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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

Ceres and TAES team up to develop high-biomass sorghum for next-generation biofuels

Energy crop company Ceres, Inc. and the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station (TAES) of The Texas A&M University System announced today that they have entered into an exclusive, multi-year joint research and commercialization agreement for high-biomass sorghum. The plants are not designed to produce grain, but rather vast amounts of biomass - the raw material for a new generation of biofuels made from stems, stalks and leaves. If the expectations are met, the new sorghums processed by next-generation conversion technologies could yield a whopping 2000 gallons/acre (18,800 l/ha) of cellulosic ethanol.

Today, sorghum-to-ethanol production uses the grain, like corn, but the plants themselves hold the greatest potential for biofuel production. New thermochemical and biochemical conversion technologies are making it possible to utilize the entire plant, including its carbohydrates that comprise plant cell walls, namely cellulose.

Sorghum is a genus comprising many different tropical grass species. All of them take the so-called C4 pathway to fix carbon dioxide through photosynthesis to make carbohydrates, a far more efficient strategy than that of C3 plants. Sweet sorghum and grain sorghums are cultivated most widely, with the latter used as fodder in the West, and as food in many developing countries (map shows suitable regions for sorghum, click to enlarge). Several species have received a great deal of research attention lately because they are seen as near-ideal crops for cellulosic biofuels and biogas (earlier post). So far, scientists have succeeded in designing more robust, drought-tolerant varieties (here), cultivars with a low lignin content (earlier post), hybrids with high sugar content for ethanol (more here), high-biomass yielding varieties (earlier post), and even sorghums resistant to aluminum toxicity - an achievement of major importance for the developing world (more here).
Sorghum produces high yields, is naturally drought tolerant and can thrive in places that do not support corn and other food crops. Sorghum also fits into established production systems and is harvested the year it is planted, unlike perennial grasses, so it fits well in a crop mix with perennial species and existing crops, like cotton. - Dr. Bill Rooney, Plant scientist of the A&M System's Texas Agricultural Experiment Station (TAES)
As next-generation bioconversion technologies mature, farmers will transition from growing as much grain per hectare to producing as much biomass as they can per hectare, with as little energy and agronomic inputs as possible. This means new crops and specialized hybrids like high-biomass sorghum types will be needed.

A pioneer in developing high-biomass sorghum, Dr. Bill Rooney's first breeding lines - the precursors to hybrids - can approach 20 feet (6 meters) under favorable conditions, and could produce more than 2,000 gallons of ethanol per acre (18,800 liters per hectare) - more than four times the current starch-to-ethanol process:
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To accelerate product development, Ceres and TAES will work together to expand their marker-assisted breeding efforts. Markers allow plant breeders to identify useful traits in seed tissue or when plants are still seedlings. Large numbers of markers provide a roadmap of the sorghum genome, cutting years off development timelines for new products, and making it easier to improve the makeup of the plants to facilitate processing. Markers and biotechnology will be crucial for developing sorghum for cellulosic biofuels.

Peter Mascia, Ceres Vice President of Product Development, said Ceres has Texas-sized expectations for the collaboration. "When we combine their resources with our high-throughput trait development capabilities, we believe we can double the rate of improvement to biomass yields, while expanding the range of the crop for earlier planting in cooler and drier conditions, especially on so-called marginal or unproductive land," he says. Mascia expects that commercial quantities of the initial hybrids will be available in time to meet the requirements of the first cellulosic biorefineries currently being planned.

As part of this agreement, Ceres will obtain exclusive commercialization rights to TAES's high biomass sorghum hybrids developed in the joint research program. The TAES program will receive royalties as well as financial and technology support from Ceres. Other aspects of the collaboration were not disclosed.

Ceres, Inc. is leading developer of high-yielding energy crops that can be planted as feedstocks for cellulosic ethanol production. Its development efforts cover switchgrass, sorghum, miscanthus, energycane and woody crops. Founded as a plant genomics company, Ceres holds one of the world's largest proprietary collections of fully sequenced plant genes. Recently, the company raised $75 million to develop dedicated energy crops (earlier post).

The Texas Agricultural Experiment Station operates upon the foundation that "Agriculture is Life." TAES is a science and technology agency under The Texas A&M University System charged with conducting basic and applied research in agriculture, the life sciences and natural resources. The agency's mission is to generate scientific knowledge that benefits both consumers and the agriculture industry in Texas and beyond.

Picture credit: Dr. William Rooney.

Texas A&M University: Bioenergy Initiative: Designing Sorghum for the U.S. Biofuels Industry [*.pdf], Department of Soil & Crop Sciences

William L. Rooney, Designing Sorghum as a Dedicated Bioenergy Crop, Department of Soil & Crop Sciences, Texas A&M University.

Biopact: Scientists release new low-lignin sorghums: ideal for biofuel and feed - September 10, 2007

Biopact: Sun Grant Initiative funds 17 bioenergy research projects - August 20, 2007

Biopact: Major breakthrough: researchers engineer sorghum that beats aluminum toxicity - August 27, 2007

Biopact: U.S. scientists develop drought tolerant sorghum for biofuels - May 21, 2007

Biopact: Sweet super sorghum - yield data for the ICRISAT hybrid - February 21, 2007

Biopact: Mapping sorghum's genome to create robust biomass crops - June 24, 2007

Biopact: Germans research sorghum varieties for biogas production - April 12, 2007

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New survey finds sea change in Americans' views on climate change: action needed now

A growing number of Americans consider global warming an important threat that calls for drastic action, and 40% say that a presidential candidate's position on the issue will strongly influence how they vote, according to a national survey conducted by Yale University, Gallup and the ClearVision Institute.

One of the most surprising findings was the growing sense of urgency, said Anthony Leiserowitz, director of the Yale Project on Climate Change and the study's principal investigator. Nearly half of Americans now believe that global warming is either already having dangerous impacts on people around the world or will in the next 10 years - a 20-percentage-point increase since 2004. These results indicate a sea change in public opinion.

'When do you think global warming will start to have dangerous impacts on people around the world - is it having dangerous impacts now, will it have dangerous impacts in 10 years, in 25 years, in 50 years, in 100 years, or will it never have dangerous impacts?'
The survey's findings further include:
  • 62% percent of respondents believe that life on earth will continue without major disruptions only if society takes immediate and drastic action to reduce global warming.
  • 68% of Americans support a new international treaty requiring the United States to cut its emissions of carbon dioxide 90 percent by the year 2050. Yet, Leiserowitz notes, the United States has yet to sign the Kyoto Protocol, an international treaty that would require the United States to cut its emissions 7 percent by the year 2012.
  • a surprising 40% of respondents say a presidential candidate's position on global warming will be either extremely important (16 percent) or very important (24 percent) when casting their ballots. With the presidential primaries and general election near, candidates should recognize that global warming has become an important issue for the electorate.
  • 85% of those polled support requiring automakers to increase the fuel efficiency of cars, trucks and SUVs to 35 miles per gallon, even if it meant a new car would cost up to $500 more; and 82 percent support requiring electric utilities to produce at least 20 percent of their electricity from renewable energy sources, even if it cost the average household an extra $100 a year.
  • majorities of Americans, however, continue to oppose carbon taxes as a way to address global warming - either in the form of gasoline (67 percent against) or electricity taxes (71 percent against).
  • 50% of respondents say they are personally worried - 15 percent say a 'great deal' - about global warming.
Many Americans, however, believe that global warming is a very serious threat to other species, people and places far away, said Leiserowitz, but not so serious of a threat to themselves, their own families or local communities. Nonetheless, they do strongly support a number of national and international policies to address this problem:
:: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: ::

The survey was conducted July 23-26, 2007, using telephone interviews with 1,011 adults, aged 18-plus. Respondents came from Gallup's household panel, which was originally recruited through random selection methods. The final sample is considered to be representative of U.S. adults nationwide, with a margin of error of 4 percentage points.

The Yale Project on Climate Change at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies supports public discourse and engagement with climate-change solutions.

Gallup, Inc., headquartered in Washington, D.C., is one of the world�s leading research companies focusing on studying human nature and behavior. The Gallup Poll has been monitoring U.S. public opinion since 1935, and Gallup now tracks public opinion in over 100 countries worldwide on an ongoing basis.

The ClearVision Institute is a nonprofit organization dedicated to applying entertainment education as a social-change strategy to address climate change through U.S. commercial television.

Yale University, Gallup, ClearVision Institute: American Opinions on Global Warming [*.pdf].

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Caltech Ventures to produce ethanol from cassava in Ghana

Caltech Ventures Ghana Limited, a biofuel company in part founded by members of the Ghanese diaspora, will begin the production of ethanol from cassava at Hodzo, near the city of Ho, next year when its $6.5 million production plant would be ready. The company's total investment in the venture is $10 million, managing director Chris Quarshie told African media.

Cassava is a starch rich energy crop that thrives on relatively poor soils and requires a limited amount of inputs. A major food crop in Western Africa, countries there have however tried to kickstart an industrial cassava sector, which would be highly lucrative. Growing demand for ethanol and record oil prices may at last make the plans more viable. As an energy crop, cassava yields biofuels with an excellent energy balance (earlier post). With current best technologies, some experts estimate that cassava ethanol is commercially viable when oil is above $38 per barrel.

According to the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), one of the Green Revolution institutions and member of the CGIAR, small farmers and the rural poor across the developing world stand to benefit from cassava ethanol (previous post).

Caltech Ventures Ghana Limited has established a 162 hectare cassava seed plantation with plans to expand it to 486 hectares next year. It says 60 percent of the six million litres of ethanol to be produced yearly would be exported. It has also organised a corps of cassava out-growers to provide the needed raw material for take-off. The project has the potential to provide 600 jobs, up from the current 140, when its ethanol plant comes to full production:
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Mr Mawutor Goh, Ho Municipal Chief Executive commended the people for placing their collective interest and that of the country above their individual interests thus paving the way for the company to be established there.

He assured communities in the area that the sustenance of the company would be a catalyst to the rapid development of infrastructure such as good road network towards developing the potentials of the area for the rapid improvement in their standard of living.

Mr Goh urged chiefs in the Ho Municipality to support the company and encourage their compatriots who had the means to invest at home.

Togbe Akpasu VIII, Fiaga of Hodzo, thanked the company for its demonstration of goodwill towards the people and gave an assurance of his people's fullest co-operation towards the smooth operations of the venture.

Accra Daily Mail: Hodzo community commended for investor friendliness - September 24, 2007.

Energy Current: Ghana begins ethanol production next year - September 28, 2007.

Biopact: CIAT: cassava ethanol could benefit small farmers in South East Asia - September 24, 2007

Biopact: First comprehensive energy balance study reveals cassava is a highly efficient biofuel feedstock - April 18, 2007

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Joint BioEnergy Institute receives early funding from U.S. DOE

The Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI), one of three new U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Bioenergy Research Centers, will receive $6.7 million in initial funding (FY2007) to begin research on biofuels – liquid fuels derived from the solar energy stored in plant biomass. This funding is in addition to $125 million DOE plans to invest in JBEI over the next five years, part of a total $375 million DOE investment in basic biofuels research.

JBEI is a partnership between DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), DOE’s Sandia National Laboratories, DOE’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, the University of California campuses of Berkeley and Davis, and the Carnegie Institution. JBEI will be headquartered in a leased building in the East Bay, central to all partners. In the meantime, work will begin in the Potter Street bioscience facility of Berkeley Lab and at other partner institutions.

DOE Under Secretary for Science Raymond L. Orbach, whose Office of Science’s Biological and Environmental Research Genomics:GTL research program is funding the Bioenergy Research Centers, said:
Making biofuels cost-effective will require transformational breakthroughs in basic science. This early infusion of funds will enable JBEI to get underway immediately on the urgent quest for the breakthroughs our nation needs to usher in a new biofuels economy.
Research has shown that harnessing even a tiny fraction of the total solar energy available each year could meet most if not all of the U.S.’s annual transportation energy needs, and scientific studies have consistently ranked biofuels among the top candidates for accomplishing this goal. However, the commercial-scale production of clean, efficient, cost-effective next-generation biofuels will require technology-transforming scientific breakthroughs.
JBEI's focused research program will provide the scientific and engineering advances required to make biofuels a major component of the nation's energy supply. These supplemental funds highlight both the significance of the problem and the urgency to address it. - Harvey Blanch, JBEI’s Chief Science and Technology Officer, Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley
JBEI researchers intend to meet this challenge through the conversion of lignocellulosic biomass into biofuels. Lignocelluose, the most abundant organic material on the planet, is a mix of complex sugars and lignin that gives strength and structure to plant cell walls. By extracting simple fermentable sugars from lignocellulose and producing biofuels from them, the potential of the most energy-efficient and environmentally benign fuel crops can be realized:
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To promote the rapid commercialization of JBEI results and in keeping with its Bay Area heritage, this DOE Bioenergy Research Center is uniquely organized along the lines of a biotech startup company, with very focused research objectives and a structure to enable it to quickly pursue promising scientific and technological developments. The goal of JBEI is to achieve measurable success within the next five years.
We are delighted that the formal agreement between DOE and the JBEI partners has been completed so that we can begin our work to solve one of the most important challenges of our time. DOE funding will enable JBEI researchers to perform research that can break down the most significant barriers to the development of affordable, renewable, transportation fuels from biomass. - Jay Keasling, JBEI’s Chief Executive Officer, Director of Berkeley Lab’s Physical Biosciences Division and a UC Berkeley Professor of Chemical Engineering
With this new Institute, Berkeley Lab will continue to play a critical role in helping to solve the transportation fuel problem in the United States and the world. - Steve Chu, Director of Berkeley Lab
In addition to JBEI, a second DOE Bioenergy Research Center is being run by a partnership under the leadership of DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and a third by a partnership led by the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Michigan State University.

Berkeley Lab: Bay Area’s Joint BioEnergy Institute Gets Financial Kick-Start from DOE - September 28, 2007.

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Merrill Lynch starts biofuels indexes

Merrill Lynch & Co., the third-biggest U.S. securities firm, has started two indexes tracking raw materials used in the production of biofuels, as record oil prices spur demand for alternative fuels. The MLCX Biofuels Index tracks seven commodities including sugar, corn and rapeseed, and holdings are based on production and calorific potential. The MLCX Biofuels Plus Index includes the seven commodities as well as gasoline and diesel. The company made the announcement to Bloomberg LP, in which it is a passive minority investor.

Governments are encouraging alternative fuels to limit carbon-dioxide emissions from fossil fuels and reduce dependency on oil imports. Crude oil rose to a record $83.90 a barrel on September 20 in New York. The European Union wants biofuels to account for an average of 10 percent of transport fuel by 2020, from 1 percent in 2005.

Merrill's indexes are based on a strategy that buys and sells contracts over 15 days to help reduce losses caused by the so-called contango in the market, the company said. A market is in contango when prices of commodities close to delivery are cheaper than those delivered at later dates. In such a situation, investors holding futures positions have to pay more when renewing monthly contracts, reducing returns. Funds that track commodity indexes allow investors to replicate the gains and declines in the prices of a selection of raw materials without owning them.

The company says that investors seeking to profit from rapid expansion in the ethanol and biodiesel industries typically had to recur to traditional agricultural commodity indices or futures:
Such instruments are vulnerable to very negative roll returns, or negative carry, due to the storage dynamics of the underlying agricultural commodity markets. - Francisco Blanch, Head of global commodity research, Merrill Lynch
The firm’s new indices have been designed to mitigate the negative roll returns inherent to many agricultural commodities markets:
:: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: ::

They also offer additional returns by overweighting crops that produce the most energy in biofuel production, notably sugar and soybeans.

The MLCX Biofuels Index weights commodities according to production levels and calorific potential, in order to reflect their economic value.

The MLCX Biofuels Plus Index adds gasoline and diesel to the commodities in the MLCX Biofuels Index. The MLCX Biofuels Plus Index reflects how current technology and infrastructure is more geared to blending biofuels with conventional fossil fuels than to offering a pure biofuel alternative.

Engineering News: Merrill Lynch launches biofuels indices - October 1, 2007.

Bloomberg: Merrill Starts Biofuels Indexes on Alternative Energy Demand - October 1, 2007.

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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.

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