FAO has organized national-level capacity building exercises on the BEFS analytical framework and conducted preliminary assessments of bioenergy development in Bhutan, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka. FAO is launching a new regional programme on bioenergy and food security to assist the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Secretariat and ASEAN Member States ensure that bioenergy contributes to more effective energy services with minimal or no impact on food security and the environment.
In the sub-region of Greater Mekong, in partnership with the Asian Development Bank, FAO organized two sub-regional forums on bioenergy and food security and on short bioenergy supply chains. FAO is joining other UN partners to establish ‘UN-Energy: Asia-Pacific’. This regional group will work to coordinate more effective support in countries on a range of issues, including energy access in rural areas and energy efficiency in agriculture and other sectors.
Latin America and the Caribbean
In collaboration with the Federal University in Viçosa Brazil, the Regional Office has developed a software called Biosoft to carry out economic and social evaluations for the development of vegetable oil and biodiesel projects. Biosoft training events have been held in Mexico, Chile, Argentina, Brazil and Central America; others are planned for Peru and Bolivia.
The FAO Regional Office has established a network of 12 national focal points to provide updates on the status of bioenergy in their country. The information is used to analyze the national situation. Focal points provide valuable information on gaps and needs in energy, which enabled the Regional Office to organize special activities and prepare projects based on the needs of each country. In coordination with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the Regional Office has prepared a biogas manual.