The Working Group on Capacity Building

The global health crisis has changed the way that many of us work – physical meetings have been cancelled and offices closed – but this does not mean that our opportunities for discussion and collaboration should also be limited.  

Under the Working Group on Capacity Building (WGCB), commitment continues in the various activity groups. Unfortunately, it was unavoidable that the Activity Group 3 Bioenergy Week that was due to be held in Addis Ababa in June had to be postponed. Preparations are now underway in collaboration with AFREC and UNECA to ensure that the event, that will take place towards the end of year, will be successful.

Although changes have had to be made to the annual schedule, one of our core objectives at this time is to provide adequate possibilities for learning and exchange through virtual meetings and webinars. Indeed, in the last month, three webinars have been held under the WGCB.

In May and June, the Activity Group 7 “Biogas” held a series of webinars on biochar. These two webinars, the recordings of which are available on the GBEP website, covered a variety of aspects of biochar systems. The first webinar focused on the production technologies, biochar characteristics depending on the feedstock and the process parameters, and synergies between biochar and biogas, in particular, co-composting biochar with digestate to improve its outcomes as a fertilizer. Whilst the second webinar concentrated on the agronomic aspects of biochar, specifically the crop yield responses to biochar application in different soils, and also the potential of biochar for sequestering carbon as part of bioenergy-biochar systems.

A webinar was also organized by Activity Group 4 “Towards sustainable modern wood energy development”. This webinar presented case studies of examples of positive relationships between sustainable wood energy and forest landscape restoration. The two examples – from Canada and Ghana – not only represented different realities in terms of the wood energy and forestry sectors but also covered different aspects of the wood energy value chain to demonstrate the variety of interventions across that can improve sustainability and enhance forest landscapes.