The demand for land and biomass is expected to increase, as a growing and wealthier global population requires more food, paper, textiles, etc. Additional biomass demand arises as policies, regulations and strategies are aligned with visions about a biobased circular economy, which have been formulated in response to concerns about resource scarcity and a multitude of negative impacts associated with the use of fossil fuels and other non-renewable resources. Not the least, ambitions to limit global warming is potentially a major driver of biomass demand growth.
While it is recognized that the implementation of biobased solutions can contribute positively to most sustainable development goals, it is also recognized that it can cause serious sustainability impacts. Perhaps the most evident human change to the Earth system is the conversion of a range of ecosystems into land for agriculture and forestry, i.e., for biomass production. Thus, it is essential that sensible biomass production systems are developed so that the promotion of biobased solutions do less harm than good.
The seminar will present three examples of how the integration of new biomass production systems into agriculture landscapes can provide raw material for new biobased applications while simultaneously reducing current land use impacts. An overview of promising options in Sweden and Europe will be followed by a presentation of recent advances in Denmark, illustrating the potential for radical innovation to make current agricultural systems more productive and environmentally benign. In the Danish case, the cultivation and refining of grass and legume biomass into protein concentrate and biogas can help boosting agriculture output while drastically reducing nitrate leaching and pesticide use. The seminar is free of charge.
- Is it possible to double productivity and halve environmental impact from agriculture? Uffe Jørgensen, Head of Aarhus University, Centre for Circular Bioeconomy, Senior Scientist Dept. of Agroecology, Denmark.
- Are there any systems that can improve soil quality and reduce pesticide impacts? Christel Cederberg, Professor at Division of Physical Resource Theory, Chalmers.
- How can new biomass cultivation reduce environmental impacts from European agriculture? Oskar Englund, Postdoc at Division of Physical Resource Theory, Chalmers, and the Mid Sweden University, Östersund.
Moderator: Göran Berndes. Professor at Division of Physical Resource Theory, Chalmers.