”, in reality, are composed of distinct groups that relate differently to nature and have different preferences regarding trade-offs. The NCPs framework can help broaden synergies in the bioeconomy–biodiversity nexus, but inclusive governance remains critical. View Full-TextKeywords: ecosystem servicesbiofuelsBrazilsustainable developmentpolitical ecologybiomasslandscape governancebio-based value websindigenous peoplesforest policy▼ Show Figures

Figure 1 This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited

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