Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Biofuels in Tanzania: Fuelling Poverty or Progress?

The Evert Vermeer Foundation (EVF) launched its report ‘Fuelling Poverty or Progress? The EU and Biofuels in Tanzania’ on March 19th in Brussels. The Foundation’s advocacy programme Fair Politics campaigns for Policy Coherence for Development: putting an end to EU policies which undermine poverty eradication in developing countries. One example of that is the EU’s Renewable Energy Directive, which calls for a 10% target for renewable energy in transport fuel, to be met almost entirely by first-generation biofuels. These biofuels are a key factor in driving food prices and the global land rush.

The EVF researched the impact of this policy in Tanzania, and found that it was one of several key drivers for European companies to set up large-scale plantations of energy crops in the country. These projects led to many land grabbing issues: rural communities losing access to their land without adequate compensation.

During our launch the EVF presented their recommendations: to phase out support to food-based biofuels and to introduce social sustainability criteria on biofuels contributing to renewable energy targets. The European Commission responded critically, denying a link between impacts in Tanzania and EU policy, blaming it mainly on governance issues on the part of Tanzania. Special guest, Dar es Salaam-based Yefred Myenzi of HakiArdhi-Lands Rights Research Resources Institute presented his experiences with the impacts of investment in land in Tanzania on rural communities, calling for better governance and a strong role for civil society.

Read the full report of the launch on our website and check out the study here.
You can also find us on Facebook and Twitter to stay up-to-date on the Fair Politics programme!

For more information contact Jasper van Teeffelen:

Information provided by Jasper van Teeffelen, EVF  

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