Biofuels have the potential to contribute greatly to rural development and increase the sustainable energy options to rural communities.
That was the message from a session run by IUCN at the 17th session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development in New York on Friday, May 8.
The course, Evaluating the Role of Biofuels in Sustainable Rural Development, attracted more than 70 participants. It gave an overview of the role of biofuels in promoting energy access and development in rural areas of developing countries.
Three case studies were presented. The first focused on the Roundtable for Sustainable Biofuels, the second on Mali and Ecuador and the third on Ghana.
The course showed that biofuels contribute significantly to sustainable development at grassroots level. Agriculture, Africa, desertification, drought, rural development and land issues are the main issues on the agenda at the UN meeting.
The Learning Centre was organized through the Office of the IUCN Permanent Representative at the United Nations, Mr. Narinder Kakar,.
It was conducted by Ms. Gail Karlson (Senior Policy Advisor to ENERGIA, the International Network on Gender and Sustainable Energy), Professor Richard Ottinger (Dean Emeritus of the Pace University School of Law and Chair of the Energy and Climate Specialist Group within IUCN’s Commission on Environmental Law), Ms. Barbara Bramble (Chair of the Board of the Roundtable on Sustainable Biofuels), Mr. Stephen Gitonga (United Nations Development Programme, Bureau for Development Policy, Environment and Energy Group), and Ms Sabina Anokye Mensah (Gender and Development Coordinator, GRATIS Foundation).