Saturday 19 February 2011

Promoting climate friendly bioenergy and food security in the Greater Mekong Sub-region

"Promoting climate friendly bioenergy and food security in the Greater Mekong Sub-region (assessing the possibilities for 2011)"
This was the title of the FAO and ADB sponsored  workshop at which I presented on biochar and the output from the Yunnan Biochar Study on 11 February at the ADB Thailand Resident Mission, Bangkok. As well as FAO and ADB the audience included representatives from EEP Mekong, UNDP, government agency reps from Finland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, France, Japan and USA. Mae Fah Luang University, AIT and other independent agencies were also represented at this small, informal forum (~30 participants).
 The program included 6 presentations:
  • GMS partnership, activities on bioenergy and proposed program – Climate friendly bioenergy and food security (ADB) 
  • Bioenergy & Food Security – A regional perspective (FAO)
  • Possibilities for using microfinance for farm/household level bioenergy technologies (AIT)
  • Developing and testing standards for biomass energy in ASEAN (JGSEE)
  • Developing opportunities for public private partnerships in rural bioenergy (ECO-Asia)
  • Potential for biochar in the GMS (BSL-SaafConsult).
Please get in touch if you are interested in seeing any of these presentations. Please also refer to the earlier postings on the Yunnan biochar study.

Friday 11 February 2011

Golden Agri adopts no deforestation policy

Singapore-listed Golden Agri-Resources (GAR) yesterday announced a new forest conservation policy that will ensure its palm oil operations will minimize its impact on forests. 
Oil palm fruit2
SE Asia's palm oil industry struggles on path to sustainability. Photo:

GAR is the world’s second-largest palm oil producer and the largest in Indonesia with annual revenues of US$2.3 billion. Its move was seen widely as a response to intense pressure and lobbying by environmental groups such as Greenpeace recently over allegations of illegal forest clearing.

The firm yesterday signed an agreement in Jakarta with The Forest Trust (TFT), a Geneva-based non profit organisation, which will commence work immediately to work with GAR to identify high carbon stock forests, high conservation value (HCV) areas and peat lands.