Bioenergy: Land Resources

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Here you find a summary of the chapter of the UN-Energy Bioenergy Decision Support Tool (DST). The complete chapte can be found here


Increasing land pressures will require a good management of biofuels expansion in order to prevent loss of biodiversity and damage to ecosystem. In this section, key drivers and analytical approaches associated with the allocation of land resources for bioenergy production as well as an overview of land use for bioenergy systems is provided.

Land Use Efficiency

In the future, significant quantities of land will be needed to grow biomass feedstocks. The associated environmental impacts on land therefore can be detrimental if certain safeguards are not in place.In this section, definitions and metrics are presented for land use associated with bioenergy systems.

Land Resource Assessment

A comprehensive land resource assessment helps define and identify land that is both suitable for the particular bioenergy feedstock or application. The following section explains the steps that can be taken in a land resource assessment for bioenergy projects.

High Carbon Content Environments

In order for bioenergy to successfully contribute to the mitigation of climate change, the particular applications and end-uses must have an improved carbon balance compared to replaced fossil fuels. In this section, an overview is given of the definitions and principles related to managing land resources and the carbon that is sequestered in plants, soils and root systems that could be affected by land conversion.

High Biodiversity Environments

Bioenergy project development should avoid negative impacts on areas of high importance for biodiversity, conservation and ecosystem services. These impacts such as degradation of ecosystem services, water quality impacts and habitat destruction are summarized briefly in this section.

Marginal and Degraded Lands

The increasing pressure on land caused by the demand for food, feed, fibre and fuel has made marginal and degraded land more interesting for producing bioenergy crops. What is marginal or degraded land? How can they be used for bioenergy issues? This section tries to answer questions like that.

Further Information