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IUCN Releases Reports on Sustainable Bioenergy Production and Linkages between Energy, Ecosystems and Livelihoods in the Face of Climate Change Impacts

January 2009: The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has published two reports on sustainable bioenergy production and on linkages between energy, ecosystems and livelihoods.

The first report, entitled “Implementing Sustainable Bioenergy Production: A Compilation of Tools and Approaches,” provides a compilation of principles, frameworks and existing tools that may be applied to bioenergy production to identify and reduce environmental and socioeconomic risks, and promote opportunities. The report is structured into two sections, the first of which discusses environmental tools in the areas of impact assessment, agriculture water resources, forestry, ecosystem restoration, protected areas, threatened species and invasive species. The second section addresses tools for food security, gender, climate adaptation, certification standards and labeling, and economic aspects. The report also provides a number of policy recommendations, such as: building on existing bioenergy knowledge; assessing the broader impacts and objectives of biofuel projects; expanding and adapting existing tools for bioenergy decision making; and considering the growing potential of second generation biofuels.

The second report, entitled “Energy, Ecosystems and Livelihoods: Understanding Linkages in the Face of Climate Change Impacts,” was prepared by IUCN in cooperation with HELIO International, an independent network of energy analysts. The report provides an overview of the linkages between energy sources, degrading ecosystems and human well being, including the impact of climate change on ecosystem services providing energy sources. It outlines the challenges of meeting energy needs while protecting the ecosystem services that are at the basis of energy production under the impacts of climate change, in particular water resources. The report describes approaches to address these problems, including improved ecosystem management, ensuring diversified sources of energy supply, integrated water management, greater use of solar and wind energy, protecting shorelines, and constructing riparian buffer strips. The final section discusses potential contributions by IUCN to further work at the climate change – energy – ecosystem nexus. [Tools for Sustainable Energy Production] [Energy, Ecosystems and Livelihoods]