The Governance of Biofuels:Lessons for the Collective Role of Government               and Civil Society Organizations    ...
Biofuels and sustainable development?            ―Green fuels‖ and ―green economies‖ — more to             it than carbon...
A Crucial Role for Biofuel GovernanceEarth System Governance                                        3
What lessons are there from the case of     biofuels for the collective role ofgovernment and civil society organizations?...
Lesson 1: Suitable knowledge and technologies            Inclusive development depends on              governments and CSO...
Lesson 2: Capacity-building and empowerment            Smallholder inclusion or autonomous             development depend ...
Lesson 3: Policy advocacy          Favourable institutional frameworks are           essential for promoting inclusive    ...
Take-home messages Biofuels need to be seen as more than a renewable fuel;  they, as SD, need to be seen as more than cli...
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The Governance of Biofuels: Lessons for the Collective Role of Government and Civil Society Organisations

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Presentation delivered by Mairon G. Bastos Lima (Institute for Environmental Studies) at the Rio+20 side event on the role of civil society and knowledge institutions in sustainable development: http://www.ipc-undp.org/PageNewSiteb.do?id=274&active=2

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The Governance of Biofuels: Lessons for the Collective Role of Government and Civil Society Organisations

  1. 1. The Governance of Biofuels:Lessons for the Collective Role of Government and Civil Society Organizations Mairon G. Bastos Lima, PhD candidate
  2. 2. Biofuels and sustainable development?  ―Green fuels‖ and ―green economies‖ — more to it than carbon. > Other ecological dimensions > Socio-economic dimensions  High risks and potentials – It all depends on how biofuels are produced. > Land-use change and deforestation? > Land-grabbing? > Expansion of input-intensive and no-diversity agriculture? > Creation of socially-inclusive production systems that lead to ecological benefits and local economic development? 2
  3. 3. A Crucial Role for Biofuel GovernanceEarth System Governance 3
  4. 4. What lessons are there from the case of biofuels for the collective role ofgovernment and civil society organizations? 4
  5. 5. Lesson 1: Suitable knowledge and technologies Inclusive development depends on governments and CSOs building suitable knowledge and technologies  Most private investments, tech. dev., and increasingly science, are tailored to the needs and interests of large-scale enterprises and often not suited to small-scale agriculture or traditional mixed farming (e.g. health, seeds)  The rural poor are not guinea pigs to be experimented on with unclear, hyped solutions and risky business models (e.g. jatropha)  It needs not to replace traditional knowledge, but to build on it (e.g. biofuels and agroecology) 5
  6. 6. Lesson 2: Capacity-building and empowerment Smallholder inclusion or autonomous development depend on enhancing local organizational capacity and empowerment  It is hard to incorporate atomized smallholders into production chains  Atomized smallholders also have less bargaining power  Climbing onto value-adding stages of production requires skilled labour and coordination Lack of these has led to: social exclusion, adverse incorporation, and retention at the lowest levels of the value-chain 6
  7. 7. Lesson 3: Policy advocacy Favourable institutional frameworks are essential for promoting inclusive sustainable development  The set of rules determines who gets public incentives to do what (e.g. tax breaks, credit)  Economic incentives to industry can be tailored to social (or environmental) requirements  Public policies are to be accountable and responsive to the needs of the masses – for the sake of democracy But such policies do not always come about spontaneously 7
  8. 8. Take-home messages Biofuels need to be seen as more than a renewable fuel; they, as SD, need to be seen as more than climate – which seems to get almost all the attention. Social development is not an automatic co-benefit of just anything that involves the poor — it requires careful participatory planning to avoid ―adverse incorporation‖. Well-designed public policies are essential, but they require knowledge inputs from research networks, local capacity- building facilitated by public institutions and NGOs, and political pressure from social movements. 8
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