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毕业论文英文 Impacts Of Biofuel Expansion In Biodiversity Hotspots

毕业论文英文 Impacts Of Biofuel Expansion In Biodiversity Hotspots

X.3.4. Certification schemes

To ensure that biofuel and biofuel feedstock producers are encouraged to adopt environmentally friendly practices, international certification schemes which satisfy a set of social and environmental criteria have been introduced. Creation of multi-stakeholder organizations such as the Roundtable of Sustainable Biofuels (RSB), the Roundtable of Responsible Soy (RTRS), the Better Sugarcane Initiative (BSI) and the Roundtable of Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) aim to engage a diverse range of biofuel-sector stakeholders � governments, non-governmental organizations, producers, consumers, suppliers � to work towards producing biofuel feedstocks using sustainable practices. These organizations create, verify and certify performance standards for sustainable production of biofuel feedstocks and biofuels (UNEP 2009). Within these organizations, conservation groups have a platform to engage and inform producers of suitable new areas for biofuel expansion which will lead to the least ecological damage. Independent Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) of future biofuel crop plantings and Life-Cycle Analyses (LCAs) of biofuel products provide greater transparency on the costs of production of biofuels and reassure consumers that biofuels purchased are produced with the best sustainable practices (UNEP 2009). However, critics of biofuel certification schemes argue that market-based product certification often cover only a fraction of the market size (Sto et al. 2005; Liu et al. 2004) and may be misleading as some production appear to be sustainable but in actual fact are not (Doornsbach & Steenblik 2007). Most importantly, it has no control over the extent of indirect land use change resulting from displacement of other land use activities by biofuel production (Doornsbach & Steenblik 2007).

X.3.5. Designer landscapes

Addressing the problems arising from indirect land use changes require a landscape-level approach where biofuel feedstock production has to be coordinated within the industry and with regional or national land-use plans (Maddox 2007; Koh et al. 2009). From an ecological perspective, two concepts have been proposed to minimize the adverse impacts of agricultural expansion on biodiversity � land sparing and wildlife-friendly farming. The former seeks to minimize land area required for farming by land intensification through maximizing yields and the latter tries to enhance biodiversity within an agricultural landscape (Fischer et al. 2008). Koh et al. (2009) proposed a harmonization of both approaches to design landscapes threatened by biofuel expansion based on optimal requirements for sustaining biodiversity, economic and livelihood needs. Agroforestry (wildlife-friendly farming) zones around HCV areas can be used as corridors to connect surrounding fragments of HCV forests, act as buffer zones to mitigate human encroachment into HCVs and reduce edge and matrix effects from the intensively cultivated biofuel feedstock landscape (land sparing). How effective such an approach would be has yet to be tested in the field but offers a possibility for biofuel plantations to be developed in biodiversity hotspots. The importance of engagement with local stakeholders and support from local authorities cannot be stressed further as biodiversity conservation in biodiversity hotspots as mentioned throughout this chapter involve developing nations such as Brazil and Indonesia where rural development and improvement of people�s lives are an urgent priority.

X.4. CONCLUSION

Direct conversion of natural habitats in biodiversity hotspots into agricultural landscapes for biofuel feedstocks is the biggest threat arising from biofuel expansion. There is an urgent need to recognize that all biofuel plantations we reviewed in this chapter are depauperate in biodiversity compared to the natural habitats they replace. Other biofuel feedstocks such as Jatropha and cassava were not explored as there currently exists little research regarding these biofuel crops and their impacts on the environment. Although there are several proposals to reconcile biodiversity conservation with biofuel expansion, these suggestions are still limited in the extent of biodiversity which can be preserved compared to previous natural habitats. Policy-makers need to be very aware of how biofuel policies in their countries have the potential to do more harm than good should biofuel production occur at the expense of the world�s most biodiverse habitats. Unfortunately, the impact of biofuels is further complicated by the fact that these first generation biofuel feedstocks (soybean, sugarcane and palm oil) are also important global commodities. Rises in commodity prices as a result of biofuel policies can also trigger expansion on the agricultural front regardless of whether the end use of these commodities is for food, feed or fuel. Hence, emphasis on multi-stakeholder collaboration to produce biofuels sustainably and to ensure the protection of remaining natural habitats in biodiversity hotspots is the best immediate remediation to the expansion of biofuels in biodiversity hotspots.

 

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