Biofuels potential harm to biodiversity. A European report and recommendation

Biofuels and their invasive potential is a problem being address worldwide. A report was written for the Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats (known as the Council of Europe-Bern Convention) by the Italian Institute for Environmental Protection and Research (ISPRA) - an agency led by the Italian Ministry for the Environment.

Sweet Sorghum crops within Mediterranean Landscape

Following the report the Standing Committee of the Bern Convention, worried that the increase of biofuel cropping systems may lead to cultivation escapes of invasive taxa with subsequent negative effect on native biological diversity, adopted advices to reduce impacts, of potentially invasive alien plants being used as biofuel crops, on species biodiversity and natural ecosystems.

The Recommendation, warns that some biofuel crops may invade areas outside cultivated fields, and in so doing may impact on native biodiversity. The Council of Europe, made advices to reduce potential invasiveness of alien plants being used as biofuel crops. It is important, stated the group of experts, to bring in pre-cultivation screening for each proposed genotype and region. In addition new cultivation criteria to limit the dispersal and recruitment capacity of the invasive crops need to be introduced. Without these measures, escaped biofuel crops may cause loss of native biodiversity and farmland functionality.

Click here to read the report 'Invasiveness of Biofuel Crops and Potential Harm to Natural Habitats and Native Species Report'.

Click here to read the Bern Convention published "Recommendation No 141 (2009) of the Standing Committee, adopted on 26 November 2009, on potentially invasive alien plants being used as biofuel crops".


Reccomendation 141/2009

Source: Bioenergy Division

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