Why circular use of bioresources within and across agriculture, forestry and aquaculture is relatively little reflected in media and public debate despite historical and widely applied practices among businesses? Why circularly produced products are not yet sufficiently distinguished on the market inspite of economic and political incentives offered by the European Green Deal? How to bring more visibility to the existing good practices of circular resource use and promote nature-saving technologies and supportive social collaborations in the Baltic-Nordic region – these are the questions at stake in the Baltic Research Programme, European Economic Area funded project CIRCLE (Promoting collaboration for sustainable and circular use of bioresources across agriculture, forestry, and aquaculture).
On June 9-10, 2022, the project consortium involving sociologists, political scientists, economists, environmental scientists and philosophers from five partner organisations – Baltic Studies Centre (LV), Institute of Agricultural Resources and Economics (LV), Vilnius University (LT), Estonian University of Life Sciences (EE), Institute for Rural and Regional Research (RURALIS) (NO) – met in Riga for the first face-to-face meeting to discuss the ongoing research and plan the next steps. The CIRCLE project is operational since October 2021 and the team has progressed a lot towards finalisation of a conceptual and analytical framework. It sets out key categories which inform the whole research, such as: cross-sectorality, business models, governance arrangements, ethics and consumer perspective and other. The current research phase is focussed on collection and structured description of 120 examples of circular bioresource use in the four partner countries and developing a taxonomy to classify and systematise the diversity of these practices. In the forthcoming period based on these findings we will select 12 cases for in-depth exploration of business practices and social collaborations in the sectors concerned. By doing so the project partners aim not only to produce scientific publications but also offer recommendations and a practical tool for businesses to assess their circular practices.
Photos by Anda Ādamsone-Fiskoviča