The FAO has been a frequent actor in the global discussion about biofuels and their potential impact on food security since such kind of energy has emerged as a possible alternative to fossil fuels a few decades ago.
As the UN body responsible for dealing with issues related to food and agriculture FAO has legitimacy to be an important voice globally about the issue here mentioned. Such voice, though, shall be based on empirical, fact based research with impartial point of view as to inform the general public of the pros and cons of biofuel production and consumption and its potential effects on food security.
The FAO HLPE consultation paper is a clear statement that such impartial and technical perspective on the issue of biofuels has not been taken. There are many evidence poor statements on the text and one can clearly see that a thorough review of literature on biofuels and its effects was not undertaken in the preparation of the Document.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Food Supply in Brazil, being a major public actor in the design and implementation of public policies to nationally foster biofuel development, expresses discontent with the current version of the Document as it lacks a balanced view on the matter of biofuels.
The biofuels policies in Brazil go through a complex dialog process between governmental bodies and private sector stakeholders in order to build a scheme for the production of biofuels in a sustainable and balanced manner.
To illustrate such process and outcomes one can mention the Sugarcane Agroecological Zoning, the Palm Oil Agroecological Zoning, The Low Emission Agricultural Plan and the Social Stamp Scheme for Biodiesel production.
Also as part of this dialogue in Brazil about biofuels, we are aware that private sector entities and academy institutions in Brazil have already made detailed review of the FAO HLPE Document highlighting a number of suggestions and corrections regarding biofuels in Brazil and other parts of the Document.
Our comment, then, will be focused on the influence power such Document can have once published. As already mentioned here, FAO is a legit UN body to discuss topics related to agriculture and food and its documents and public opinions have great influence in society in general.
It is with this in mind that MAPA stresses that such Draft version must be carefully reviewed in order to produce a document that gives the general public the most reliable information on the issue of biofuels and its potential effects on food security.
Related links and resources:
Biofuels and Food Security - A consultation by the HLPE to set the track of its study
Committee on World Food Security (CFS)
High Level Panel of Experts (HLPE)
The High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition (HLPE) Key Elements