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UNEP Releases Papers on Bioenergy Sustainability

25 October 2010: The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) has published a series of four Issue Papers on bioenergy sustainability, aiming to inform decision makers on debates and emerging issues in this policy area, as well as options for improving the sustainability of the production and consumption of bioenergy.

The first paper presents potential socioeconomic and environmental challenges related to land use, land use change, and bioenergy. It supports use of participatory land use planning on both the project and policy level in order to ease pressures on land and manage competing interests and uses. It also defines “go” and “no-go” areas for bioenergy production. The second paper looks at the confluence of bioenergy and water, highlighting how bioenergy production interacts with water quality, efficiency of water use, and research gaps. It also indicates options to mitigate challenges related to bioenergy and water, such as choosing appropriate feedstocks and improving use of technology.

The third paper looks at risks, including biodiversity impacts, of introducing potentially invasive species as bioenergy feedstocks, and the fourth at the importance of incorporating stakeholder engagement in bioenergy planning, as well as methods to do so. The Issue Papers were presented on the sidelines of the 10th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 10) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), in Nagoya, Japan. [Bioenergy Issue Papers Website] [UNEP Press Release]