Presented as part of the seminar: South at the Steering Wheel – Improving sustainability in land investment for bioenergy in sub-Saharan Africa
29th May 2012, 08:00 – 17:30
Naturvårdsverket (Swedish EPA), Stockholm, Sweden
Speaker: Dr. Helen Watson, University of Kwazulu Natal (South Africa)
Helen Watson discusses assessing land suitability as often based on finding suitable land for a
specific feedstock. Her concerns include:
- The limitations of the Integrated Biodiversity Assessment Tool (IBAT)(Dragisic et al., 2010) for African conditions
- The lack of consideration of good management practices in agro-environmental zoning methodology, and the proposed exclusion of slopes steeper than 20% from being zoned as suitable, although such slopes are routinely used in commercial production
- The lack of long term, spatially extensive data on the wide range of climatic parameters needed to predict yield performances in particular (1 km2) parcels.
- The need for research on what changes in animal migration patterns could follow from climate change, and ensuring that any new fencing for bioenergy projects would not infer with such changes.
- The inclusion of archaeologically and historically/culturally significant areas and sites into GIS. Literature on such sites often lacks GPS co-ordinates.
- Methods & processes of active stakeholder engagement in successful land use for bioenergy