Towards a Southern African NGO position on biofuels (brochure)
Southern Africa is a region of great poverty interspersed with pockets of wealth. The South African economy is one of those pockets but contained within the nation are millions of people living without access to modern services. The Millennium Developments Goals (MDGs) have set ambitious targets that the region is striving to achieve, but the United Nations’ reports on the possibility of achieving these goals.
are not encouraging
The use of biofuels is seen as an important strategy for NGOs to support. Southern Africa in general has great potential for engaging a biofuels programme, particularly in the northern countries where water and arable land is more abundant and the climate milder . The region is variable in its geography and climate and some countries (South Africa, Swaziland and Namibia) have far less ability to develop an intensive biofuel programme because of natural restrictions. Other Southern African countries with more water and arable land may find it easier to develop an intensive programme.
The document sustains that, if handled correctly and with the right level of capacity building, support and political will, the biofuels industry in Southern Africa could have positive impacts on poverty alleviation. Caution is needed against taking a traditional industrial strategy approach that continues to marginalize small scale farmers, further entrench industrial agricultural practices and ride rough-shod over the rights of indigenous peoples.