Stakeholders’ Interests and Perceptions of Bioeconomy Monitoring Using a Sustainable Development Goal Framework

The bioeconomy as an industrial metabolism based on renewable resources is characterized by, not intrinsic, but rather potential benefits for global sustainability, depending on many factors and actors. Hence, an appropriate systematic monitoring of its development is vital and complexly linked to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as well as diverse stakeholder expectations. To structure a framework of the important aspects of such a monitoring system, we conducted a series of stakeholder workshops to assess the relevance of SDGs for the bioeconomy. Our results show how the complexities of these issues are perceived by 64 stakeholders, indicating significant commonalities and differences among six SDGs, including specific interests, perceptions, and, in some cases, counterintuitive and contradictory issues. Eventually, the idea of a bioeconomy is a question of the perception of ends and means of a societal transformation toward holistic sustainability. Global implications like trade-offs, hunger, poverty, and inequalities are aspects of high relevance for monitoring of bioeconomy regions in which they actually do not seem to be substantial.