Good environmental practices in bioenergy feedstock production

Mar 2012

Building on FAO’s work on good practices in agriculture and forestry, the BEFSCI project has compiled a set of good environmental practices that can be
implemented by bioenergy feedstock producers in order to minimize the risk of negative environmental impacts from their operations, and to ensure that modern bioenergy contributes to climate change mitigation.
These practices can improve both the efficiency and sustainability in the use of land, water and agricultural inputs for bioenergy production, with positive environmental and socio-economic effects, including a reduction in the potential competition with food production. These practices can also minimize the impacts of bioenergy feedstock production on biodiversity and ecosystems, which provide a range of goods and services that are key for food security.The good practices compiled in this report are divided into three main groups. The first group is comprised of agricultural management approaches (namely Ecosystem Approach, Conservation Agriculture and Organic Agriculture), which provide comprehensive and holistic frameworks and principles of sustainable agriculture. The second group consists of integrated, sustainable agricultural and forestry management systems, namely Agroforestry, Integrated Food-Energy Systems, and Multiple Cropping Systems and Crop Rotation. The third and last group includes a broad range of field-level agricultural and forestry practices that can be implemented on the ground by bioenergy feedstock producers, such as No- or Minimum Tillage, Integrated Pest Management, and Integrated Plant Nutrient Management.
For each good practice, a detailed description of the key features is provided, followed by a discussion of the potential environmental and socio-economic benefits associated with its implementation, as well as of the related challenges.
For each good practice, two practical examples of implementation in the production of key bioenergy feedstocks (such as sugar cane, maize, soybean and palm oil) in different regions of the world are provided.


download this document:   1468 kb