New map gives public a global view of biofuel development

Photo by Herr Olsen/flickr

BOGOR, Indonesia (8 September, 2011)_ Assessing how biofuels affect forests and people’s livelihoods and how its production can be more sustainable has been made easier following the recent release of an interactive map which provides a geographical overview of biofuel production, consumption and investment around the world.

The Global Biofuel Information Tool (GBIT), developed by the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), with support from Profundo, is the first systematic attempt at gathering and consolidating data on biofuels and making this accessible in a user-friendly format. The GBIT was developed under a project funded by the European Commission exploring bioenergy, sustainability and trade-offs between the two. The project aims to analyse bioenergy developments and their implications for forests and people’s livelihoods.

While many countries have experienced a recent surge in biofuel production, consumption and investments, consolidated information on these and on their geographical distribution has not been readily available. Determining the magnitude and location of biofuel investments in forest-rich countries will help to assess how these investments affect forests and people and how they can be made more sustainable.

The GBIT offers data on national biofuel production and consumption obtained and collated from the International Energy Statistics database of the US Energy Information Administration. It also offers an overview of key commercial biofuel investments for selected individual countries, including data on the area under development and the processing capacity of individual projects. Information on biofuel investments is based on various reliable media, corporate and government sources, and from external publications.

The GBIT will assist those looking for information on specific investment cases in specific countries; those interested in investment or trade geographies; or those wishing to identify investment trends.

The dataset is being continuously updated, and the developers at CIFOR are currently welcoming user contributions.

The Global Biofuel Information Tool is now available online.

For more information or to contribute to the dataset, please email CIFOR.