Facilitating the use of the GBEP Sustainability Indicators

The Implementation Guide published in January 2020

The Implementation Guide has been formulated to respond to the challenges encountered during the measurement of the GBEP Sustainability Indicators (GSI), providing additional guidance to practitioners. It clarifies identified issues of indicator measurement as well as enabling future users to take advantage of relevant lessons learned. Priority was given to those issues that affected the measurement of all or most of the indicators. These cross-cutting issues were grouped into three categories: integration of definitions and methodologies; ensuring an effective implementation of the indicators; and enhancing the practicality of the indicators. In general, lack of data, skills and/or resources, particularly in developing countries, were identified as presenting some of the biggest challenges, which is why capacity building was found to be relevant for almost all of the GSI.

Based on the cross-cutting issues identified, the Implementation Guide provides the following guidance: definitions of modern bioenergy; attribution of the impacts to bioenergy production and consumption; relevant good practices and practical proxies; and a ‘stepwise approach’ for the effective implementation of a GSI project.

The second part of the Implementation Guide provides advice on the methodology for each individual indicator under the three pillars (environmental, social and economic), addressing: clarifications to the original GSI report; suggestions for proxy approaches; data sources and collection; and guidance on attribution. The guidance is tailored to each indicator and ranges from proxies for attributing health impacts to indoor smoke, and a gender-neutral approach to unpaid time spent collecting biomass, to measurement strategies for infrastructure and logistics.

You can download the Implementation Guide from the GBEP website.

A guide for policy makers

The Task Force on Sustainability has also developed Brochure for Policy Makers to explain the GSI and the Implementation Guide. The Brochure, developed with support by Germany, covers the main aspects of bioenergy sustainability, and why and how to use the GSI for monitoring.

Future activities

To further facilitate the use of the GSI, the Task Force on Sustainability is also working to develop data entry sheets to aid in data collection. These integrated data collection sheets, that will work through excel, aim to support in the understanding of the overall data requirements for indicator measurement, systematizing data collection, and ensuring data consistency. Once developed, the data entry sheets will be pilot tested to ensure their compatibility with various country contexts.