RSB Working Group on Environment
|The Roundtable on Sustainable Biofuels|
| Note: This RSB-related page is not actively updated.|
For up-to-date information on the RSB, see the BioenergyWiki RSB page or the RSB Website
Please note that the Working Group on Environment was dissolved at the end of phase 1 of the RSB (June 2009). For more information about how to get involved in the RSB, please consult the RSB website
After the release of the RSB's version 0 of the Principles and Criteria for sustainable biofuel production , the Working Group on Environment (ENV WG) aims to keep refining and improving principles, criteria and indicators regarding each environmental issue connected to the production, trade or consumption of biofuels, except the greenhouse gases elements, which are dealt with by a specific working group (RSB Working Group on Greenhouse Gases).
FOR DISCUSSIONS, DEBATES AND COMMENTS WITHIN THE WORKING GROUP, PLEASE CLICK ON THE "DISCUSSION" TAB ABOVE AND FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS!
Latest news and announcements
- 13th August: Release of the version 0 of the RSB Principles and Criteria for sustainable biofuel production!
- Burning Topics! Come and share your views on Soil Management, Water Management, Air quality and Biodiversity Offsets.
- The Working Group is still open to new participants. Interested persons must quickly register among the coordinator (see email adress below) or on the official webpage of the RSB. Participants will be requested to fill out a brief questionnaire.
The Working Group is approaching the first deadline for the release of draft Principles and Criteria on Environment, but several topics are still burning. The current discussions are:
- Soils: How to avoid significant erosion and soil losses? What is the optimal level of Organic Matter? Is no-till the solution in every situation?
- Water: What must biofuel producers do to avoid depleting water resources? How to avoid competition with other uses?
- Air: Is it realistic to expect that biofuel producers avoid increasing air pollution? How to cope with trade-offs such as sugarcane burning (for security reasons) vs higher air quality?
- Biodiversity Offsets: Can we realistically integrate BO within the Criteria on Conservation? What are the risks and opportunities?
Version 0 of Draft Principles on Environment
The Working Group on Environment was launched in June 2007 with the objective of discussing the important environmental aspects related to biofuel production (Conservation & Biodiversity, Soil Management, Water Management, Air quality and use of technologies, including GMOs).
Almost 200 individuals registered in the Working Group within one year. Although some of the participants rather joined as observers, hundreds contributions were received and compiled by the RSB secretariat in order to formulate the environmental principles and criteria, with the technical support of expert panels specialised in each topic to be covered.
Thanks to the fantastic contributions of all participants, the RSB Steering Board was able to finalise the first official draft (version 0.0) of Principles and Criteria in August 2008, as the starting point of a new round of consultation toward the 'version 1.0' of the standard for sustainable biofuel production.
In this new phase, the Working Group on Environment will remain active on the technical discussions that request all its expertise, for example the development of indicators for the identification of degraded lands, the compilation of good practices to be promoted or the definition of the numerous technical terms included in the standard.
The Principles and Criteria on Environment (Version 0.0- August 2008) include:
The Working Group is open to any participants from the academic, industry, corporate, NGO or international organization sectors. We use a combination of teleconferences, online discussions, and regional meetings to draft our work.
To sign up for this and other Working Groups, please use the following link: on-line WG signup.
The Working Group will be led by a chair:
and a Coordinator:
- Sebastien Haye, project coordinator at EPFL (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne). More about Sebastien...
- Contact: sebastien.haye"at"epfl.ch
Official RSB documents (Working Group on Environment)
- Paper 29: Full minutes of the 9th Virtual Meeting - Soils, Air and Water (30th May 2008)
- Paper 28: Summary of the 8th Virtual Meeting - Soils and Air (7th May 08)
- Paper 27: Full Minutes of the 8th Virtual Meeting - Soils and Air(7th May 08)
- Paper 26: Summary of the 7th Virtual Meeting - Conservation and Technologies(3rd April 08)
- Paper 25: Full Minutes of the 7th Virtual Meeting - Conservation and Technologies(3rd April 08)
- Paper 24: Synthesis on Technologies for 7th Virtual Meeting(April 08)
- Paper 23:Synthesis on Conservation for 7th Virtual Meeting(April 08)
- Paper 22: Background Paper 1 for the Expert Panel on Soils (February 2008)
- Paper 21: Synthesis from the 6th Virtual Meeting of the ENV WG (1st February 2008)
- Paper 19: Synthesis from the 5th Virtual Meeting of the ENV WG (4th December 2007)
- Paper 18: Full minutes from the 5th Virtual Meeting of the ENV WG (4th December 2007)
- Paper 17: Synthesis on Conservation Criteria, version 1.0 (Second version is included in papers 18 and 19).
- Paper 16: Synthesis from the 4th Virtual Meeting of the ENV WG (19th October 2007)
- Paper 15: Full minutes from the 4th Virtual Meeting of the ENV WG (19th October 2007)
- Paper 14: Minutes from the 1st Meeting of the Expert Panel on Conservation (3rd October 2007)
- Paper 13: Background Paper for the Expert Panel on Conservation
- Paper 12: Minutes (Summary) from the 3rd Virtual Meeting of the ENV WG (7th Sept 2007)
- Paper 11: Minutes (Full) from the 3rd Virtual Meeting of the ENV WG (7th Sept 2007)
- Paper 10: Proposal for new environmental Draft Principles (August 2007)
- Paper 9: Synthesis of the discussion about edits of draft principles (July 2007).
- Paper 8: Minutes of the Second Meeting of the ENV WG (25th July 2007). Unedited version.
- Paper 6: HCV Areas
- Paper 5: Review of Draft Principles
- Paper 2: General information, principles and scopes of the WG ENV
- Minutes from the first Meeting of the Working Groups on Environment and GHG
ALL INTERNATIONAL KEY REPORTS (International Organizations, Governments, NGOs...) ARE AVAILABLE HERE.
- The Climate Tree, a joint initiative of the Tropical Forest Trust, the National Wildlife Federation and the Global Canopy Programme to act now and efficiently for forests.
- The Soil Carbon Opportunity
- Position paper from ENDA-Biofuels in Africa (PDF file)
- The Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety
- The FAO's Unified Bioenergy Terminology
- The Challenge of Sustainable Bioenergy: Balancing climate protection, biodiversity and development policy - A Discussion Paper (PDF file), from the German NGO Forum on Environment and Development, courtesy of Mr G Knauf
- Carbon and Sustainability Reporting Within the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO)
- Sustainability Reporting within the RTFO: Framework Report
- Carbon Reporting within the RTFO: Methodology
- Final report from the project group “Sustainable production of biomass” (Cramer Commission, Netherlands) (PDF file)
- IPCC Special Report on Land Use, Land-Use Change And Forestry
- Executive Summary of the Empa (Switzerland) Report about Comparative LCAs of Biofuels (in English) (PDF file)
- Official webpage of the RSB
- IRGC - International Risk Governance Council's Governance on Bioenergy
- Global Bioenergy Partnership (GBEP)
- UK Department of Transport: Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO)
- Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO)
- The Energy, Environment and Development Association (ENDA)
- Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC, US-based NGO)
- Conservation International (CI, US-based NGO)
- The High Conservation Value Resource Network
- The European Biomass Association
- UNEP Energy Group:Transport
- World Business Council for Sustainable Development
- Sustainable Agriculture Initiative Platform
- Biosafety Clearing-House (BCH) of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) - "a mechanism...to facilitate the exchange of information on Living Modified Organisms (LMOs) and assist the Parties [to the CBD] to better comply with their obligations."
| Climate change - Greenhouse gases | Ecosystems (Forests, Grasslands, Wetlands) | Life-cycle analysis|
Species (Biodiversity, Invasive species, Orangutans)
Biotechnology/Genetically Modified Organisms | Pollution | Soil (Soil erosion)
Land - Desertification | REDD
RSB Working Group on Environment
What is bioenergy? | Benefits/Risks | Who is doing what?