- A new UN-backed report released yesterday says sustainable bioenergy is a weapon that can be used by West African nations to combat poverty.
New study - a joint effort by UN Foundation (UNF), International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development and Energy and Security Group - examines bioenergy’s potential in eight nations of Economic and Monetary Union of West Africa (UEMOA), comprising Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo.
“The development, use, and commercialisation of bioenergy offer UEMOA member countries vital economic, social, and environmental opportunities for transforming rural areas,” report noted.
It said that if both produced and consumed locally, bioenergy could be a crucial tool used to address poverty.
“However, a strong policy framework at the local, national, and regional levels is required to ensure that these benefits are realised, shared equitably, and that negative impacts are minimised,” report said, adding that policies must also concentrate on impact of bioenergy development on food security, environment and agricultural production system.
According to report, the eight UEMOA nations “possess a rich resource base that can be sustained by a combination of good policies and practices to expand production of and access to food, fuel, and fibre”.
“Undertaking these strategies to improve agriculture and forest productivity, protect watersheds, and produce bioenergy should also strengthen their ability to adapt to climate change,” report concluded.
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