Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries
In the last 50 years, the biosphere, upon which humanity depends, has been altered to an unparalleled degree. The current economic model relying on fossil resources and addicted to “growth at all costs” is putting at risk not only life on our planet, but also the world’s economy. The need to react to the unprecedented COVID-19 crisis is a unique opportunity to transition towards a sustainable wellbeing economy centered around people and nature. After all, deforestation, biodiversity loss and landscape fragmentation have been identified as key processes enabling direct transmission of zoonotic infectious diseases. Likewise, a changing climate has profound implications for human health. Putting forward a new economic model requires transformative policies, purposeful innovation, access to finance, risk-taking capacity as well as new and sustainable business models and markets. But above all we need to address the past failure of our economy to value nature, because our health and wellbeing fundamentally depends on it. A circular bioeconomy offers a conceptual framework for using renewable natural capital to holistically transform and manage our land, food, health and industrial systems with the goal of achieving sustainable wellbeing in harmony with nature. Within the framework of the Sustainable Markets Initiative, under the leadership of His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, a 10-Point Action Plan to create a circular bioeconomy is proposed below. The Action Plan is a response to The Prince of Wales’ call to invest in nature as the true engine for our economy. The Action Plan, guided by new scientific insights and breakthrough technologies, is articulated around six transformative action points further discussed below and four enabling action points, which mutually reinforce each other.
Russia's agriculture produces around 3.7 per cent of the country's GDP, employs 9.2 per cent of the national workforce and contributes around 6 per cent of the country's exports. The sector has shown remarkable resilience in the face of wider economic turbulence. Self‐sufficiency rates for the main agricultural commodities are relatively high. Agricultural exports have grown very significantly since 2000 especially for wheat and meslin (wheat and rye mixture). Meat production has been growing steadily, particularly in the poultry and pork sectors. Whilst the agri‐food sector has great potential to play an even more prominent role in Russia's economy, it suffers from relatively low productivity and an outdated technological base. The main drive for efficiency has come mainly from the relatively large‐scale agricultural firms, who generated more than half of the total value of agricultural output in 2016. Foreign policy instability, including economic sanctions, the devaluation of the national currency and declining economic growth have weakened the sector and caused an increase in the prices of imported goods and equipment. At the same time Russian products have replaced high value‐added imports and Russia's agricultural producers are expanding into new markets.