FAO BEFSCI and BEFS projects release compilation of bioenergy sustainability initiatives and analysis on bioenergy and food security in Tanzania

Numerous initiatives have been developed in recent years to address the environmental and socio-economic impacts associated with the production of biofuels or of specific biofuel feedstocks. These include regulatory frameworks, voluntary standards or certification schemes, and scorecards. Some cover the entire biofuels supply chain, while others deal only with parts of it.

In order to provide an overview of these initiatives, the FAO Bioenergy and Food Security Criteria and Indicators (BEFSCI) project released a Compilation of Bioenergy Sustainability Initiatives.

This collection – the first of its kind – covers 17 initiatives. A portion of them are still under development or are being tested, while others are already in operation or implementation. A few were completed but never adopted.

Each initiative is described and presented with a table of its provisions to address a set of sustainability aspects or issues. To allow for comparisons among this diverse set of initiatives, the compilation has adopted a standardised format and set of sustainability aspects and issues.

The Compilation of Bioenergy Sustainability Initiatives is available on the FAO website. Additional initiatives are being reviewed and might be included in an updated version of this compilation.

Meanwhile, the Bioenergy and Food Security (BEFS) Project released its analysis on Tanzania, implementing its quantitative and qualitative framework to analyse the interplay between bioenergy and food security. The report aimed to serve as a starting point for the kind of analysis needed to underpin the realisation of a bioenergy sector consistent with Tanzania’s policy goals on poverty reduction and food security.

It finds that Tanzania has enormous potential to develop a bioenergy sector and says biofuel developments could be an important catalyst for regenerating the agricultural sector by bringing in new private and public investment. Despite profound concern that biofuels may compete with food production, food insecurity in Tanzania has been driven by low food crop yields, the BEFS analysis states. Hence, increased public spending to address low yields are vital to avoid any competition with biofuels, the report concludes.

On May 20, BEFS held a final consultation in Dar es Salam to bring together FAO and the BEFS Tanzania partner organisations, as well as knowledgeable experts from the Tanzanian bioenergy sector. The meeting was held to present and discuss the BEFS analysis for Tanzania and give guidance on how its findings could be used to answer key policy questions.

BEFS analysis on Peru and Thailand will be released shortly.

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