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    Mongabay, a leading resource for news and perspectives on environmental and conservation issues related to the tropics, has launched Tropical Conservation Science - a new, open access academic e-journal. It will cover a wide variety of scientific and social studies on tropical ecosystems, their biodiversity and the threats posed to them. Tropical Conservation Science - March 8, 2008.

    At the 148th Meeting of the OPEC Conference, the oil exporting cartel decided to leave its production level unchanged, sending crude prices spiralling to new records (above $104). OPEC "observed that the market is well-supplied, with current commercial oil stocks standing above their five-year average. The Conference further noted, with concern, that the current price environment does not reflect market fundamentals, as crude oil prices are being strongly influenced by the weakness in the US dollar, rising inflation and significant flow of funds into the commodities market." OPEC - March 5, 2008.

    Kyushu University (Japan) is establishing what it says will be the world’s first graduate program in hydrogen energy technologies. The new master’s program for hydrogen engineering is to be offered at the university’s new Ito campus in Fukuoka Prefecture. Lectures will cover such topics as hydrogen energy and developing the fuel cells needed to convert hydrogen into heat or electricity. Of all the renewable pathways to produce hydrogen, bio-hydrogen based on the gasification of biomass is by far both the most efficient, cost-effective and cleanest. Fuel Cell Works - March 3, 2008.

    An entrepreneur in Ivory Coast has developed a project to establish a network of Miscanthus giganteus farms aimed at producing biomass for use in power generation. In a first phase, the goal is to grow the crop on 200 hectares, after which expansion will start. The project is in an advanced stage, but the entrepreneur still seeks partners and investors. The plantation is to be located in an agro-ecological zone qualified as highly suitable for the grass species. Contact us - March 3, 2008.

    A 7.1MW biomass power plant to be built on the Haiwaiian island of Kaua‘i has received approval from the local Planning Commission. The plant, owned and operated by Green Energy Hawaii, will use albizia trees, a hardy species that grows in poor soil on rainfall alone. The renewable power plant will meet 10 percent of the island's energy needs. Kauai World - February 27, 2008.

    Tasmania's first specialty biodiesel plant has been approved, to start operating as early as July. The Macquarie Oil Company will spend half a million dollars on a specially designed facility in Cressy, in Tasmania's Northern Midlands. The plant will produce more than five million litres of fuel each year for the transport and marine industries. A unique blend of feed stock, including poppy seed, is expected to make it more viable than most operations. ABC Rural - February 25, 2008.

    The 16th European Biomass Conference & Exhibition - From Research to Industry and Markets - will be held from 2nd to 6th June 2008, at the Convention and Exhibition Centre of FeriaValencia, Spain. Early bird fee registration ends 18th April 2008. European Biomass Conference & Exhibition - February 22, 2008.

    'Obesity Facts' – a new multidisciplinary journal for research and therapy published by Karger – was launched today as the official journal of the European Association for the Study of Obesity. The journal publishes articles covering all aspects of obesity, in particular epidemiology, etiology and pathogenesis, treatment, and the prevention of adiposity. As obesity is related to many disease processes, the journal is also dedicated to all topics pertaining to comorbidity and covers psychological and sociocultural aspects as well as influences of nutrition and exercise on body weight. Obesity is one of the world's most pressing health issues, expected to affect 700 million people by 2015. AlphaGalileo - February 21, 2008.

    A bioethanol plant with a capacity of 150 thousand tons per annum is to be constructed in Kuybishev, in the Novosibirsk region. Construction is to begin in 2009 with investments into the project estimated at €200 million. A 'wet' method of production will be used to make, in addition to bioethanol, gluten, fodder yeast and carbon dioxide for industrial use. The complex was developed by the Solev consulting company. FIS: Siberia - February 19, 2008.

    Sarnia-Lambton lands a $15million federal grant for biofuel innovation at the Western Ontario Research and Development Park. The funds come on top of a $10 million provincial grant. The "Bioindustrial Innovation Centre" project competed successfully against 110 other proposals for new research money. London Free Press - February 18, 2008.

    An organisation that has established a large Pongamia pinnata plantation on barren land owned by small & marginal farmers in Andhra Pradesh, India is looking for a biogas and CHP consultant to help research the use of de-oiled cake for the production of biogas. The organisation plans to set up a biogas plant of 20,000 cubic meter capacity and wants to use it for power generation. Contact us - February 15, 2008.

    The Andersons, Inc. and Marathon Oil Corporation today jointly announced ethanol production has begun at their 110-million gallon ethanol plant located in Greenville, Ohio. Along with the 110 million gallons of ethanol, the plant annually will produce 350,000 tons of distillers dried grains, an animal feed ingredient. Marathon Oil - February 14, 2008.

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Monday, October 01, 2007

Clinton Global Initiative launches two biofuel projects for poverty alleviation

The Clinton Global Initiative is launching two biofuel projects aimed at alleviating poverty. The first, a project with an estimated value of $100 million, involves the production by rural communities of biodiesel from Jatropha curcas in the West Indies. In the second, worth an estimated $300 million, FourWinds Capital Management, in collaboration with local partners and a team of scientific experts, will develop investment programs in closed systems that focus on sustainable tropical biofuel production projects that maximize environmental and social welfare.

Biodiesel in the Caribbean
The Petra Trust and the Governments of St Vincent and Grenadine plan to initiate a wide-ranging public and private partnership in the West Indies region bringing together the Governments of St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG), Guyana and the technology and management expertise of the Petra Group to develop a world leading biodiesel facility.

Employing technology developed by Petra Group in Malaysia, the technology and agricultural programme which will alleviate rural poverty in Guyana, St Vincent and the Grenadines, and provide employment for Haitians.

The commitment is based on a four-step programme. The project would first establish a joint-venture between Petra Group and the Governments of Guyana, St Vincent and the Grenadines to manage, administer and benefit from the biodiesel project. This central corporation would be responsible for developing the business plan, selecting the properties, commissioning the plant, distributing the seeds, transportation, and managing the programme.

The Petra Group would then work with the Government of SVG to establish nurseries on the islands to grow the Jathropa curcas plant. It would provide the first 10-20 million seeds - starting with the pilot nursery of 2 million seeds. These will be grown in state-run nurseries or on individual farmers' small holdings – providing both wealth and employment. The central agency would collect the saplings and then transport the young plants to Guyana to be grown and harvested:
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In Guyana, where there is land in abundance – the project will set up plantations to grow the Jathropha plants. Individual farmers would be offered the saplings – enabling them to create their own small holdings. On larger plantations, where labour may be limited, the projects envisages to employ workers from Haiti travelling to Guyana to work the harvest, thus creating new employment for many Haitians.

The seeds would be collected by the 'Central Corporation' and transported to the biodiesel facility where it would be refined into biofuel and exported. The proceeds of the sale would be split between Petra and the participating Governments – thus ensuring that all parties work together to secure success of the programme. Clearly proving a commercially driven project can be developed in such a way as to ensure significant socio-economic progress without damaging the economic value.

The project will initially provide and source the professional management expertise to set up the programme; but in time it is intended that local people will be trained to take over the development and management of the project. Over the course of the next decade it is expected other refineries could be established across the region and an extensive network of Jathropha nurseries and plantations would be set up.

In addition this project has enormous potential to be replicated in other areas of the world – employing the same public-private partnership and technology expertise.

Sustainable tropical biofuels

The objective of the FourWinds program is to offer viable alternative energy solutions that are net positive for the environment in terms of carbon emissions and biodiversity, and that achieve a balance of nature together with an equitable treatment of local peoples.

In addition to the biofuel component, other elements that are expected to be included in the program are reforestation, biodiversity management, bio-prospecting, land rehabilitation and water table management.

Not all biofuels have been shown to offer net positive benefits for the environment across the production value chain, and many are not truly energy efficient. In addition, the planting of crops for biofuels has led in some cases to deforestation and acreage stress for agriculture land that was traditionally used for food or feed production.

As targets for biofuel use rise, the impact of the type of biofuels produced on both the environment and on the local communities is becoming increasingly critical.

There are many types of materials that can be used for biofuels. They vary not only in yield, but also in labor requirements, energy consumption, water usage, soil stress, biodiversity impact, and carbon efficiency.

Integrating the full system and resources of the environment into a community program can produce more eco-friendly biofuels, but can also provide other sources of return from biodiversity and reforestation to conservation and medicinal applications.

About the Clinton Global Initiative
President Bill Clinton launched the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) in 2005 as a non-partisan catalyst for action, bringing together a community of global leaders to devise and implement innovative solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges.

As a non-profit, 501(c)(3) endeavor of the William J. Clinton Foundation, CGI draws strength from a highly diverse membership base that represents the full spectrum of political, ideological, religious, ethnic, and geographic backgrounds. Members include current and former heads of state, top business executives, preeminent scholars, and representatives of key non-governmental organizations working together for a common cause.

The defining characteristics of the Clinton Global Initiative are its action-oriented nature and its track record of converting pioneering ideas into viable solutions with tangible results. CGI members develop ‘commitments to action’, focusing on practical, effective problem-solving measures that can be taken now. Member commitments are comprehensive, formal plans of action with timetables for evaluating progress. They are developed within one or more CGI areas of focus, which change annually to address the most imperative global issues requiring attention. We have designated education, energy & climate change, global health, and poverty alleviation as the areas of focus for 2007.

In this era of remarkable global interdependence, ensuring more equitable access to existing and future resources is a moral and practical imperative for us all.

Clinton Global Initiative: Eco-Integration, 2007 - September 2007.

Clinton Global Initiative: Development of a Jethropha Curcus powered Bio-diesel project, 2007 - September 2007.


Anonymous Tanny Lee said...

We are growing jatropha trees in Malaysia. Jatropha for biodiesel is the hottest issue now and for the next 20 years, many giant companies round the world are planting jatropha quietly. Should you need any pictures on jatropha trees from nursery to grown up trees, I am able to email to you, my email address is [email protected]

10:48 PM  

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