Environment, Development and Sustainability

, Volume 14, Issue 6, pp 993–1012 | Cite as

Towards implementation and achievement of sustainable biofuel development in Africa

Article

Abstract

Although sustainable bioenergy development in Africa is critically debated, if projects are developed within a credible framework, opportunities for sustainability arguably can arise. This paper presents research on the characteristics of sustainable biofuel projects as provided in the literature and according to expert opinions obtained by way of a survey involving thirty-eight international experts. Participants were selected for their expertise in the fields of environmental, social and economic sustainability relating to biofuels in Africa. The survey results suggest that projects which display a high degree of transparency, incorporate local stakeholder involvement, and ideally include local villagers as partners are more likely to achieve sustainable biofuel production. Experts also indicated that reconciling diverse stakeholder objectives alongside the principles of sustainable development remains an ongoing challenge. A process is recommended for sustainable biofuel development, which attempts to harmonise efficiency, stakeholder interaction and the integration of diverse stakeholder perspectives. To support the process, it is recommended that an advisory/mediating body that acts according to best practice principles would be of great assistance. Such an advisory/mediating body would be conversant with local land, social, economic and environmental conditions, project sustainability and administration, and also advise on biofuel framework educational needs.

Keywords

Biofuels Africa Sustainable development Implementation and achievement Environment 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We would like to thank international experts for providing the time to participate in the survey and whose contribution has been most insightful to this study.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ian Duvenage
    • 1
  • Ros Taplin
    • 2
  • Lindsay C. Stringer
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Sustainability Science, Institute of Sustainable Development and ArchitectureBond UniversityGold CoastAustralia
  2. 2.The Australian Centre for Sustainable Mining PracticesUniversity of New South WalesSydneyAustralia
  3. 3.Sustainability Research Institute, School of Earth and EnvironmentUniversity of LeedsLeedsUK

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