Sustainable bioenergy in Asia: Improving resilience to high food prices and climate change


Sustainable bioenergy in Asia: Improving resilience to high food prices and climate change

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Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific
Bangkok 2012


A common critique of bioenergy production as an alternative energy source is that it makes use of the same natural resources that could otherwise be used in food production, with negative impacts on food prices and food security. A range of existing bioenergy operations, however, have demonstrated that competition between food and bioenergy production can be minimized or even eliminated. Greater effort is required to highlight these exemplary bioenergy systems and identify ways to further promote them. The FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, in collaboration with regional governments and development partners, has been working to strengthen efforts to balance the many potential trade-offs associated with bioenergy production. This publication is a compilation of papers presented at the FAO symposium on ôSustainable bioenergy in Asia: improving resilience to high food prices and climate changeö held in Bangkok, Thailand from 1 to 2 June 2011. It highlights a number of important policy issues associated with bioenergy developments in the region as well as practical approaches to address potential trade-offs. In doing so it offers valuable insights on how to ensure that bioenergy development in Asia enhances food security, benefits rural development and contributes to reduced greenhouse gas emissions.

Table of Contents

Executive summary
Section I: Sustainable bioenergy in Asia
    Bioenergy developments and food security in Asia and the Pacific
    Bio- and renewable energy for rural development and poverty
        alleviation in the Greater Mekong Subregion
    Small-scale bioenergy systems: Finding a local way to generate
        energy, strengthen communities and benefit the environment
Section II: Sustainable bioenergy feedstock production
    Sweet sorghum ľ a better feedstock for bioenergy in Asia?
    Technical and economic prospects of rice residues for energy
        generation in Asia
    Water and bioenergy ľ a case study from the Thai ethanol sector
    The potential and limitations of small-scale production of biomass
        briquettes in the Greater Mekong Sub-region

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Section III: How to make more effective policies and financing arrangements for rural bioenergy
    Challenges and opportunities for financing rural bioenergy
    Challenges associated with replicating successful bioenergy
        projects in Thailand
    Potential for social indicators to guide bioenergy policies
    Using microfinance for farm-/household-level bioenergy
Section IV: Climate friendly bioenergy
    Food, fuel and climate change: policy performance and prospects
        for biofuels in Thailand
    Linking energy, bioslurry and composing
    Biochar potential for Asia and the Pacific
Section IV: Annexes

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ISBN 978-92-5-107291-2

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For copies write to:Patrick B. Durst
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© FAO 2012