Second FAO Technical Consultation on Bioenergy and Food Security

The second FAO Bioenergy and Food Security (BEFS) technical consultation held its last round of discussions on 5-6 February 2008 to peer review and finalize the BEFS framework that assesses the bioenergy development and food security nexus. The bioenergy policy objectives of BEFS partner countries have shown the strong emphasis they place on rural development, poverty alleviation and food security in developing sustainable bioenergy.

Conclusions

  • Endorsed the comprehensive BEFS analytical framework to assess impacts of different types of bioenergy on food security and called for it to be rapidly deployed in countries.
  • Agreed that the framework should be complemented with environmental and social considerations, including soil, water, biodiversity, and greenhouse gas balances. Qualitative assessments related to rural energy use, rural institutions, policies, nutrition, cultural habits and gender-differentiated analysis should also be addressed.
  • Recognized that greenhouse gas balance assessments would be essential for countries wishing to export biofuels and that efforts to harmonize methods to calculate greenhouse gas balances should be accelerated.
  • Underlined the need for bioenergy development to be tailored to country-specific conditions, agricultural systems, cropping traditions, local knowledge and rural livelihoods.
  • Called for careful assessment of opportunities and risks, particularly in regard to large-scale investments, and to reflect these in policy decisions that influence investment decisions.
  • Agreed that a Global Bioenergy Charter could facilitate the adoption of safeguards, accountability and fair processes needed for sustainable bioenergy development and called for food security and rural development concerns to be integral parts of such a Charter.
  • The experts requested that the above outcome of the BEFS consultation be brought to the attention of the High-level Conference on Global Food Security and the Challenges of Climate Change and Food Security which will take place in Rome, Italy from 3-5 June 2008.

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last updated:  Wednesday, April 2, 2014