The talks bring together more than 300 specialists from Africa, Europe and the Americas to evaluate Africa's potential to produce biofuels -- whilst assessing the environmental, economic and social impacts of biofuel production.
Participants examine the impact of growing biofuel crops on water, soil and food production on a continent already buckling under shortages of locally-produced food and escalating prices of imported substitutes.
"The aim is in fact to draw up biomass use strategies that respect the environment and food crop production systems in each African country," said the organisers in a statement.
The conference is organised by the International Institute for Water and Environmental Engineering and CIRAD, the French agricultural research centre international development.
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA) and the government of Burkina Faso are co-organisers.
A few African countries have in recent years begun to experiment with biofuel production to supplement fossil fuels, but some experts have raised concern at the increasing conversion of arable land to biofuels crops at the expense of food production.
- Les experts s'accordent sur un équivalent du GIEC en biodiversité
- A research project to help deliver sustainable and affordable energy to the poor in Africa and Asia has been launched 28/11 by the African Centre for Technology Studies (ACTS) and collaborating partners. Funded by DFID to the tune of nearly £4 million and led by the ACTS, the Policy Innovation Systems for Clean Energy Security (PISCES) project aims to produce policy-relevant information and approaches that can be applied by governments in developing the role of bioenergy in delivering energy access for the poor.
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- Biofuels: What a Biopact between North and South could achieveEnergy Policy, Volume 35, Issue 7, July 2007, Pages 3550-3570 John A. Mathews View Abstract
Expert Consultation on Biofuels on 27 – 29 August 2007.
Biofuels Africa 2007
Bryanston, South Africa 10 - 13 September 2007
Cape Town, South Africa 5-7 November 2007
7-8 February 2008