Managing the invasive risk of biofuels – IUCN draft guidelines available for comment

15 July 2009 | News story
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IUCN is working with a number of organisations to develop a set of guidelines on minimising the risk of biological invasions that may result from biofuel developments. The project was launched because of growing concerns that a rush to develop biofuels may open the door to new invasions by introduced species. There is also increasing evidence to suggest that potential future biofuel feedstocks are "high risk" species that pose a serious threat to ecosystems and livelihoods.

In recognition of these risks, IUCN hosted a workshop on biofuels and invasive species in Nairobi, Kenya on April 20th-22nd 2009. The workshop convened a group of experts from the region to identify risks along the biofuel production and supply chain and weaknesses with current regulations. Workshop participants identified a number of risks and deficits associated with current and emerging biofuel developments in the region and proposed some potential solutions that constitute the foundations of these guidelines. The guidelines aim to highlight the risks of biological invasion by species introduced for biofuels production and to provide constructive recommendations on how to prevent the introduction, establishment and spread of invading species resulting from biofuel developments. The guidelines are structured for decisions and actions along the biofuel supply chain:

  1. Feedstock selection and development, and feasibility assessments.
  2. Importation of feedstocks
  3. Feedstock production
  4. Transportation/processing

The guidelines are now available for feedback and we would be very grateful to hear your suggestions for improvements. Please send any comments to energy@iucn.org by 31st August 09.


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