Good environmental practices in bioenergy feedstock production: making bioenergy work for climate and food security

  • 01/03/2012
  • FAO

In order to ensure that modern bioenergy development is sustainable and that it safeguards food security, a number of good practices can be implemented throughout the bioenergy supply chain. Building on FAO’s work on good practices in agriculture and forestry, the FAO’s Bioenergy and Food Security Criteria and Indicators (BEFSCI) project has compiled a set of good environmental practices that can be implemented by bioenergy feedstock producers so as to minimize the risk of negative environmental impacts from their operations, and to ensure that modern bioenergy delivers on its climate change mitigation potential. The good practices compiled in the BEFSCI report are divided into three main groups. The first group is comprised of agricultural management approaches (namely Ecosystem Approach, Conservation Agriculture and Organic Agriculture), which provide comprehensive and holistic frameworks and principles of sustainable agriculture. The second group consists of integrated, sustainable agricultural and forestry management systems, namely Agroforestry, Integrated Food-Energy Systems, and Multiple Cropping Systems and Crop Rotation. The third and last group includes a broad range of field-level agricultural and forestry practices that can be implemented on the ground by bioenergy feedstock producers, such as No- or Minimum Tillage, Integrated Pest Management, and Integrated Plant Nutrient Management.