For some time now the sustainable management of biowaste has been discussed at European level. In recent years Belgium has assumed a high profile in Europe as one of the leaders in the group of Member States demanding harmonisation of European policy on the management and utilisation of biowaste. The conference will set out the positive aspects of a harmonised and integrated approach and aims to create insights and a basis for further development.
Sustainable management of biowaste, backed up by an integrated approach, offers some significant benefits. At EU level, it will make a substantial contribution to:
Such an approach would also support policy in the following areas:
It is also a reflection of the closed cycle as we find in nature and provides content to the concept of sustainable materials management (efficient and effective handling of materials). This is one of the priorities of the Belgian presidency regarding the environment which Flemish minister of the Environment Joke Schauvliege proposed during the Informal Environment Council in July 2010. It is also in keeping with resource efficiency, one of the issues of the policy of Janez Potočnik, European Commissioner for the Environment.
A multifarious, single complex of this kind seems in practice to be beset by unfounded fear and misunderstanding. There is therefore a need for guidance, which is what we aim to encourage through this conference.