Biofuel Electronic Forum

Biodiversity and Liquid Biofuel Production

Pursuant to paragraph (d) of appendix A to annex III of decision VIII/10, one of the specific functions of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA) of the Convention on Biological Diversity is to identify new and emerging issues relating to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. In consultation with the members of the SBSTTA Bureau, the Executive Secretary identified, among other issues, the interlinkages between biodiversity and biofuel production as a new and emerging issue for consideration by SBSTTA at its 12th meeting in the framework of the objectives of the Convention and the 2010 biodiversity target.

In preparation for the 12th meeting of the Subsidiary Body, the Executive Secretary of the Convention has launched this electronic forum to gather information on the status and trends of biofuel production, its advantages and the known and possible adverse impacts on the objectives of the Convention. The electronic forum and SBSTTA considerations will be focused on liquid biofuel bearing in mind that the recent expansion of biofuel production is for the substitution of fossil fuel energy. Click here for general information on recent trends in biofuel production.

This electronic forum focuses on

  1. The types of biomass currently or experimentally used for liquid biofuel production; the trend and the scale of production of this biomass; and countries where this biomass is currently or planned to be produced.
  2. The observed or expected benefits in terms of climate change mitigation, socioeconomic impacts including poverty alleviation, and other benefits.
  3. The observed or expected negative impacts on biodiversity (ecosystems goods and services) and on the socioeconomic status of local communities and countries.
  4. Solutions that have been proposed to reduce the negative impacts and recommendations made to promote the benefits and reduce the negative impacts.

The Subsidiary Body will consider the information and may wish to make recommendations to the Conference of the Parties taking into account the advantages/benefits of biofuel production and its negative impacts on ecosystem goods and services.


Questions/Issues for the Electronic Forum

Question 3

The production of liquid biofuel may have some negative impacts. Some examples include the cutting down of standing plant biomass (e.g. forest trees) for feedstock, or the use of new lands (e.g. forest or agricultural lands) to establish the crop. Click here for examples of negative impacts.

Please describe observed and potential negative impacts of biofuel production and use on the ecosystems and on the socioeconomic status of local communities and countries.