The many kinds of expertise CEESP members bring to IUCN make it ideally suited to addressing the problems associated with biofuels development and expansion. CEESP’s broad mission extends from defending the livelihoods of indigenous people toimproving the social and environmental performance of businesses.
A recent CEESP survey of its theme leaders informed us that some members of most of our themes either study, write articles about, or promote action regarding biofuels projects that threatened people and biodiversity.
Despite the actions of activists in many countries people are still being been forced off their lands, traditional food sources have been lost, and food prices have increased. It has been difficult for government leaders to put in place procedures to effectively protect their lands and people from the exploitations of the biofuels industry. Resisting the promises and temptations presented by biofuels developers is made harder by lack of knowledge about what crops can be sustainably grown in new locations.
It was determined that it is time to unite and focus their concerns on these problems so CEESP members of all themes were invited to nominate themselves to join a new CEESP Cross Theme Biofuels Task Force. It would consist of at least one person from each theme that wishes to be involved. The purposes of the Task Force are to share information about what each theme is doing relevant to biofuels, develop coordinated actions, and produce a document which would be a collection of articles about how biofuels developments impact the environment and communities. This search produced a very good response and we expect a few others to join soon. The current members of the Task Force are:
Tianbao Qin (China), Michael Archer(Australia), Tim Healy (Madagascar), Dario Novellino (The Philippines), Hari Shankar Lal (India), Doris Cellarius (United States) and Diana Shand ( New Zealand).
SEAPRISE member Doris Cellarius chairs the Task Force. She is a Sierra Club biofuels leader and has worked with others at past Congresses on resolutions related to biofuel and bioenergy. The Task Force is setting up a dedicated listserv for sharing information with the Task Force leaders, and it will also share information within each theme as appropriate. They are creating a link from the CEESP website to the Specialists Groups and Task Forces page with a brief description of the Task Force, which will continue to be hosted with TSEAPRISE. This coordinated effort will enable CEESP members to have a stronger impact by everyone working together, and it will help us implement IUCN’s One Programme which has a goal of strengthening the links between IUCN’s different parts.