Representatives from some of the most highly innovative regions of Europe (Basque Country, North Karelia and North Rhine-Westphalia) gathered together under the umbrella of the European Forest Institute (EFI) and launched the new European Bioregions Facility in Bilbao on the 9th and 10th of March 2020. The aim of this new facility is to work together to promote sustainable development and decarbonisation of the economy. On the morning of the 9th March the facility was officially launched by the President of the Basque Country, Iñigo Urkullu, together with different high level representatives from the European Union, Peter Wehrheim, Head of the Bioeconomy and Food Systems Unit of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Research and Innovation, Ulrika Landergren, Chair of the Commission for Natural Resources (NAT) from the European Committee of the Regions, and Nick Lyth, CEO of the Green Angel Syndicate. Representatives of the partner regions and EFI also participated in the meeting. Other representatives participating in the meeting included Hubert Kaiser, Minister of the Department of Forestry and Nature Conservation and State Minister of the Forestry Administration of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, Risto Poutiainen, Regional Mayor of North Karelia, Harri Palviainen, CEO of Business Joensuu, North Karelia, Arantxa Tapia, Minister of Economic Development and Infrastructures, Basque Government, and Diana Tuomasjukka Principle Scientist of the Bioeconomy Programme, EFI. In the afternoon there was a field visit to the Barazar Forest where participants learned about the forest resource in the Basque Country and to Olatek, a sawmill property of the Egoin Group.
On the 10th March operational meetings took place, where partners presented strategic developments in the member regions. After these presentations, participants visited different technology centres related to the Bizkaia Science and Technology Park (Tecanlia, Gaiker, NEIKER), and a work plan for the new facility was discussed including joint strategies and actions, capacity building, partnering and exchanging experiences.
It is expected that more regions will join this Bioregions Facility in the near future.
For more information : https://efi.int/bioregionsfacilitylaunch2020 and https://www.euskadi.eus/nota_prensa/2020/euskadi-lidera-la-red-de-biorregiones-europea-para-promover-la-cooperacion-por-la-bioeconomia/web01-ejeduki/es/
Author: Ander Arias Gonzalez (Neiker)