Asia-Pacific nations urged to study biofuels more carefully

Sep 20, 2007

The nations of Asia and the Pacific are being urged to study the issue of biofuels with greater care before deciding on how they will use their agricultural products to generate energy.

Scientists say there is an urgent need to support the current rush toward major decisions on biofuel policies in Asia and the Pacific with solid research and unbiased information about their potential benefits, impact, and risks.

This appeal was issued at the end of a recent Expert Consultation on Biofuels organized by the Asia Pacific Association of Agricultural Research Institutions (APAARI) together with the Philippine-based International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics in India, the Washington-based International Food Policy Research Institute, and the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center in Mexico. The consultation was held at IRRI’s headquarters in Los Baños, Philippines, on August 27-29.

“There’s no doubt biofuels will have an impact on agriculture in Asia and the Pacific and present some very interesting new opportunities,” APAARI’s executive secretary, R.S. Paroda, said. “But we need to be absolutely sure this will not affect the region’s food security and its continuing efforts to alleviate poverty.”

In the Asian region, both China and India are gearing up for substantial investments in biofuels. Malaysia and Indonesia are investing heavily in oil palm plantations for biodiesel production. The Philippines has mandated the blending of gasoline with 5 percent biofuel.

However, at the same time, countries such as China have currently banned the use of maize – a vital food crop for national food and feed security – as biofuel.

The consultation focused on important issues such as (i) how bioenergy production may have an impact on global and regional food security, (ii) understanding bioenergy options for key crops and cropping systems in Asia, (iii) identifying research priorities for designing and evaluating integrated food-bioenergy production systems, and (iv) developing a framework for research on biofuels in key agricultural systems of Asia.

Source: International Rice Research Institute

Explore further: China's struggle for water security

Related Stories

United States, China team explore energy harvesting

7 hours ago

Six authors have described their work in harvesting energy in a paper titled "Ultrathin, Rollable, Paper-Based Triboelectric Nanogenerator for Acoustic Energy Harvesting and Self-Powered Sound Recording." ...

China's struggle for water security

8 hours ago

Way back in 1999, before he became China's prime minister, Wen Jiabao warned that water scarcity posed one of the greatest threats to the "survival of the nation".

Canada revises upward CO2 emission data since 1990

8 hours ago

Canada revised its greenhouse gas emission data from 1990 to 2013 in a report Friday, showing it had higher carbon dioxide discharges each year, and a doubling of emissions from its oil sands.

Recommended for you

Climate censorship gains steam in red states

22 hours ago

While plenty of people found humor in the recent news that officials in Florida and Wisconsin are censoring state workers' ability to talk about, much less work on, climate change, other states are not necessarily laughing. ...

Engineers purify sea and wastewater in 2.5 minutes

Apr 17, 2015

A group of Mexican engineers from the Jhostoblak Corporate created technology to recover and purify seawater or wastewater from households, hotels, hospitals, commercial and industrial facilities, regardless ...

Scientists eye YouTube cave videos to track water levels

Apr 17, 2015

A spot outside Riyadh for city residents who want to cool off is enabling scientists to do more than enjoy the beauty of their surroundings; they are using YouTube videos to track its rising water levels. ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.