Launch of the Rapid Implementation Framework Handbook

08 Dec 21

The Handbook for the Rapid Implementation Framework for the GBEP (Global Bioenergy Partnership) Sustainability Indicators for Bioenergy is launched online today, 8 December 2021. It provides a guide for practitioners to carry out a rapid assessment of the sustainability of their domestic bioenergy sector.


The need for a Rapid Implementation Framework

The GBEP Sustainability Indicators for Bioenergy are a comprehensive set of 24 voluntary indicators, and the methodologies provided at their development in 2011 support a thorough measurement of the sustainability of bioenergy. Countries who have already measured the indicators have found this meticulous process to produce robust results that provide the basis for sound policy recommendations. Although efforts have been made in recent years to support countries in implementing the indicators, specifically with the publication of the Implementation Guide in 2020, many have found that they have limited resources to carry out such an in-depth, data-intensive process.


What is the Handbook?

The FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization) has responded to this request with the development of a Rapid Implementation Framework Handbook. The Handbook guides users through a description of priority bioenergy value chains and an evidence-based prioritization of the GBEP indicators that are critical to their context. This allows users to obtain a preliminary indication of likely impacts on sustainability from the most relevant bioenergy pathways in the country or region. It takes the format of a questionnaire aimed at defining the main features of the selected bioenergy pathways and the environmental and socio-economic characteristics, and related vulnerabilities of the country/region.

The Handbook also provides information on safeguards and good practices to monitor for a preliminary indication of the sustainability of bioenergy value chains. These safeguards and good practices include not only those that can implemented by operators along the supply chain to minimize risks and increase benefits in relation to social and economic sustainability, but also specific Climate-Smart Agriculture (CSA) practices that can improve the sustainability of biomass supply. Some of the main objectives of CSA are to sustainably increase agricultural productivity and to reduce GHG emissions, whilst adapting and building resilience to climate change; these are also objectives that are important for a sustainable production of bioenergy feedstocks. The mainstreaming of the CSA approach into bioenergy feedstock production is therefore beneficial for the sustainability of these value chains.

The results of the process prepare the ground for a more thorough assessment of critical indicators, and can provide the basis for focused policy recommendations.


What’s next?

The Handbook, prepared in the framework of the FAO project “International Alliance for Climate Smart Agriculture - IACSA”, should now be piloted in several different contexts in 2022. Once the methodology has been tested and refined, GBEP hopes that this Handbook can be transformed into an online tool – another crucial step towards facilitating its practicality.

If you would like to be one of the first to pilot the Handbook, please contact [email protected] for more information about the process.