The Pacific Regional Bioenergy Workshop,
17 – 20 November 2008,
Nadi, Fiji Islands.
The daily activities and discussion from the four day workshop progress well where there have been some excellent interactive discussions and exchange of ideas and experiences, both within the formal sessions as well as in the margins of the workshop. Reflection on the richness of the discussion provided some obvious benefits in the joint meeting and also provided opportunities for technical agencies along with other partners and stakeholders to contribute to the outcomes of the workshop which has led to the development of a signed communiqué' highlighting the following recommended statements:
1) SPC /SOPAC to continue its support to socially, economically and environmentally feasible biofuels development in the Pacific region;
2) SPC /SOPAC, together with the respective Governments, to continue the support to the development of biofuel policies;
3) SPC /FAO, together with the respective Governments and other agencies, to support the development of food security safeguards in respect
to biofuel policies;
4) SOPAC to provide assistance for the identification of viable feed-stocks for in-country biofuel production through resource assessments possibly by using GIS and remote sensing as a tool;
5) SPC /SOPAC, together with respective Governments, to improve productivity of current feed-stocks, and introduction of new technologies and
new feedstock's for in-country biofuel production;
6) SPC to provide support/training on the use of participatory methods in negotiating land use plans with customary land owners;
7) SPC /SOPAC together with other institutions to develop a Pacific regional biofuel standard and quality testing capacity within the region;
8) SOPAC /CTA to develop a dedicated website on Pacific biofuels and continue to disseminate information on biofuel developments and opportunities in the region through the Pacific Biofuel Network;
9) SPC /SOPAC to finalize the Strategy for Sustainable Biofuels;
10) SPC /SOPAC to commission the production of a Biofuel Information Manual; and
11) SPC /SOPAC to assist Governments identify obvious administrative gaps, potential biofuel partner agencies and funding opportunities.
More Information on the Communiqué' can be viewed at the following link -http://www.sopac.org/tiki-download_file.php?fileId=1746
In addition a draft document on a strategy towards the sustainable use of biofuel resources was developed. The strategy aims to strike a balance between increased resilience for food and energy while reducing poverty.
Full document on "Strategy for Sustainable Biofuels in the Pacific" can be viewed at the following link -http://www.sopac.org/tiki-download_file.php?fileId=1753
The draft paper provides a regional framework for national biofuel policies to reshape the energy and agricultural sectors of Pacific island countries, and recognising the Pacific region's vulnerability to the effects of climate change.
The key funding partners of CTA and IFAD are greatly acknowledged for their contribution and role in the participation of whole meeting.