Knowledge for Development

S&T Organisations / Web resources

Sustainability criteria for biofuels up and running

The Roundtable on Sustainable Biofuels has launched a set of comprehensive sustainability criteria - the ‘RSB Certification System’, for biofuel producers. Biofuels producers that adhere to these criteria are able to show buyers and regulators that their product has been obtained without harming the environment or violating human rights. The criteria apply along the full value chain, allowing traceability from production through feedstock to the point of consumption. The Roundtable on Sustainable Biofuels is a multi-stakeholder forum including 120 environmental organisations, biofuels producers, governments and other interested parties. This group has worked out a comprehensive set of environmental and social criteria that are in line with EU sustainability criteria.(ICTSD, April 2011)


New tool for weighing pros and cons of bioenergy

As interest in bioenergy production continues to grow, FAO is promoting the use of a new methodology designed to help policymakers weigh the pros and cons of investing in the sector. FAO's 'Bioenergy and Food Security (BEFS) Analytical Framework' was created to help governments evaluate the potential of bioenergy as well as assess its possible food security impacts. The framework was recently finalized following a three year development and field test phase in which it was applied in Peru, Tanzania and Thailand. It consists of a series of step-by-step evaluations that seek to answer critical questions regarding the feasibility of bioenergy development and the impacts on food availability and household food security. Social and environmental dimensions are also considered. The UN agency is following up on the framework via its Bioenergy and Food Security Criteria and Indicators (BEFSCI) project, which aims to develop a risk prevention and management tool as well as an impact assessment and policy response tool, based on good practices. (FAO, May 2011)


New biofuel sustainability assessment tool and GHG calculator released

Researchers at Empa (the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology), at the Swiss Roundtable on Sustainable Biofuels (RSB) and at the HTW Berlin, Germany, developed an online tool to assess the sustainability of biofuel production. The new tool allows users to perform a self-assessment against the Principles and Criteria of the RSB and a self-risk assessment. The online tool also calculates greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of biofuels for each lifecycle production step, from farming to final fuel distribution. The new tool is directly accessible here. (AlphaGalileo, 16/6/2011)


Biofuel implementation projects in Fiji

Fiji's Department of Energy has a biofuel implementation programme, and this webpage serves as a portal to the department’s various projects. The department has successfully commissioned and installed three biofuel mills on the islands of Koro, Rotuma and Cicia. These mills are to serve the communities in terms of a consistent supply of clean green fuel and to uplift the standard of living through the provision of economic activity that is associated with the mills. Each mill has been designed to cater for the copra produced in all three islands.    (FDOE, 2013)