Last update : 28.10.2010
Bioenergy and global food security
Faaij A., Copernicus Institute, Utrecht University
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The linkages between bioenergy and food security are complex. On the one hand biomass production competes with food production for land and other agricultural production factors. On the other hand, biomass production may contribute to rural development, for example by increasing local employment and energy supply. Thus, implementing bioenergy production in developing countries can lead to either an improvement or a deterioration in the food security conditions. The impacts of bioenergy developments on food security depend on many factors that are country and case specific. Examples of these factors are the type of biomass used, the type of energy carrier produced, the type of land for biomass production, developments in agricultural management and developments in the global food markets. The objective of this paper is to explore the interlinkages between biomass production and use for energy and food security. Both conflict areas and possible synergies are highlighted. An overall view on the sustainable potential of bio-energy on longer term on global scale is given and the paper closes with a set of interlinked recommendations how such a sustainable pathway could be followed. This paper is compiled from recent state-of-the-art material in the field.
Added on 19 May 2010
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