In a unanimous decision of 194 countries, the United Nation's Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) today formally urged nation states to regulate synthetic biology (SynBio), a new extreme form of genetic engineering.
The 'New Bioeconomy' describes the idea of a new industrial order that relies on biologically-based materials, technologies and 'services.' It is a term invented by the biotechnology industry but increasingly adopted by policymakers, technologists and global energy, forestry, agribusiness and chemical companies. They are now collaborating to construct this vision of a hi-tech, 'green' future using techniques such as synthetic biology and nanotechnology to transform living 'biomass' into fuels, chemicals and power. However, what is sold as a 'green' switch from fossil fuels to plant-based production is, in fact, a red-hot resource grab on the lands, livelihoods, knowledge and resources of the global South, where 86% of all biomass is located. The Bioeconomy is now threatening biodiversity, fueling land grabs and enabling new corporate claims on nature.