Land for bioenergy: Ecological, Economic and Societal Aspects

14 - 17 November 2011

Venue: Lorentz Center@Oort

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Increasing bioenergy production is one of the pathways to meet global CO2 emission reduction targets. The land use changes necessary to increase crop production for bioenergy, however, are located mainly in tropical/subtropical regions with high biodiversity (SE-Asia, Latin America, Southern Africa).

The objective of this workshop is to investigate the ecological, societal and economic costs and benefits of terrestrial land use change for bioenergy production, and to develop interdisciplinary approaches to quantify and integrate those.

To address these complex issues, spatial models (including ecological, social and economic aspects) that quantify returns (energy, carbon balance, food, etc), in relation to costs for biodiversity and ecosystem services (soil productivity and air and water quality, among other), societal impacts and economics in a given landscape are required. Various attempts have been made to quantify these effects separately, but only by combining those in one single, coherent modelling framework can a comprehensive analysis be achieved. This framework can then be used to guide decision and policy making concerning land use change and adoption of bioenergy policies.

Participants of the workshop are invited to select regions where bioenergy crops are likely to be produced in the near future. These regions will then been used as “case studies”, to which different modelling approaches can be applied. This way, the performance of the different models can be assessed, model/simulation outputs compared, and uncertainties in predictions be evaluated. In addition, we envisage the preparation of a joint synthesis paper that 1) reviews current stand of knowledge, 2) identifies knowledge gaps and 3) proposes a way forward for future research.


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