Published on Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Day 1 - short summary

Dr Andras Csaba Darabant

University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna

The 3rd ACMECS Bioenergy Workshop was opened by Mrs.Warunee Tanapase, the Director of KAPI. She welcomed the 63 participants from 13 countries and reminded them of the workshop objective to define a regional plan for biomass and bioenergy development and its standardization. The first keynote speaker was Mr. Narongchai Cholapap from FIO, Thailand who presented certification principles of FSC and PEFC and highlighted that they formed part of FIO internal standards of plantation management. He was followed by Dr. Takashi Yanagida from the Forests and Forestry Products Research Institute of Japan presented an overview of production and utilization framework of biomass in Japan. Initially he talked about the various classifications of the biomass resource, which was followed by a summary of the biomass conversion methods. He went into greater detail on the utilization framework of biomass, specifically its economic aspects. He presented an economic model of biomass utilization for Japan, which was developed based on empirical data on all components of the system. Next, Dr. Shuirong Wu from the Research Institute of Forest Policy, Chinese Academy of Forestry presented about Chinese policies and approaches to sustainable biomass development. She first introduced concepts and global trends, going subsequently into detail on the Chinese biomass policy process, and existing opportunities and challenges. Policy development in China 1986-2000 focused on R&D in biofuel production for transportation, then from 2001-2004 on the establishment of the legislative infrastructure, and after 2005 on biofuel administration. Current opportunities are presented by the strong interest of government agencies, which is however constrained by a lack of coordination among actors.


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               In the afternoon Dr. Viktor Bruckman introduced the IUFRO session and presented the IUFRO Task Force “Sustainable Forest Biomass Network – SFBN”, stating its objectives, which include support of expertise to ACMECS in terms of suggesting a research agenda, the science-policy interface, addressing risks, ensuring sustainability and the implementation of certification systems. He was followed by Dr. Raymond Miller from the Department of Forestry, Michigan State University, who talked about general aspects of designing sustainable bioenergy supply chains, including market development, feedstock production, handling, conversion, and distribution & sales. He went into detail on biomass production in plantations, highlighting the tasks involved along with challenges. He suggested partnerships between stakeholders and a holistic approach to biomass development. He was followed by Mr. Florian Kraxner from the International Institute of Applied Systems Analysis in Austria, who talked about sustainable biomass development and the importance of remote sensing data and online platforms. He introduced global biomass mapping efforts and IIASA’s work to combine and improve existing remote sensing databases in spatially explicitly predicting global biomass stocks. He also highlighted important application possibilities of this database. The next presenter was Dr. Joseph Githiomi from the Kenya Forest Research Institute, who presented sustainable biomass energy development in Africa to the audience. He highlighted the high dependence of Africa on biomass energy and presented projections about the future. He summarized the weaknesses of biomass production and identified important challenges ahead. After him, Ms. Mika Yoshida from the University of Tokyo presented the potential markets for biomass for energy in Japan. First she contrasted the increasing biomass stocks with the declining production in Japan and cited reasons for both. Next, she presented the situation of charcoal and wood chip production and utilization in Japan. The next presenter was Dr. Fikirte Demissie Tulu, from Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia who presented community forestry and bioenergy development in east Africa and specifically in Ethiopia. She highlighted the country’s dependence on energy from biomass and pointed out the decline of biomass resources, as well as social approaches to counter land degradation, including participatory forest management. Next, she reiterated positive and negative aspects of plantations in an Ethiopian perspective and finally discussed policy and institutional arrangements of biomass development efforts in the country. She was followed by Dr. Sanjeev Chauhan, from the Agricultural University of Punjab, who presented short-rotation forestry in India. He highlighted the shortage of biomass production in India and various aspects of short-rotation plantation programs to supply biomass. He presented a range of successful agroforestry models including the economics of the systems. He concluded his presentation stating the challenges of short-rotation forestry in India.


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Dr. Bruckman introduced the closing discussion by stating that social, economic and ecological aspects of biomass development need to be discussed. He next proposed a road map for the ACMECS biomass network consisting of four steps. Step 1 includes biomass inventory data, bioenergy development status, status of ecosystem services, and participation. Step 2 includes capacity building, technology transfer and the establishment of the policy infrastructure. Step 3 consists of the implementation (national development plans), best practices management schemes, and governmental incentives. Step 4 consists of a system evaluation, monitoring, certification issues and international carbon markets (REDD+). The subsequent discussion emphasized the need to adopt a holistic systems view to biomass development, and the wish to learn from experiences made elsewhere, while emphasizing the need for own solutions. The session was concluded by Dr.Maliwan Haruthaithanasan, who reaffirmed that the ACMECS Biomass Network was on a good track and focused on strategic planning the need to improve the regional data base and to standardize biomass feedstock. The day was concluded by a welcome dinner accompanied by a splendid show of regional folklore.


 The 3rd ACMECS Bioenergy Workshop Day 1 Summary in detail. (PDF download)