Knowledge for Development

New tool for weighing pros and cons of bioenergy


Date: 07/06/2011


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)

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