Spanish company Ferry Group is to invest €42/US$55.2 million in a project for the production of biomass fuel pellets in Bulgaria.
The 3-year project consists of establishing plantations of paulownia trees near the city of Tran. Paulownia is a fast-growing tree used for the commercial production of fuel pellets.
Dnevnik - Feb. 20, 2007.
Hungary's BHD Hõerõmû Zrt. is to build a 35 billion Forint (€138/US$182 million) commercial biomass-fired power plant with a maximum output of 49.9 MW in Szerencs (northeast Hungary).
Portfolio.hu - Feb. 20, 2007.
Tonight at 9pm, BBC Two will be showing a program on geo-engineering techniques to 'save' the planet from global warming. Five of the world's top scientists propose five radical scientific inventions which could stop climate change dead in its tracks. The ideas include: a giant sunshade in space to filter out the sun's rays and help cool us down; forests of artificial trees that would breath in carbon dioxide and stop the green house effect and a fleet futuristic yachts that will shoot salt water into the clouds thickening them and cooling the planet.
BBC News - Feb. 19, 2007.
Archer Daniels Midland, the largest U.S. ethanol producer, is planning to open a biodiesel plant in Indonesia with Wilmar International Ltd. this year and a wholly owned biodiesel plant in Brazil before July, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday. The Brazil plant is expected to be the nation's largest, the paper said. Worldwide, the company projects a fourfold rise in biodiesel production over the next five years. ADM was not immediately available to comment.
Reuters - Feb. 16, 2007.
Finnish engineering firm Pöyry Oyj has been awarded contracts by San Carlos Bioenergy Inc. to provide services for the first bioethanol plant in the Philippines. The aggregate contract value is EUR 10 million. The plant is to be build in the Province of San Carlos on the north-eastern tip of Negros Island. The plant is expected to deliver 120,000 liters/day of bioethanol and 4 MW of excess power to the grid.
Kauppalehti Online - Feb. 15, 2007.
In order to reduce fuel costs, a Mukono-based flower farm which exports to Europe, is building its own biodiesel plant, based on using Jatropha curcas seeds. It estimates the fuel will cut production costs by up to 20%.
New Vision (Kampala, Uganda) - Feb. 12, 2007.
The Tokyo Metropolitan Government has decided to use 10% biodiesel in its fleet of public buses. The world's largest city is served by the Toei Bus System, which is used by some 570,000 people daily.
Digital World Tokyo - Feb. 12, 2007.
Fearing lack of electricity supply in South Africa and a price tag on CO2, WSP Group SA is investing in a biomass power plant that will replace coal in the Letaba Citrus juicing plant which is located in Tzaneen.
Mining Weekly - Feb. 8, 2007.
In what it calls an important addition to its global R&D capabilities, Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) is to build a new bioenergy research center in Hamburg, Germany.
World Grain - Feb. 5, 2007.
EthaBlog's Henrique Oliveira interviews leading Brazilian biofuels consultant Marcelo Coelho who offers insights into the (foreign) investment dynamics in the sector, the history of Brazilian ethanol and the relationship between oil price trends and biofuels.
EthaBlog - Feb. 2, 2007.
The government of Taiwan has announced its renewable energy target: 12% of all energy should come from renewables by 2020. The plan is expected to revitalise Taiwan's agricultural sector and to boost its nascent biomass industry.
China Post - Feb. 2, 2007.
Production at Cantarell, the world's second biggest oil field, declined by 500,000 barrels or 25% last year. This virtual collapse is unfolding much faster than projections from Mexico's state-run oil giant Petroleos Mexicanos.
Wall Street Journal - Jan. 30, 2007.
Dubai-based and AIM listed Teejori Ltd. has entered into an agreement to invest â¬6 million to acquire a 16.7% interest in Bekon, which developed two proprietary technologies enabling dry-fermentation of biomass. Both technologies allow it to design, establish and operate biogas plants in a highly efficient way. Dry-Fermentation offers significant advantages to the existing widely used wet fermentation process of converting biomass to biogas.
Ame Info - Jan. 22, 2007.
Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited is to build a biofuel production plant in the tribal belt of Banswara, Rajasthan, India. The petroleum company has acquired 20,000 hectares of low value land in the district, which it plans to commit to growing jatropha and other biofuel crops. The company's chairman said HPCL was also looking for similar wasteland in the state of Chhattisgarh.
Zee News - Jan. 15, 2007.
The Zimbabwean national police begins planting jatropha for a pilot project that must result in a daily production of 1000 liters of biodiesel.
The Herald (Harare), Via AllAfrica - Jan. 12, 2007.
In order to meet its Kyoto obligations and to cut dependence on oil, Japan has started importing biofuels from Brazil and elsewhere. And even though the country has limited local bioenergy potential, its Agriculture Ministry will begin a search for natural resources, including farm products and their residues, that can be used to make biofuels in Japan. To this end, studies will be conducted at 900 locations nationwide over a three-year period.
The Japan Times - Jan. 12, 2007.
Chrysler's chief economist Van Jolissaint has launched an arrogant attack on "quasi-hysterical Europeans" and their attitudes to global warming, calling the Stern Review 'dubious'. The remarks illustrate the yawning gap between opinions on climate change among Europeans and Americans, but they also strengthen the view that announcements by US car makers and legislators about the development of green vehicles are nothing more than window dressing. Today, the EU announced its comprehensive energy policy for the 21st century, with climate change at the center of it.
BBC News - Jan. 10, 2007.
The new Canadian government is investing $840,000 into BioMatera Inc. a biotech company that develops industrial biopolymers (such as PHA) that have wide-scale applications in the plastics, farmaceutical and cosmetics industries. Plant-based biopolymers such as PHA are biodegradable and renewable.
Government of Canada - Jan. 9, 2007.
Quicknote bioenergy cooperation Japan is an active player when it comes to investing in 'Clean Development Mechanism' projects in the South (see the database of registered projects at the CDM website). CDM projects, which are one of the tools with which the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) tries to combat global warming, allow industrialised countries to invest in emission reducing projects in developing countries as an alternative to what is generally considered more costly emission reductions in their own countries.
After Japan's ambassador to Kenya and the Japanese Minister for Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries visited a jatropha project run by a small NGO (Green Africa Foundation) in Kitui, Kenya, they formally announced that both countries had signed a memorandum of understanding for such investments in CMD-projects. The agreement foresees in funds worth around 300 million Shillings (€3.2 million/US$ 4.1mio), and some of those will go to liquid biofuel production projects.
In Kitui, Ambassador Dennis Awori said that the introduction of jatropha-based biodiesel fuel in the country would benefit a majority of the population, especially the poor. He added that the biodiesel fuel made from the jatropha shrubs would reduce the use of firewood and charcoal burning. "The seed will play a major role in reforestation," he concluded [entry ends here]. biodiesel :: biomass :: bioenergy :: biofuels :: energy :: sustainability :: CDM :: Japan :: Kenya ::
Two contradicting messages are coming out of Malaysia: on the one hand, the government has been issueing licence after licence for the construction of not less than 52 biodiesel plants, but on the other hand, it announces that the country has virtually no land left for the establishment of new oil palm plantations which are supposed to deliver the feedstock for the biodiesel.
The last announcement means that Malaysia will have to start looking overseas to expand. And the country's recent agreement with Venezuela already hints at this future (Hugo Chavez: "Palm oil is very important to us. If Malaysia doesn't have the land to plant anymore, Venezuela has it"). But for now, Malaysia faces a clear planning dilemma: if it issues more licences, it automatically commits part of its future crude palm oil stocks to the production of biodiesel. But if the licences granted do not result in the actual construction of biofuel production plants, its plan of converting its last bits of land to palm oil plantations risks resulting in an overcapacity of palm oil, with a potentially disastrous price collapse as a consequence.
For this reason, the Malaysian government is subtly starting to use a harder tone, suggesting that those who did indeed receive a biodiesel plant licence better take the permit serious, or they will face the consequences. What's more, the government is giving hints that it may even revoke some of the licences: ethanol :: biodiesel :: biomass :: bioenergy :: biofuels :: sustainability :: palm oil :: land :: Malaysia ::
Being careful with licences
"The Government has so far issued 52 biodiesel licences. We want to see all these biodiesel licence holders follow through with their plans," Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Peter Chin Fah Kui told Business Times. "We want genuine and committed investors. We object to those who are not serious, or have the intention to get the licence and sell it for a commission," he added.
Chin said ministry officials are already checking whether the licence holders have started to build their biodiesel plants. "If they have not done so within the time frame they stated in their biodiesel applications, we'll ask them to show cause," he said.
Chin said that if the ministry is not satisfied with the progress of these biodiesel licence holders, stern action will be taken, including taking back their licences. Carotino Sdn Bhd, Carotech Bhd and Golden Hope Plantations Bhd are currently producing methyl ester as a by-product of extracting Vitamin E from palm oil.
Larger-scale biodiesel plants, capable of churning out 60,000 tonnes a year, have been built by Malaysian Palm Oil Board joint-venture partners Rubiatec Sdn Bhd (a unit of Golden Hope Plantations Bhd), Kumpulan Fima Bhd and JC Chang Group's Carotino Sdn Bhd. These three biodiesel plants, involving RM120 million investments, or RM40 million each, are in Port Klang, Selangor and Pasir Gudang in Johor.
Last year, Malaysia produced 15 million tonnes of palm oil products, of which 90 per cent was exported to over 140 countries, earning the country some RM30 billion in sales. Two months ago, Malaysia and Indonesia - the two biggest palm oil producing countries in the world - agreed to set aside six million tonnes of crude palm oil (CPO) a year as feedstock for biofuel and biodiesel manufacturing.
This reassured biodiesel investors that there would be adequate supply of raw materials for their factories. The Government has time and again reminded oil palm plantation owners in Malaysia to produce more CPO through replanting high-yielding clones, instead of expanding their plantation area. "By 2010, we aim for a yearly CPO production of 18 million tonnes gathered from a total of five million hectares of planted area," Chin said.
While the evaluation process is being carried out, new applications for biodiesel licences will be put on hold. "As I have said before, the freeze is temporary. We need to be thorough in processing all those applications, and that can take some time," Chin said. Asked how soon the Government would lift the freeze and start accepting biodiesel applications again, he said: "Hopefully, by the end of the year, when we've built up a comprehensive evaluation of the various downstream activities in the palm oil industry."
Out of land
Malaysia says it's almost run out of land suitable for new plantations of the crop, and it'll need to raise productivity of existing trees if it's to tap rising demand.
``In terms of land that is suitable for palm, there's not much left,'' Minister for Plantation Industries and Commodities Peter Chin Fah Kui said. ``As a result, our strategy is to increase the productivity and yield from whatever plantation land that we have now.''
The Southeast Asian nation, together with its neighbor Indonesia, is rushing to boost palm oil production and exports amid rising demand for biofuels. Crude oil prices have tripled since 2002, driving up the cost of diesel and gasoline, and making alternative sources of energy more competitive. Palm oil has traditionally been used as a cooking oil or in soaps.
``There's just not enough land to plant in Malaysia,'' said Alvin Tai, analyst at OSK Research Sdn. in Kuala Lumpur, who has an ``overweight'' rating on the plantation sector. ``At the end of the day, there's no other way but to expand overseas.''
Palm oil prices climbed last month to their highest in more than two years, spurred by increasing sales to China, the U.S. and Europe. Palm oil prices on the Malaysia Derivatives Exchange, which have risen 13 percent in the past year, gained 1 ringgit, or 0.1 percent today, to 1,564 ringgit ($429) a metric ton.
`No Other Choice'
Malaysia wants existing palm oil plantations ``to produce as much as we can in terms of productivity and yield, and that is the only way we can'' raise output, Chin said in an interview in Kuala Lumpur yesterday. ``We have no other choices.''
The country, which also has extensive rubber plantations, has a land area of 328,550 square kilometers (126,853 square miles), according to the CIA World Factbook. That's about the same size as Germany or the U.S. state of New Mexico.
Biofuel can be made from vegetable oils obtained from crushing palm fruit, rapeseed and soybeans, or from animal fat. The plant-based fuel, known as biodiesel, can be mixed with fossil fuel to stretch regular supplies.
Malaysia boosted the total cultivated area of palm by 3 percent this year to 4.2 million hectares (10.4 million acres) compared with last year's gain of 4.5 percent, according to the government's 2006/07 Economic Report, released Sept. 1.
Some 90 percent of the total area was covered with mature palms, said the report, an annual assessment of the economy that's released with the budget. No estimate was given for palm coverage next year.
Palm oil yields -- measured in tons of fresh fruit bunches per hectare -- were forecast to rise 0.6 percent to 19 tons this year, after gaining 1.6 percent in 2005, the report said. The oil is made by crushing the plum-sized fruit from the tree.
``Palm oil prices will continue to go up in the next few years,'' Chin said, without naming his own target. ``Most analysts will say that palm oil would be in the region of about 1,650 to 1,700'' ringgit a ton over the next year or two.
The global supply of biofuels will probably almost double in the next five years as new plants start production, according to the International Energy Agency, an adviser to 26 oil- consuming nations. Fuel output from vegetable oils worldwide is expected to triple by 2008, with most of the growth in Europe, the Paris-based agency, which analyzes energy-market trends, said in July.
The Malaysian government forecasts the country will produce 15.6 million tons of palm oil this year, 4.3 percent more than 2005, and export 14 million tons, 5.1 percent more than last year, according to the 2006/07 Economic Report.
Chin said exports would rise to 14.8 million tons in two or three years. That's little different from next year's target of 14.6 million tons listed in the report.
Prices would average 1,500 ringgit a ton this year, 7.6 percent higher than 2005, and may gain a further 10 percent to 1,650 ringgit in 2007, the report said. Palm oil is Malaysia's largest source of export earnings.
``There's not enough supply,'' Chin said. ``There's no fear that we'll produce too much.''
Malaysia wouldn't face competitive pressure in the palm oil market from Indonesia, Chin said. The two countries, which together produce 80 percent of global supply, agreed in July to set aside 6 million metric tons each of crude palm oil a year for biofuel production.
``Even if Indonesia were to produce much more than what it is doing now, I think there's not a problem of competition,'' Chin said, adding the two would try to support prices together.
``We're not talking about a cartel or anything like that,'' Chin said. ``We hope that over the years to come we will be able to manage the supply of palm oil in a reasonable way.''
Carbon is becoming an ever increasing problem. We already knew that CO2 emissions cause global warming, but strategies and targets to reduce them were designed and are up and running (carbon trading). The real drama is that serious cracks are now appearing in the 'European Union Emissions Trading Scheme' (ETS), this most publicised of weapons for fighting climate change. The big idea was that polluters have the right to emit a certain amount of carbon dioxide. But if they reduce their carbon dioxide emissions beyond a certain level, they can make money by trading the unused part of their quota.
The problem now looks like this: with the introduction of the ETS, prices for dirty coal shot up, making it more expensive for utilities to use this most polluting of fuels. So far so good. But then utilities using cleaner technologies, such as nuclear and natural gas, simply raised their electricity prices to the same level, and let the consumer pay. The result: windfall profits for utilities. Since many utilities play on several horses at the same time (they own both natural gas and coal plants), their overall profits have gone up, and the incentive to abandon coal has become eroded. This is what many have called the first 'scandal', and it became most apparent in the UK. But there's even more: meanwhile, natural gas prices shot up in a real way, and the cleaner fuel has become so expensive, that the anti-coal incentive is now virtually worthless. On top of this, the price of carbon-credits in Europe has collapsed, worsening things.
The carbon trading system is in disarray. For this reason, more and more people are beginning to urge a 'radical', 'real' and 'mandatory' use of alternatives such as biomass. Biomass is carbon-neutral, or when produced in the tropics, it can even be carbon-negative.
British minister for climate change and environment Ian Pearson therefor wants to see a "radical" rise in the use of biofuels as part of efforts to cut carbon dioxide emissions and improve security of supply amid soaring oil prices. "We want to see a real step change in biomass use to meet these energy challenges," Pearson told a bioenergy conference organised by the Renewable Energy Association in Weston-super-mare, western England.
Biomass in power generation alone could cut Britain's CO2 emissions by up to 3.5 million metric tonnes a year, he said: biomass :: bioenergy :: biofuels :: energy :: sustainability :: CO2 :: carbon credits :: global warming ::coal Biomass is seen as cutting carbon emissions compared to fossil fuels like gas and coal, and is also considered an ideal fuel for combined heat and power plants which power local communities or buildings and involve efficiency savings.
Urgent action was needed from all sectors to cut emissions significantly and combat climate change, Pearson said. "We believe that biomass has an important role to play as an alternative source of energy to help meet these challenges." Pearson said that while Britain would meet its greenhouse gas emissions cuts targets under the Kyoto agreement and even beat its target for the 2008-2012 period by as much as 23 percent, its own more ambitious target of CO2 emissions cuts was looking less achievable.
The government had pledged to cut emissions of CO2 in 2020 by 20 percent compared to 1990 levels, but admitted earlier this year the target would be a tough one to meet. The rise in UK gas prices over the last few years has led to greater use of coal to fire power stations, which has resulted in higher CO2 emissions than the government had anticipated, the minister said.
The question is whether the carbon-trading scheme really works, and if it weren't better to mandate the use of biomass. The solid biofuels could be sourced from the developing world, in a win-win situation. In-depth research has shown that such a trade is feasible, and that even despite long distances involved in moving the bulky biomass, CO2 savings would be considerable.
The past few months have seen a whole series of biofuel cooperation agreements being signed between countries in the developing world. To keep an oversight, we made a simple map showing these formal relations. Does it indicate that the 'Global South' knows that now is the time to work together and to build a green energy future? It seems so. Energy independence, energy security and 'energy leapfrogging' based on bioenergy are no longer vague concepts, they are gradually becoming a reality, in the South.
Clear avant-garde 'kernels' can be discerned by looking at the map: usual suspect Brazil is pulling several countries towards its own ethanol example, with agreements on all three continents in the South, sharing its knowledge about biofuels, and its state-of-the art technologies. In Asia, China, Malaysia and Indonesia are active players as well, with the latter two drawing on their decade long experience with oil palm plantations and their recent development of, for example, cold tolerant palm biodiesel.
The following overview merely draws attention to agreements signed directly between states in the southern hemisphere so far. We will regularly update the map. And in a later article we will be looking at socalled 'South North South' agreements, because these are being signed more and more often as well. Furthermore, many informal deals have seen the light of day, with companies (from either the South or the North) investing in a developing country, either as a purely private venture, or within the frame-work of public-private partnerships. We will map this growing network of relations soon. But let us now list the 'South South' agreements and highlight their most interesting aspects: ethanol :: biodiesel :: biofuels :: energy :: sustainability :: developing world :: South South :: cooperation
Brazil - Panamá - June 2006 Panamá and Brazil are combining their strengths to create a centre for the global distribution of biofuels. Panamá has no petroleum reserves of its own and is looking to Brazilian expertise for a technology transfer program that should introduce local biofuels production. But more importantly, Panamá of course has its intercontinental Canal, facing both the Atlantic and the Pacific Ocean. And that's a great asset, especially for Brazil. Panamá would become a bioenergy hub, processing and distributing biofuels from Brazil for export to both the Far East, Europe and the United States's West Coast. See previous post.
Brazil - Venezuela - May 2006 The governments of Brazil and Venezuela signed an memorandum of understanding for energy cooperation on ethanol. In a first phase, Brazil's state oil company Petrobras is to deliver ethanol to Venezuela, and later to provide technical support in several areas, such as fuel reception, transportation, distribution, safety regulations, mix and transmix procedures... The accord was negotiated between the Ministries of Energy of both countries, Petrobras, and PDVSA (the Venezuelan government-owned oil company). See previous post.
Brazil - Senegal - August 2006 Senegal recently launched the first phase of its biofuels program with direct support of Brazil's president Lula, and carried out by entrepreneurs from India. Senegal wants to learn and offers land and labor; Brazil brings in scientific and technological know-how; and Indian business makes sure that enough capital is in place. This public-private partnership is hailed as a win-win situation for all partners involved. See previous post.
Brazil - India - August/September 2006 Both countries held a round of talks on the topic of sugarcane acreage acquisitions by India. The Asian country wants to invest in energy security by controlling land suitable for the production of biofuels, mainly sugar cane for ethanol. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is expected to flag the issue of Indian state-owned oil firms acquiring sugarcane fields in Brazil during his visit later this month (september). See previous post.
Brazil - Southern Africa (Mozambique/Angola/South Africa) - September 2006 The initiative for this cooperation agreement comes from the UK, which is taking the green energy revolution seriously, and wants multilateral cooperation agreements with biofuel leaders like Brazil to invest in the Global South. It is not clear yet which countries in Africa will benefit from the investment and the agreement, but the deal concerns the 'Southern African' region, with both Mozambique, Angola and South Africa as potential candidates. The first sights have been set on producing sugar cane for ethanol. See previous post. In a very similar agreement, signed a few months earlier, France and Brazil agreed to work together on the development of biofuels in the South, more particularly in the 'poorest African countries' (probably in Francophone Africa) and in the Caribbean. See previous post.
PANPP: African Association of Non-Oil Producing Countries ('Pays Africains Non-Producteurs de Pétrole') - August 2006 15 African countries sign an agreement to work towards common energy security based on the sharing of knowledge and technology for the production of biofuels and bioenergy. The 'Green OPEC' is born, and more African countries are expected to join later this month, when the PANPP's second meeting takes place in Morocco. See previous posts.
Malaysia - Venezuela - August 2006. Hugo Chavez's state visit to Malaysia resulted in an agreement between the two countries on the front of palm oil production for biofuels. In his usual flamboyant style, President Chavez immediately placed the cooperation deal in the context of the geopolitics of energy. See previous post.
Malaysia - China - August 2006 Both countries sign a research and development (R&D) cooperation deal to further develop biofuel and biomass production technologies. The agreement is aimed at exploiting the vast amounts of biomass that are produced on oil palm plantations. As we reported in an earlier post, only 10% of all this biomass is currently used as a feedstock for liquid biofuels. The 90% that are not used, are the object of this R&D deal between China and Malaysia. The development of bioconversion technologies that can utilize the many tons of palm biomass for the production of liquid fuels, would mean a great step forward for both countries, and for the global biofuels industry in general. See previous post.
Malaysia - Indonesia - May 2006 The world's largest palm oil producers team up to develop a fledgling palm based biodiesel and ethanol industry. Several cooperation agreements were signed, covering all the aspects of palm biofuel production, research, and marketing. See previous post.
India - Indonesia - August 2006 Both countries sign a trade-deal cutting tariffs on crude palm oil (CPO). The agreement is aimed at speeding up the development of palm biodiesel in India, whereby the country would import far more CPO than it currently does (India already is Indonesia's largest CPO client). The deal should also offset price-hikes were palm oil to increase on rising global palm biofuel demand. See here.
Burma - Thailand - August 2006 Thai investors, supported by the state, are seeking opportunities in Burma for the establishment of biofuel plantations. We are not sure whether a formal bilateral agreement has already been signed, but there has been talk of 'cooperation agreements' between the two countries on the national level. See previous post, and references there.
China - Nigeria - August 2006 Nigeria's central state of Niger and the Chinese government signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for the establishment of a first ethanol plant in the state, with cassava as a feedstock. At the signing ceremony held in the state capital Minna, Secretary to the Niger State Government Adams Erena said the project "will gulp 11.6 billion naira" (about €60 million/US$ 90 million). He said a Chinese company would serve as a consultant to the project, adding that the company was expected to source 85 percent of the project investment through a soft loan from the Chinese government on 3 percent interest rate. See previous post.
Indian Ocean Island States with China and Malaysia - August 2006 A group of island states in the Indian Ocean -- Reunion, Madagascar and Mauritius -- are allying with China and Malaysia to create a regional biofuel production network. Mauritius, Malaysia and China deliver the know-how and technical expertise, whereas Madagascar and Réunion offer land for plantations. Malaysia, with its expertise in palm oil production, would be the central node in the 'biodiesel axis', whereas China would focus on technology transfers concerning the 'ethanol axis'. See previous post.
Cassava has one of the highest rates of CO2 fixation and sucrose synthesis for any C3 plant. With this in mind, researchers from Ohio State University develop transgenic cassava with starch yields up 2.6 times higher than normal plants by increasing the sink strength for carbohydrate in the crop. This means cassava makes for a 'super crop' when it comes to both CO2 fixation and carbohydrate production, i.e. sugars, the feedstock for ethanol - Plant Biotechnology Journal - Volume 4/Issue 4 - July 2006
Vietnam's Institute of Tropical Biology to invest in Jatropha research - Le courrier du Vietnam - Sept. 6, 2006
Genetic study proves humans have pushed orangutans to the brink of extinction; genetic decline coincides with establishment of oil palm plantations in Malaysia/Indonesia since the 1950/60s- Public Library of Science / BiologyVolume 4/Issue 2 - February, 2006
Sokoine University of Agriculture, Tanzania, develops sorghum and millet processing technologies suitable for local conditions in effort to empower small farmers - IPP Media - Sept. 6, 2006
South Africa blocks GM Sorghum project for fears over contamination of local wild sorghums - Kruger Park - Aug. 26, 2006
Brazilian state of Acre intends to make cattle ranchers reforest land which they have cleared for grazing. The sustainable forestry policy is based on replanting economic tree crops such as mahogany, acai, Brazil nut and palms - BBCNews Sept. 27, 2006
Illegal deforestation of acacia for charcoal is becoming a serious problem in Kenya's Naivasha area. Nobel Peace Prize laureate Wangari Maathai's Green Belt Movement re-afforests with acacia but needs more support to win fight against illegal loggers - Kenya Times Sept. 5, 2006
Australian scientists are conducting a 'time-machine' experiment to see how eucalyptus trees cope with increased levels of CO2 and global warming. - University of Western Sydney Aug. 28, 2006
Bamboo planting can slow deforestation, scientists from the International Center for Research in Agroforestry in Nairobi, Kenya, say. Bamboo rapidly becoming economically beneficial crop with large potential for energy, bioremediation, and afforestation - Chosun (S.Korea) Aug. 30, 2006
"The beauty of miscanthus is that you only have to sow it once...Because of the way it grows, there is no need for fertilisers or chemicals", an English entrepreneur talks about his experience with Miscanthus as an energy crop - Grantham Today Aug. 8, 2006