September 2011

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This page includes information on News and Events in September 2011.

  • (News and events are archived here after the end of the month.)

Events

News

  • U.S. gives $136 million for advanced biofuels research, 28 September 2011 by Reuters: "U.S. university researchers will get $136 million to develop advanced biofuels, including to develop jet fuel, by using tall grasses, woody plants and energy cane, the U.S. government said on Wednesday."
    • "Nearly two-thirds of the money will go toward aviation biofuels projects in the Pacific Northwest, including efforts to develop a regional source of bio-jet fuel for Seattle-Tacoma International Airport."
    • "Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, who announced the awards in Seattle, said the project will help promote growth in rural America."
    • "The projects would focus on using woody crops to produce bio-gasoline and renewable aviation fuel, convert idle sawmills into bioenergy development centers and develop new feedstocks and techniques for sustainable forest production to create a regional source of renewable aviation fuel, and use switchgrass and woody biomass to produce low-cost sugars for conversion to butanol as well as use forest and mill residues and dedicated energy crops to produce biodiesel fuel, heat and power."[1]
  • Brussels slammed for bad science on biofuels, 27 September 2011 by Euractiv: "Several environmental NGOs have written to the European Commission President, José Manuel Barroso, demanding action on five scientific studies that question the clean energy benefits of biofuels, as a row over a land use report by the EU's scientific advisors escalates."
    • "...[T]he letter cites five world-class studies for the EU which, it says, all agree that the Indirect Land Use Change (ILUC) effects of biofuels 'could not only negate the expected carbon savings, but even lead to an increase in emissions.'"
    • The most recent, a report by the scientific committee of the European Environment Agency (EEA) slammed the official EU policy that biofuels are 'carbon neutral' as a 'serious accounting error' with 'immense' potential consequences."
    • "The letter's signatories include ActionAid, Birdlife, ClientEarth, European Environmental Bureau, Oxfam, Transport and Environment and Wetlands International."
    • "The science involved in the report is of crucial importance. On Page 8, the EEA report cites the IEA as saying that biofuels could provide 20% of the world’s energy by 2050, and the UNFCCC claiming that bioenergy could supply 800 exajoules of energy per year (EJ/yr)."
    • "But today's entire global cultivatable land for food, feed, fibre and wood only has a chemical energy value of 230 (EJ/yr), just over a quarter of that figure."[2]
    • Download the NGO letter (PDF file)
  • Biofuels May Push 120 Million Into Hunger, Qatar’s Shah Says, 26 September 2011 by Bloomberg: "Biofuel policies in countries from Australia to the U.S. may push 120 million people into hunger by 2050 while doing little to halt climate change, said Mahendra Shah, an advisor to Qatar’s food security program."
    • "World food output will have to rise by at least 70 percent by 2050 to feed a growing world population, according to Shah."
    • "The use of crops for biofuels is forecast to raise food prices by 30 percent to 50 percent in that period, Shah said, citing a study by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries Fund for International Development, or OFID."
    • "Government plans to boost ethanol and biodiesel production and mandates on using them in transport fuel will increase deforestation by between 20 million and 24 million hectares (49 milion to 59 million acres) by 2050 and increase fertilizer use by 10 million tons, the OFID study showed, according to Shah."
    • "Growing crops for biofuels to reduce reliance on oil may result in 6 percent to 12 percent transport-fuel security in 2030 and 2050, according to Shah."[3]
  • Land grab for renewable energy production could impact beef capacity, 26 September 2011 by Beef Central: "Rising demand for the dominant form of renewable energy worldwide – wood – could drive yet more foreign acquisitions of land, particularly in developing countries where food insecurity is rising and land rights are weak, researchers say."
    • "Wood accounts for 67 percent of global renewable energy supplies, and many northern hemisphere countries were increasing their use of it both to reduce their reliance on costly fossil fuels and to mitigate climate change."
    • "New tree plantations in developing countries designed to be harvested to export wood could spell good news in terms of jobs, investment, climate change and conversation — if they were well managed, the IIED report said. But there was also a risk that plantations would displace poor and marginalised communities from land they had tended to for generations."
    • "Biomass plantations may also compete for the best lands with food crops and livestock (and with biofuel feedstocks), adversely affecting local food security and further marginalising smallholder farming."[4]
  • Questioning Europe's Math on Biofuels, 25 September 2011 by The New York Times: "Much of the appeal of generating energy from plants was that they emit only as much carbon when burned in cars and power plants as they absorb while growing."
    • "It turns out that the emissions from growing and processing some biofuels significantly diminish their benefits, when taking into account factors like the use of fertilizers manufactured with fossil fuels."
    • "Concerns have also grown that large swaths of forest and grassland will be chopped down or burned to grow fuel crops — and to grow food that has been displaced by growing fuel crops elsewhere — thereby releasing additional stocks of carbon into the atmosphere."
    • "The Scientific Committee of the European Environment Agency said the European Union had committed a 'serious accounting error' by failing to measure how much additional carbon dioxide was absorbed by existing fields, forests and grasslands, compared with that absorbed by energy crops."
    • "Bioenergy, including the burning of wood to produce electricity, would meet about half of the overall renewable energy target under national plans, while biofuels would provide the majority of renewable transport fuels."[5]
  • Commission to fudge CO2 effects of biofuel, 22 September 2011 by EuropeanVoice.com: "The European Commission has rejected the advice of its scientific experts and backed away from imposing tough carbon-dioxide emissions standards on specific types of biofuel."
    • "Günther Oettinger, the European commissioner for energy, and Connie Hedegaard, the European commissioner for climate action, are poised to propose instead a cruder environmental standard, that all biofuel sold in the European Union will have to produce carbon-dioxide savings of 50% compared with fossil fuel."
    • "Different types of biofuel have different ILUC effects, which means that their environmental performance varies, sometimes widely."
    • "Only this week, a scientific committee of the European Environment Agency, an EU body charged with providing advice to the EU institutions, warned that to assume that using biomass as an energy source was carbon neutral was 'a serious accounting error'."
    • "But the commissioners have now agreed to postpone action until 2014, the last year of the mandate of the current Commission. Only then will they make their proposals to attach specific CO2 values to each type of biofuel – deferring any impact from new measures until 2016 at the earliest."[6]
  • S.C. group fighting biomass pollution, 20 September 2011 by The State: "The S.C. Coastal Conservation League, one of the state’s largest environmental groups, says the federal government should not exempt biomass plants from pending carbon dioxide rules."
    • "Also Monday, the Dogwood Alliance of western North Carolina said it will join the challenge against exempting biomass plants, which are growing in popularity as alternative sources of energy."
    • "Many biomass plants burn wood to make energy."
    • "South Carolina has 28 facilities that burn wood, according to a 2010 S.C. Energy Office report. At least seven more biomass facilities are proposed in the state, the league says."
    • "Black said the league doesn’t oppose biomass plants, but believes major facilities should be monitored until they can show that carbon emissions are not a problem."
    • "The Dogwood Alliance says the exemption could encourage a rush to build biomass plants — and that could take a toll on southern forests."[7]
  • US, Australia sign key aviation biofuels accord, 19 September 2011 by Biofuels Digest: "In San Francisco, the U.S. FAA and Australia’s Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism have reached a Memorandum of Understanding to continue research and development of clean, sustainable alternative aviation fuels."
    • "The MOU calls for Australia and the United States to exchange information about policies, programs, projects, research results, and publications, and to conduct joint studies in areas such as fuel sources and environmental impacts."
    • "The memorandum also facilitates analysis of fuel source supply chains. The signing nations agree to cover the associated costs."
    • "Unlike other government to government agreements that emerge from time to time, this agreement sprung out of the private sector, primarily driven by the CAAFI private-public partnership in the US , and Austrade and the US Studies Center at the University of Sydney, for Australia."[8]
  • Singapore Airlines Joins Sustainable Aviation Fuel Users Group, 19 September 2011 by Stuff.co.nz: "Singapore Airlines has taken another step towards greener skies by joining the Sustainable Aviation Fuel Users Group (SAFUG)."
    • "Established in 2008, SAFUG is a working group that aims to accelerate the development and commercialisation of lower-carbon renewable aviation fuels, derived from environmentally and socially sustainable sources."
    • "Singapore Airlines maintains a young and modern fleet of fuel-efficient aircraft. The average age of its passenger fleet, as of 1 September 2011, is six years and four months."
    • "The airline is also an early adopter of technology, having been the first airline to operate the fuel-efficient Airbus A380, for example, and having placed orders for the latest-generation Airbus A350 and Boeing 787 aircraft."
    • "Some of Singapore Airlines' other environmentally friendly initiatives include Maintenance programmes for both airframes and engines that ensure operational efficiency and enhanced fuel efficiency and use of weight-saving initiatives such as lightweight crockery, galley service equipment, cargo containers and other aircraft modifications."[9]
  • Palm Oil Fuels Land Grabs In Africa – Analysis, 18 September 2011 by Eurasia Review: "Malaysia and Indonesia currently account for about 83 per cent of production and 89 per cent of global exports of palm oil."
    • "A recent moratorium in Indonesia on new concessions for land in forest areas and peat-lands, as full of loopholes as it may be, is driving industrial giants such as Sime Darby, Olam International and Wilmar International and a host of European, American and Asian investors and speculators seeking to get in on the palm oil boom to search for new lands."
    • "In Liberia, a country that was ravaged for years by war, an estimated 5.6 per cent of the total land mass has been leased out to foreign investors for palm oil production."
    • "In neighbouring Sierra Leone, another nation trying to regain its own food security and heal itself after a long civil war, European and Asian firms are securing long-term (50 year) leases on at least half a million hectares of farmland, almost 10 percent of the country’s arable land."
    • "In Cameroon, foreign investors from Asia, the US and Europe are rapidly securing enormous land banks, often in fragile forested areas, for palm oil estates. The same is true in Benin, Nigeria, Gabon, the Republic of Congo and the Democratic Republic of Congo, where a Chinese company is reportedly [pdf] working to secure 2.8 million hectares for oil palm for biodiesel production."[10]
  • Nestle Buys Palm Oil Promises of  Sinar Mas, 16 September 2011 by Jakarta Globe: "Swiss food giant Nestle will resume purchases of palm oil from Sinar Mas Agro Resources and Technology following an 18-month halt after Smart made improvements to abide by Nestle’s guidelines for responsible environmental practices."
    • "The parent company of the palm oil producer known as Smart, Golden Agri Resources, has been working with environmental group The Forest Trust on the implementation of a Forest Conservation Policy."
    • "Nestle Indonesia’s spokesman Brata T. Hardjosubroto said that Smart, Indonesia’s second-biggest listed plantation operator, and GAR had been making continuous progress and demonstrated clear action to meet Nestle’s responsible sourcing guidelines."
    • "Nestle, which started construction on its $200 million factory in West Java on Monday, had dropped Smart as a supplier in March 2010."
    • "The decision came following campaigns by Greenpeace highlighting Nestle’s purchase of crude palm oil from Sinar Mas Group, which Greenpeace accuses of destruction of rainforests and peatlands to make way for new plantations."[11]
  • Future of biofuels seen as hinging on long-term strategy, 16 September 2011 by BuffaloNews.com: "James D. Newman calls it the 'green-versus-green debate' in biofuels."
    • "People want to be environmentally conscious, but they hesitate to part with more green — as in money — to pay for alternative-fuel products, the president and CEO of Noco Energy Corp. says."
    • "The future of biofuels, including ethanol, is a hot topic nationally, with some arguing the need to bolster the industry, and others contending that the fuels need to prove themselves in the marketplace."
    • "The debate about biofuels also includes their operating performance and the impact on the cost of food used in their production."
    • "Beyond their 'green' appeal, Newman said, biofuels can also have an effect on U. S. energy security and fuel price volatility."
    • "While Newman doesn’t believe that volatility can be completely controlled, he thinks alternative fuels can help offset it 'because we won’t be relying on the traditional petroleum suppliers.'"
    • "'I think there’s more discussion now in this country going on about how to bring alternative fuels to the system,' he said, 'and I think there is great consumer awareness around the fact that we need to do something.'"[12]
  • Livestock producers face ethanol makers over cost of corn, 15 September 2011 by USA Today: "The flooding and record heat that have combined to shrink this year's corn crop are feeding new calls from livestock producers to weaken the government's ethanol mandates."
    • "Producers told the House Agriculture Committee on Wednesday that tightening grain supplies are driving up feed costs further and threatening to push many poultry farms and others out of business."
    • "More than 20 percent of the chicken industry, as measured by production, has been sold to foreign-owned companies because of bankruptcies in the U.S. industry over the last three years, said Ted Seger, president of Farbest Foods Inc."
    • "The Agriculture Department this week estimated that farmers will harvest 12.5 billion bushels of corn this year, the third-largest crop on record, but that was 3 percent less than the USDA had forecast a month earlier."
    • "About one-third of the corn that is sold for ethanol production winds up as a byproduct known as distillers grains that can substitute for corn in livestock feed, but poultry and hog producers say they can use the product only in small amounts."[13]
  • White House launches biofuels initiative linked to jobs creation, 15 September 2011 by Air Transport World: "The US Departments of Agriculture and Energy and the Navy will invest up to $510 million over the next three years in partnership with the private sector to produce advanced drop-in aviation and marine biofuels to power commercial and military transportation."
    • "The biofuels initiative is being steered by the White House Biofuels Interagency Work Group and Rural Council, organizations that aim to enable greater cross-agency collaboration to strengthen rural America."
    • "The White House said there was a lack of manufacturing capability for next-generation drop-in biofuels in the US. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, Secretary of Energy Steven Chu and Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus have developed a plan to jointly construct or retrofit several drop-in biofuel plants and refineries."
    • "The White House said the joint plan calls for the three departments to invest a total of up to $510 million, requiring a substantial cost share from private industry of at least a one to one match."[14]
  • Debate on ethanol role in livestock/poultry feed costs, 14 September 2011 by Delta Farm Press: "A Wednesday afternoon hearing of the House Subcommittee on Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry focused on the feed issues."
    • "The panel’s testimony uniformly painted ethanol -– with its government backing and production mandates -- as a key cause of livestock/poultry producers’ dipping profits and a coming rise in consumer prices."
    • "While livestock operations have become more efficient, 'lower feed availability will eventually mean still lower meat and poultry output and still higher meat and poultry prices.'"
    • "Rejecting such causality and claiming a deck stacked against it, the ethanol industry jumped into the fray early."
    • "'America’s ethanol producers are on pace to produce nearly 40 million metric tons of livestock feed in 2011 – a volume greater than all the corn used on cattle feedlots all across the country,' said a Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) release. 'Additionally, ethanol producers are poised to export nearly 25 percent of that volume to meet growing feed demands around the globe.'"
    • "The ethanol industry has been joined by the Obama administration in rejecting claims that the fuel is responsible for higher feed costs."[15]
  • Analysis: Ethanol industry to stay hungry for U.S. corn, 14 September 2011 by Reuters: "The U.S. ethanol industry is keeping its foot on the gas pedal at production plants, and if the trend continues it could defy a government forecast that the industry will have its first drop in corn use since the turn of the century."
    • "The government forecast, which was issued on Monday, was based on expected weaker gasoline use and higher corn prices."
    • "But for the near term, both domestic and export sales are strong, plus profit margins -- though volatile -- are largely healthy, factors that should feed continued strong demand for corn for ethanol."
    • "The U.S. mandate for conventional biofuel, which is mostly ethanol made from corn, will rise 600 million gallons next year to 13.2 billion gallons."
    • "The ethanol industry uses about 40 percent of the U.S. corn crop to make the alternative motor fuel, a factor which drives persistent criticism from food and livestock producers who say it drives up both corn prices and food prices."
    • "As harvest of the new U.S. corn crop gets under way, there simply may not be enough corn to go around, some ethanol experts said. That could drive corn prices even higher than the recent record levels."[16]
  • ‘Serious’ Error Found in Carbon Savings for Biofuels, 14 September 2011 by the New York Times Green Blog: "The European Union is overestimating the reductions in greenhouse gas emissions achieved through reliance on biofuels as a result of a 'serious accounting error,' according to a draft opinion by an influential committee of 19 scientists and academics."
    • "The European Environment Agency Scientific Committee writes that the role of energy from crops like biofuels in curbing warming gases should be measured by how much additional carbon dioxide such crops absorb beyond what would have been absorbed anyway by existing fields, forests and grasslands."
    • "Instead, the European Union has been 'double counting' some of the savings, according to the draft opinion, which was prepared by the committee in May and viewed this week by The International Herald Tribune and The New York Times."
    • "The committee said that the error had crept into European Union regulations because of a 'misapplication of the original guidance' under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change."
    • "'The potential consequences of this bioenergy accounting error are immense since it assumes that all burning of biomass does not add carbon to the air,' the committee wrote."
    • "The commission already is agonizing over how much to tighten the rules on biofuels to curb a phenomenon called indirect land use change, in which areas containing high stores of carbon dioxide, like grasslands, peat lands or forests, are stripped to produce food crops."[17]
  • European biofuels given reprieve, report suggests, 12 September 2011 by Farmers Guardian: "THE European Union’s top climate and energy officials have agreed to delay rules which would penalise individual biofuels for their indirect climate impacts, Reuters news agency is reporting."
    • "The political compromise is designed to protect EU farmers’ incomes and existing investments in the biofuel sector, while discouraging new investments in biofuels which do nothing to fight climate change."
    • "At issue is indirect land use change (ILUC), which states if you divert food crops to biofuel production, someone, somewhere, will go hungry unless those missing metric tons of grain are grown elsewhere."
    • "If the crops to make up the shortfall are grown on new farmland created by cutting down rainforests or draining peat land, this can release enough climate-warming emissions to cancel out any theoretical emission savings from biofuels."
    • "The July agreement would delay crop-specific rules on ILUC in favor of an indirect approach that penalises all biofuels equally.This involves raising the carbon-savings threshold that all biofuels must meet compared with conventional fossil fuel to count toward the EU’s target, which aims to raise the share of biofuel in road transport fuels to about 10 percent in 2020."[18]
  • Biomass schemes will boost destructive timber imports, claims wood industry, 11 September 2011 by The Guardian: "Big wood companies are trying to halt Drax, RWE and others pressing ahead with a raft of lower-carbon energy schemes which would see large power stations switch from burning coal to timber."
    • "The wood industry fears thousands of jobs in its factories will be threatened by the 'green' power plans and wants government to remove the subsidies facilitating them."
    • "Wildlife and environmental groups are also alarmed that the new biomass schemes could trigger a huge escalation in wood imports and threaten rainforests."
    • "The Wood Panel Industries Association said: 'We have already seen a 50% increase in wood prices over the last three years because of these kinds of energy developments and we do not think they should be receiving subsidies for schemes which we believe are not carbon-friendly and which will require a huge amount of imported wood to support a tenfold increase in planned capacity.'"
    • "A DECC spokesman said the department was aware of concerns from interest groups about a major escalation in biomass but said it had safeguards in place. 'The very clear sustainability criteria we now have in place under the renewables obligation will mean we know where biomass has come from and how it has been grown.'"
    • "The current subsidy regime for biomass and other clean technology such as wind power runs until 2013."[19]
  • Ethanol critics target mandates as subsidy ends, 10 September 2011 by DesMoinesRegister.com: "With the ethanol subsidy all but dead, some of the industry’s critics are turning their attention to the government mandates that force motorists to fill up with the corn-based gasoline additive and other biofuels."
    • "Under current law, the mandates will require refiners to increase their use of corn ethanol to 15 billion gallons a year by 2015."
    • "The industry agreed this summer to a proposed congressional deal that would have ended the subsidy early and used the savings to help fund the installation of new ethanol pumps at service stations around the country."
    • "But the industry’s allies in Congress couldn’t get the deal included in a bill that lifted the government’s debt ceiling, and they say the prospects of getting it passed now are slim, given the government’s fiscal problems and the looming expiration of the 45-cent subsidy."
    • "The industry likely stands a better chance of protecting the annual usage mandates, known as the Renewable Fuel Standard, from being weakened by livestock or environmental interests."[20]
  • New map gives public a global view of biofuel development, 8 September 2011 by Center for International Forestry Research: "The Global Biofuel Information Tool (GBIT), developed by the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), with support from Profundo, is the first systematic attempt at gathering and consolidating data on biofuels and making this accessible in a user-friendly format."
    • "The GBIT was developed under a project funded by the European Commission exploring bioenergy, sustainability and trade-offs between the two."
    • "The project aims to analyse bioenergy developments and their implications for forests and people’s livelihoods."
    • "Determining the magnitude and location of biofuel investments in forest-rich countries will help to assess how these investments affect forests and people and how they can be made more sustainable."
    • "The GBIT offers data on national biofuel production and consumption obtained and collated from the International Energy Statistics database of the US Energy Information Administration."[21]
  • EU to delay action on biofuels' indirect impact, 8 September 2011 by Reuters: "The European Union's top climate and energy officials have agreed to delay by up to seven years rules that would penalize individual biofuels for their indirect climate impacts, details of the deal showed."
    • "The political compromise is designed to protect EU farmers' incomes and existing investments in the bloc's 17 billion euro-a-year ($24 billion) biofuel sector, while discouraging new investments in biofuels that do nothing to fight climate change."
    • "At issue is an emerging concept known as indirect land use change (ILUC), which states that if you divert food crops to biofuel production, someone, somewhere, will go hungry unless those missing metric tons of grain are grown elsewhere."
    • "If the crops to make up the shortfall are grown on new farmland created by cutting down rainforests or draining peat land, this can release enough climate-warming emissions to cancel out any theoretical emission savings from biofuels."
    • "The July agreement would delay crop-specific rules on ILUC in favor of an indirect approach that penalizes all biofuels equally."
    • "This involves raising the carbon-savings threshold that all biofuels must meet compared with conventional fossil fuel to count toward the EU's target, which aims to raise the share of biofuel in road transport fuels to about 10 percent in 2020."
    • "By sending a clear message that ILUC factors will be introduced in the future, the Commission said its approach would help to 'phase out the worst performing biofuels and to prevent further investments in unsustainable biofuels.'"
    • "The Commission is expected to present formally its ILUC proposals in the coming months, after which EU governments and the European Parliament will have a limited time in which to raise any objections."[22]
  • Britain’s biomass demand will affect climate, wildlife – R.S.P.B., 7 September 2011 by EcoSeed: "United Kingdom charity group Royal Society for the Protection of Birds revealed in a report that Britain's increasing demand for biomass could lead to serious damage to wildlife and climate."
    • "The report showed that the proposed scale of British biomass development will surpass the continent's domestic fuel supply. Currently, the country's biomass industry heavily relies on domestic supplies amounting to 74 percent."
    • "However, changes on the use of biomass may yield to dependence on biomass imports from countries such as Canada, the United States, Russia, and the Baltic states."
    • "R.S.P.B. believes that Britain is capable of having a sustainable bioenergy sector based on wastes and domestic feedstocks if the government acts to encourage more sustainable technologies at appropriate scales, rules out subsidies for large-scale electricity production dependent on imported wood, improves sustainability standards, and fully accounts for all emissions from bioenergy."[23]
  • Ghana sees first biomass supply chain project, 2 September 2011 by Biomass Power and Thermal: "Africa Renewables Ltd., headquartered in London, is actively recruiting for more than 70 new forestry and biomass production jobs in Ghana to support the country's first wood chip supply chain venture."
    • "The project will harvest redundant rubber trees from the Ghana Rubber Estates Ltd. plantation for chipping and sale to European utilities and energy traders, according to Jamie Wynn-Williams, spokesperson for Africa Renewables."
    • "The project, located between the GREL plantation and the port of Takoradi, will also include the development of a 5 hectare (12 acres) storage depot to house wood chips between monthly shipments, a spare part store and a mechanical workshop."
    • "Africa Renewables will provide the appropriate training required for the operation of forestry equipment, with new jobs at every level of the project logistics chain from initial felling of trees to harvesting, processing and eventual delivery of biomass to cargo ships for export."[24]
  • Sustainable Palm Oil Milestone Reached Ahead of Major WWF Evaluation, 1 September 2011 by Food Ingredients First: "The world’s largest sustainable palm oil body reached a major milestone last week in its on-going efforts to halt deforestation and bring sustainable palm oil to market – the millionth hectare of plantations has just been certified, an area roughly equivalent in size to the nation of Jamaica."
    • "The result comes as WWF prepares its second instalment of the WWF Palm Oil Buyers' Scorecard, which tracks the progress of major brands on their commitments and actions on buying and using sustainable palm."
    • "Plantations owned by Brazil-based Agropalma, a leading producer of palm oil in South America, recently achieved certification against the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) standard, pushing the area of certified palm oil plantations past the 1 million hectare mark."
    • "WWF worked with a group of NGOs and the palm oil industry to set up the RSPO in 2003. Certified sustainable palm oil has been available since November 2008, and provides assurance that valuable tropical forests have not been cleared and that environmental and social safeguards have been met during the production of the palm oil."[25]
  • Kenya's Tana Delta saved – for now, September 2011 by WildlifeExtra.com: "A Nairobi newspaper reports that, after consideration of the scientific evidence, Kenya's National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) has decided to advise the Kenyan Government to halt the planting of the biofuel crop jatropha within the Coast region of Kenya."
    • "Proposed jatropha plantations would do irreparable damage to coastal Important Bird Areas (IBAs), including the Tana Delta and Dakatcha Woodlands."
    • "Even before NEMA's decision, a company planning to grow oil seed crops on 28,000 hectares of the Tana Delta pulled out after consultations with NatureKenya and other BirdLife Partners, citing concerns over environmental impacts and long-term climate change effects."
    • "The Tana Delta has long provided local communities with food and livelihoods. Its value to the nation includes ecosystem services such as water storage, shoreline protection and marine life spawning grounds. It also has huge tourism potential. But as demand for land to grow commodity crops has increased globally, the Tana Delta has become the focus of interest for international speculators and investors."[26]




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