SYMOBIO 2.0 − Consolidating Systemic Monitoring and Modelling of the Bioeconomy

The joint research project SYMOBIO 2.0 continues the development, implementation and application of systemic monitoring and modeling of the German bioeconomy. Indicators will be updated and updated to include biodiversity, water and climate change, the database and modeling will be consolidated and targeted communication with related research areas, politicians and the public will be implemented.

Project description:

SYMOBIO 2.0, as the follow-up of the project SYMOBIO 1.0 (2017 – 2021), will help to support the general orientation of the bioeconomy (BE) towards the SDGs of the 2030 Agenda, especially on food security, a climate-neutral production and the preservation of biodiversity. The project will further develop the basis for a regular monitoring of the German BE, a comprehensive overview and insights into important aspects, including the main drivers and relevant processes of change.

The BE is seen as a chance to supersede the era of fossil resources and technologies, to foster health and nutrition of a growing world population, and to secure a sustainable supply of energy, water and raw materials, while preserving soils, climate and the environment. It is understood as a social transition process towards a sustainable, bio-based and nature-oriented economy. The expected overall transformation from fossil to renewable resources is a stepwise long-term process. As a consequence, new opportunities and synergies, but also trade-offs between conflicting aims arise. Thus, reliable knowledge is needed on trends, impacts and causal relationships of the whole transformation process from the fossil era to the BE.

Over recent years, technological progress and political promotion led to a significant expansion and intensification of the use of bio-based resources both in Germany and worldwide. Conflicting and problematic effects and interactions have become apparent, with both desired and undesired impacts occurring. Expansion and intensification of the use of bio-based resources impacts life-sustaining functions from the local to the global level as regards fertile land, climate effects, biodiversity, water and household as well as economic viability, income chances and food security (UNEP 2014). Similar to economies as a whole, also bio-based value chains are becoming more globalized. National strategies to promote the use of bio-based resources may have pronounced impacts on land use, environment and income in other countries. The growing use of biotic resources requires expanding the knowledge on global material flows. For that purpose, a broad data basis and understanding of the systemic relations between resource use and resource availability is needed.

Against this background SYMOBIO 2.0 aims to continue, strengthen and expand the monitoring and modelling of the German BE, to foster stakeholder participation in the monitoring process and increase public outreach and understanding on the performance, opportunities and risks of the BE transition in Germany. In general, this includes aims to:

  • continue by updating indicators such as footprints gathered in SYMOBIO 1.0
  • consolidate the data base and strengthen modelling
  • expand the monitoring with biodiversity, water and climate change considerations and indicators
  • foster stakeholder participation through workshops as well as targeted communication to related research arenas
  • enhance public outreach through an interactive web-tool, pilot report and policy briefs.

In particular, the following goals are being worked on at the Department BEN in the working group SABE:

WP 7.1: Stakeholder Participation:

  • Continuation and further development of stakeholder participation in BE monitoring in the form of workshops and surveys
    a) Societal perspectives on the developing German BE,
    b) Discussions about the risks and opportunities of the German BE and
    c) Considerations on developing BE monitoring
    capture.
  • This is intended to ensure that the results can be compared and traced over the years, the methods optimized and the results better interpreted and communicated, and the social discourse and opinion-forming on the bioeconomy supported.

WP 7.2: Link to related monitoring systems

  • Compare the collection of indicator sets from related monitoring systems with SYMOBIO in order to be able to identify overlaps and differences
  • Indicator sets are categorized and visualized in an online link map
  • Potential for harmonization of EU bioeconomy monitoring
  • Identification of possible connections

Funding:

PTJ (Project Management Jülich Research Center Jülich GmbH), BMBF (Federal Ministry of Education and Research)

Project duration:

01/2022 − 12/2024

Project lead:

Prof.-Dr.-Ing. Daniela Thrän
phone: +49 341 2434 435

Helmholtz Centre for
Environmental Research − UFZ

Project team:

Alberto Bezama (coordination)

Walther Zeug (WP 7.1)

⇒ Christina Zinke (WP 7.2)


Project partners:

  • University of Kassel,Center for Environmental Systems Research (CESR), Sustainable Resource Futures (SURF) Global and Regional Dynamics (GRID), Grassland Science and Renewable Plant Resources (GNR)
    Prof. Stefan Bringezu (Koord.), Prof. Rüdiger Schaldach, Prof. Michael Wachendorf
  • Deutsches Biomasseforschungszentrum (DBFZ)
    Prof. Daniela Thrän, Stefan Majer
  • Institute of Economic Structures Research (GWS)
    Dr. Christian Lutz Martin Distelkamp
  • Institute for Applied Ecology (Öko-Institut)
    Dr. Klaus Hennenberg
  • German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig, Research Group Macroecology & Society
    Dr. Carsten Meyer
  • GRAS Global Risk Assessment Services GmbH (with Meo Carbon Solutions)
    Dr. Jan Henke
  • IFEU – Institute for Energy and Environment
    Horst Fehrenbach
  • Fraunhofer-Institute for Systems and Innovation Research (ISI), Competence Centre for Emerging Technologies
    Dr. Sven Wydra