10.11.2009 | UN: 6th Bonn Dialogues Event on Energy and Food Security


The next Bonn Dialogues discusses the issue of “Energy & Food Security – Much Ado About Nothing?” The public symposium takes place on Tuesday, 10 November 2009, at 6:00 pm at Deutsche Welle in Bonn.

The energy and food issue are interconnected and constitute two of the biggest challenges in the near future. The production of biofuels has increased considerably. Large areas of rain forests are being cleared for soybean and oil palm cultivation to produce biofuels which are needed for energy production.

Two main implications of this trend are: The production of biofuels negatively impacts already vulnerable ecosystems causing conflicts over land and climate change, and second, it contributes to the rising of food prices, increasing the number of poor people going hungry.

A panel of international experts will look at the different effects and connections. They will debate how the consumers´ and producers´ interests can be combined and what the long-term effects of biofuel production could be for vulnerable communities and the environment.

The following questions will be addressed by the panel:

  1. To what extent can biofuels contribute to a greener future?
  2. What could be the maximum contribution of biofuels to global energy supply, particularly with respect to other renewable energy sources?
  3. Is there a real risk that bioenergy and/or biofuel production will pose a long-term risk with respect to food security and the vulnerability of affected communities?
  4. Will vast areas of land be converted to biocrops or will governments wait for second and third generation technologies to convert other feedstock into bioenergy?
  5. Can biocrops contribute to the rehabilitation of marginal lands? At which social cost, if any?
  6. Do we need to impose sustainability standards for biofuel production, and how would they look like?
  7. Can bioenergy be efficient in terms of decentralised energy supply?

“The dialogue series is jointly organized by the International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change (IHDP), together with the United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS), and the German Committee for Disaster Reduction (DKKV) in partnership with the City of Bonn.”

For further information: http://www.bonn-dialogues.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=69&Itemid=38