Raising the bio-based industrial feedstock capacity of Marginal Lands
At the present, 60-70% of all soils in Europe are in unhealthy conditions, mainly because of poor land management practices, pollution of soils, intensive agriculture, and the constant effects of climate change. This situation is further aggravated given that 25% of land is at a high or very high risk of suffering desertification in most parts of Europe. MarginUp! proposes a strategy to secure use and return profitability on marginal lands. Its main objective is to introduce climate-resilient and biodiversity-friendly non-food crops for sustainable industrial feedstock in marginalised and low-productivity lands. The project will focus on producing biomass to be used as raw material for the production of bioproducts and biofuels, which in turn, will create a sustainable and circular value chain, increasing the farming system resilience in rural areas. To further enhance the biodiversity beneficial impact, MarginUp! is focusing on understanding which marginal lands are suitable for low ILUC biomass production. The knowledge gathered in this project will be put into practice in 5 different use cases located in 5 different regions across Europe: – Mediterranean Lands (Spain) – Mine Lands (Greece) – Boreal Lands (Sweden) – Wetlands (Germany) – Central Europe (Hungary) Moreover, international cooperation has been considered and examination and identification of marginal lands will extend to non-European countries such as Argentina and South Africa. To ensure the success of the project, MarginUp! will have a replication network to address the needs and requirements of relevant stakeholders, including, policymakers, land managers, farmers, the bio-based industry, environmental authorities, the academia and the civil society. MarginUp! is directly contributing to European policies such as the European Green Deal, the Circular Economy action plan and the Bioeconomy and Biodiversity strategies.