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Forests 2018, 9(4), 223; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9040223

Sustainable Forest Bioenergy Development Strategies in Indochina: Collaborative Effort to Establish Regional Policies

1
Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAW), Commission for Interdisciplinary Ecological Studies (KIOES), 1010 Vienna, Austria
2
Kasetsart Agricultural and Agro-industrial Product Improvement Institute (KAPI), Kasetsart University (KU), Bangkok 10900, Thailand
3
Michigan State University, Forest Biomass Innovation Center, Escanaba, MI 49829, USA
4
Department of Natural Environmental Studies, Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, Kashiwa Campus, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo 277-8563, Japan
5
Institute of Social Ecology, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU), 1070 Vienna, Austria
6
International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), Ecosystems Services and Management Program (ESM), 2361 Laxenburg, Austria
7
School of Forest Resources & Environmental Science, Michigan Technological University, Houghton, MI 49931, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 26 March 2018 / Revised: 9 April 2018 / Accepted: 17 April 2018 / Published: 21 April 2018
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Abstract

We conducted a feasibility study in Indochina (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam) with the aim of promoting biomass and bioenergy markets, technology transfer, rural development, and income generation. Policy development is guided by the International Union of Forest Research Institutions (IUFRO) Task Force “Sustainable Forest Bioenergy Network”. In this paper, we highlight the achievements up to now and present results of a multi-stakeholder questionnaire in combination with a quantitative analysis of the National Bioenergy Development Plans (NBDPs). We found a gap between official documents and working group assessments. NBDPs are focused on the market development, technology transfer, and funding possibilities of a regional bioenergy strategy, while the respondents of a questionnaire (working groups) favored more altruistic goals, i.e., sustainable resource management, environmental protection and climate change mitigation, generation of rural income, and community involvement, etc. We therefore suggest the following measures to ensure regulations that support the original aims of the network (climate change mitigation, poverty alleviation, sustainable resource use, and diversification of energy generation): (i) Consideration of science-based evidence for drafting bioenergy policies, particularly in the field of biomass production and harvesting; (ii) invitation of stakeholders representing rural communities to participate in this process; (iii) development of sustainability criteria; (iv) feedback cycles ensuring more intensive discussion of policy drafts; (v) association of an international board of experts to provide scientifically sound feedback and input; and (vi) establishment of a local demonstration region, containing various steps in the biomass/bioenergy supply chain including transboundary collaboration in the ACMECS region. View Full-Text
Keywords: ACMECS; Indochina; bioenergy network; regional collaboration; bioeconomy; biomass ACMECS; Indochina; bioenergy network; regional collaboration; bioeconomy; biomass
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Bruckman, V.J.; Haruthaithanasan, M.; Miller, R.O.; Terada, T.; Brenner, A.-K.; Kraxner, F.; Flaspohler, D. Sustainable Forest Bioenergy Development Strategies in Indochina: Collaborative Effort to Establish Regional Policies. Forests 2018, 9, 223.

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