The fluctuating and soaring oil prices in recent years has inevitably affected and pressured APEC economies to seek other alternative approaches in order to satisfy the ever rising demand for energy. One common strategy employed by several APEC economies is to enact the pro-biofuels policy which encourages the production biofuels from biomass materials such as bioethanol from maize and sugar or biodiesel from vegetable oils which in turn transform these starting raw materials into popular “cash crops”. A number of multilateral organizations, including APEC, have voiced their supports for the production of biofuels from non-food feedstocks such as farm and forest residues, low value timber and energy crops specifically grown for conversion to fuel on marginal agricultural or saline affected land to dissipate the closely tied food and fuel prices at the present time. The proposed symposium on “Biofuels from Agricultural and Agro-Industrial Wastes” will promote the awareness and understanding of the first and second biofuels impact on socio-economic development in urban and rural areas as well as the corresponding environmental aspect among APEC economies with the strong emphasis on bioconversion of agricultural and agro-industrial wastes as well as the forest residues. The commercialization of second generation biofuels will also be examined to realize the potential of its biotrade and respective technology risks and possible opportunities. This symposium will include the following topics:
ò Biofuels history: A multiple generations of biofuels in APEC member economies. Emergence of the second and third generation biofuels. Technical information on production of biofuels and their potential benefits. Current trend and status of biofuels.
ò Commercialization of biofuels: Biotrade of multiple generation biofuels. Technology risks and opportunities involved in the commercialization of second generation biofuels.
ò Economic and Environmental aspects of future generation biofuels: Comparison of economic and environmental impacts to the APEC member economies of the multiple generation biofuels.
The goal of the project is:
To promote the awareness and understanding of non-food based biofuels potential of biotrade among the developed and developing APEC economies which accelerate the synergistic cooperation and networking towards the sustainable development and commercialization while mitigating the impact on food security by building on the completed work or underway by the Biofuels Task Force.
This symposium will provide a discussion platform to all APEC economies and link to EWG 01/2006A APEC project (The Future of Liquid Biofuels for APEC Economies Energy Working Group). The working group will invite representatives from APEC economies interested in the research and development of biofuels including lecturers, researchers, staff, trader, as well as policy makers from both public and private sectors as well as students and farmers that are involved in the fields to:
Share knowledge and cost reduction information regarding second generation biofuels from experienced APEC member economies with all seminar participants.
Exchange technical, economics, and environmental information and experiences regarding the bioconversion of agricultural and agro-industrial wastes to biofuels among APEC member economies.
Establish a network of biofuels researchers/scientists and industry leaders working the importance of shifting the research direction from the first generation towards the second generation of biofuels with the collection of benchmark on sex-aggregated data.
This symposium will be held in May or August 2010, Chiang Mai, Thailand (Duration of Meeting: 3 days) depending on the availability of funding allocation.