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UNU-IAS Releases Policy Report on Biofuels in Africa

The United Nations University Institute of Advanced Studies (UNU-IAS), in collaboration with the University of Oxford and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) South Africa, has released a policy report analyzing the impact of biofuel production and use on ecosystem services, biodiversity and human well-being in Africa.
The report, focused on biodiesel from Jatropha and bioethanol from sugarcane in Africa, highlights gaps in research, the need for regulations that acknowledge the significant trade-offs associated with biofuels and the importance of strong incentives to promote the production and use of sustainable biofuels. It is part of a larger project by the collaborating institutions focused on the governance challenges of achieving the sustainable production and use of biofuels. Using the ecosystem services framework developed in the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, the analysis in this report synthesizes existing knowledge related to the impacts of biofuels and identifies the main trade-offs associated with these fuels. It stresses the importance of considering national and local contexts in which biofuels are produced and used for designing effective biofuel policies.

The report offers 13 policy recommendations to improve the sustainability of these fuels, for example by providing incentives to reduce harmful environmental practices, including: considering trade-offs and unintended consequences along the full life cycle of biofuels chains; creating appropriate land tenure mechanisms; and preventing speculative behavior by biofuel ventures. The authors also advise promoting regional biofuels markets and bilateral cooperation.

Additional information: Policy Report on Biofuels in Africa
News date: 11/10/2012

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Comments and remarks to Wim Jonker Klunne

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