Bio-Economy at the Crossroads of Sustainable Development

Bio-Economy at the Crossroads of Sustainable Development

José G. Vargas-Hernández (University Center for Economic and Managerial Sciences, University of Guadalajara, Mexico)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-9562-5.ch002

Abstract

This study aims to review, analyze, and systematize the knowledge created on bio-economy to develop a conceptual and theoretical framework based on the transdisciplinary study of biology and socioeconomy to be used in further research. It begins from the questioning of the benefits that bio-economy has compared to the neoclassical economy. The methods employed are critical analytic, descriptive, deductive-inductive, and it suggests holistic and transdisciplinary approaches. As a result, the core of the study presents the principles under which this new scientific paradigm in sustainable development can continue creating more scientific knowledge to be used in the formulation and implementation of strategic choices for the bio-production, bio-distribution, and bio-consumption processes.
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Conceptualization Of Bio-Economy

The concept of bio-economy is relatively new to name those economic activities derived from the biosciences advances and surge in the scientific knowledge in biotechnology, genetics, genomics, etc., to achieve practical applications from biological processes. The term bio-economics was coined by Georgescu-Roegen to explain the biological origin of the economic process and thus spotlight the problem of mankind's existence with a limited store of accessible resources, unevenly located and unequally appropriated (Georgescu-Roegen 1977: 361). Bio-economy is the sustainable production and conversion of biomass into a range of goods and services, among others food, health, fiber and industrial products and energy. The term ‘bio-economic’ is used to indicate both economic and biophysical components (Knowler 2002).

Bio-economy is a concept related to the economic activities derived from utilizing natural and biological resources or bioprocesses to produce bio products. Bio-economy is an aggregated set of economic operations and activities related with biological products to capture economic value, growth and welfare benefits for human development. The concept of a bio-economy refers to that economy where the basic components of materials, chemicals and energy come from renewable biological resources, such as plant and animal sources. This type of economy can meet many of the requirements for sustainability from environmental and social aspects as it is designed and implemented intelligently.

Returning to the definition of the concept of bio-economics, the OECD suggests that it can be understood as -the aggregate set of economic operations in a society that uses the latent value of biological products and processes to capture new benefits of growth and well-being for citizens and nations. This first definition, from the year 2006, essentially includes the same idea with regard to the means to achieve growth and prosperity, as is clear from the description of the OECD from 2009 (OECD 2009).

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