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ECOWAS Regional Bioenergy Forum Adopts Regional Bioenergy Strategy Framework

April 2012: Participants at the Economic Community of Western African States (ECOWAS) Regional Bioenergy Forum, which took place from 19-22 March in Bakamo, Mali, focused on a range of issues related to moving from traditional bioenergy to developing access to modern bioenergy.

The meeting also saw the adoption of an ECOWAS Regional Bioenergy Strategy Framework. The Strategy seeks to enable and promote domestic and foreign investments that help address energy poverty prevailing in the region in both rural and peri-urban populations, without compromising food security and environment. In the implementation of this Strategy Framework, consideration will be given to local production of components and fuels to spur local socio-economic development through creation of added value, employment, alongside food and energy security. The development the Strategy is based on the following key components: resource assessment and planning; policies and strategies; knowledge sharing; capacity building; financing mechanisms and resource mobilization.

Alongside discussion of the strategy, Forum sessions focused on: current use of traditional biomass in ECOWAS and scenarios for developing access to modern bioenergy; ECOWAS Bioenergy Policy Development; the bioenergy and food nexus; use of sustainable fuels and cookstoves; bioenergy supply options; a collection of bioenergy policy tools; and prospects for creating a sustainable bioenergy sector in the ECOWAS region. The Forum brought together representatives of ministries from member states, international institutions, business and industry, civil society and the financial sector. It was organized by the Global Bioenergy Partnership (GBEP) and ECOWAS, with support from numerous international donors, including the EU, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO), the UN Environment Programme, UN Development Programme and UN Foundation. [ECOWAS Regional Bioenergy Strategy Framework] [ECOWAS Regional Bioenergy Forum Website]