Nordiska Afrikainstituttet, NAI, i Uppsala nord for Stocholm, holdt for nylig en workshop om fordelene og ulemperne ved produktion af biobrændstof – eller blot dyrkningen af råmaterialerne til biobrændstof – i Afrika, skriver NAI på sit websted.
På workshoppen blev det blandt andet diskuteret, hvorvidt denne produktion overhovedet er en fordel for de lande og lokalområder, hvor afgrøderne dyrkes. Ofte bliver de små landmænd og familiebrug skubbet til side, for at den gode jord kan udlejes til multinationale selskaber, der står for produktionen. Landmændene og landbofamilierne har tit ikke papirer på det land de dyrker og derfor er det juridisk let for myndighederne at fjerne dem og leje jorden ud til de store selskaber.
Herunder kan du læse mere om de emner, der blev diskuteret og også downloade et referat og oplægsholdernes præsentationer.
NAI Senior Researcher Kjell Havnevik in his opening presentation noted the concern about the scale and impacts of outsourcing process for African smallholders. With 80 percent of global land reserves in Africa and Latin America there is major interest from biofuel concerns in establishing themselves on the two continents. In Africa the DRC, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Mali, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania and Zambia are major targets for land outsourcing, but there is difficulty in obtaining reliable information.
The outsourcing involves environmental issues, including competition for scarce water reserves and the consequences of monocropping. There are also serious food security issues, with about one billion people affected by hunger in 2009, 265 million of these in Africa. Making land available for food export and biofuel is a very sensitive issue where civil society organizations are very active. Havnevik noted that many African countries opening for external investments in biofuel and food for export are also food importing countries.
Asbjørn Eide, Senior fellow and former Director of the Norwegian Centre for Human Rights mentioned the alleged benefits of biofuel: reducing global warming, improving incomes for the rural poor in developing countries, delaying or solving the energy crisis by providing a renewable source of energy, but ultimately disproved all points.
Eide’s “reality check” of the alleged benefits however concluded that biofuel does not reduce greenhouse gas emissions except under limited conditions and (apart from Brasilian ethanol) are more likely to increase emissions, does not on the average provide a net benefit for rural poor, meets strong local opposition and does not contribute substantially to mitigate the pending energy crisis. Eide’s overall assessment was to ask whether the cure was worse than the disease.
More information on the workshop:
- Summary of the workshop by Atakilte Beyene
- Six presentations from the workshop: