ENERGY: Biofuels Experts Says Yes To 20% Target
Recent Western Cape Business News
Stakeholders and leading thinkers in the African bioenergy sector meeting in Stellenbosch next week will have to decide whether they agree with the 20% targets for sustainable bioenergy production set by their European counterparts in the Global Sustainable Bioenergy Project.
The European Convention, held in The Netherlands recently, was the first continental meeting to be held as part of the GSB project, a worldwide initiative that aims to provide clear-cut guidelines, strategy and policies on the feasibility of large scale sustainable bioenergy production around the globe.
A European Resolution was accepted that at least 20% of the energy needs in Europe can be met by bioenergy from sustainable agriculture, without food safety and security being compromised. Delegates felt that bioenergy could in fact bolster food security, and that key sustainability issues such as the use of water and maintenance of biodiversity can be respected.
The African Convention, which takes place from 17-19 March 2010 in Stellenbosch, is the second in the series of five conventions to be held around the world as part of the GSB project.
“It will provide a unique platform for stakeholders and scientific experts on the continent to actively discuss and plan together around the future of biofuels in an African context,” says one of the African convention organisers, Prof Emile van Zyl of Stellenbosch University.
An African Resolution will be drafted highlighting specific continental and regional opportunities and challenges will be drafted after the meeting, and will feed into the bigger GSB project.
“Africa has its own set of opportunities and challenges, and therefore our experts need to come together to set our own feasible targets within the global bioenergy sector,” Prof Van Zyl said.
He is joined on the African Convention organising committee by Miyuki Iiyama of the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) to chair the African Convention with Prof Lee Lynd of Dartmouth College in the USA as leader of the GSB Project.
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