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Biofuels as a New Energy Paradigm: the Key Points of Debate after a Decade Translated title: Biocarburants comme un nouveau paradigme d'énergie: les points principaux du débat d'une décade après Translated title: Los biocombustibles como nuevo paradigma energético: los puntos centrales del debate después de una década

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Cuadernos de Desarrollo Rural

Instituto de Estudios Rurales de la Facultad de Estudios Ambientales y Rurales de la Pontificia Universidad Javeriana

Changements dans l'utilisation des terres, nourriture, services écosystémiques, Biomasse énergie, l'agriculture et l'énergie, déchets agricoles comme combustible, l'environnement, développement social, Land use change, food, ecosystem services, Biomass energy, agriculture and energy, agricultural wastes as fuel, environment, social development, Cambios de uso de la tierra, alimentos, servicios ecosistémicos, Energía biomásica, agricultura y energía, residuos agrícolas como combustible, medio ambiente, desarrollo social

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      Abstract

      Biofuels are promoted worldwide as an alternative to partially replace fossil fuels. After more than a decade of implementation, important questions have been raised concerning: i) the impacts generated by the change of use and land coverage; ii) the impacts on prices and food production, iii) the impacts on water and the related ecosystem services, and iv) greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions generated by the changes of land use. This article discusses these issues in the current situation of biofuels with emphasis in the tropical countries. Available studies show that despite their small contribution to the world energy matrix, the large-scale expansion of biofuels can generate negative impacts such as increase in the competition for water and land, especially in the vulnerable ecosystem and social structures in tropical countries.

      Translated abstract

      Les biocarburants sont promus dans le monde comme une alternative au substitution des combustibles fossiles. Après plus d'une décennie de son développement, il existe encore de sérieuses questions en ce qui concerne: i) l'impact causé par le changement d'utilisation et la couverture du sol, ii) Les effets sur les prix et la production alimentaire, iii) les impacts sur l'eau et les services écosystémiques associés, et iv) les émissions de gaz à effet de serre, générées par des changements d'utilisation des terres. Cet article présente une revue critique de la situation actuelle des biocarburants dans ces sujets, axée en particulier dans les pays tropicaux. Les principaux résultats montrent que malgré sa petite contribution à la matrice énergétique mondiale, l'expansion à grande échelle des biocarburants peut avoir des impacts très négatifs, pour l'intensification de la concurrence par l'eau et la terre, en particulier dans les pays tropicaux qui se caractérisent pour avoir des écosystèmes et des structures sociaux très vulnérables.

      Translated abstract

      Los biocombustibles se promocionan en el mundo como una alternativa para la sustitución de combustibles fósiles. Después de más de una década de su desarrollo, persisten serios cuestionamientos con relación a: i) los impactos generados por el cambio de uso y cobertura de la tierra, ii) los impactos en los precios y producción de alimentos iii) los impactos sobre el agua y los servicios ecosistémicos relacionados y iv) las emisiones de gases efecto invernadero generadas por los cambios de uso del suelo. Este artículo presenta una revisión crítica de estos aspectos, enfocada particularmente en los países del trópico. Los principales resultados dejan ver que a pesar de su escasa contribución a la matriz energética mundial, la expansión a gran escala de los biocombustibles puede generar impactos muy negativos, al intensificar la competencia por el agua y la tierra, especialmente en los países del trópico, que se caracterizan por poseer ecosistemas y estructuras sociales muy vulnerables.

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      Most cited references 73

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      Conceptualizing food systems for global environmental change research

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        Bioenergy and water—the implications of large-scale bioenergy production for water use and supply

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          Spatially explicit scenario analysis for reconciling agricultural expansion, forest protection, and carbon conservation in Indonesia.

          Palm oil is the world's most important vegetable oil in terms of production quantity. Indonesia, the world's largest palm-oil producer, plans to double its production by 2020, with unclear implications for the other national priorities of food (rice) production, forest and biodiversity protection, and carbon conservation. We modeled the outcomes of alternative development scenarios and show that every single-priority scenario had substantial tradeoffs associated with other priorities. The exception was a hybrid approach wherein expansion targeted degraded and agricultural lands that are most productive for oil palm, least suitable for food cultivation, and contain the lowest carbon stocks. This approach avoided any loss in forest or biodiversity and substantially ameliorated the impacts of oil-palm expansion on carbon stocks (limiting net loss to 191.6 million tons) and annual food production capacity (loss of 1.9 million tons). Our results suggest that the environmental and land-use tradeoffs associated with oil-palm expansion can be largely avoided through the implementation of a properly planned and spatially explicit development strategy.
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            Author and article information

            Affiliations
            [1 ] Universidad Nacional de Colombia
            [2 ] Pontificia Universidad Javeriana Colombia
            Contributors
            Role: ND
            Role: ND
            Journal
            cudr
            Cuadernos de Desarrollo Rural
            Cuad. Desarro. Rural
            Instituto de Estudios Rurales de la Facultad de Estudios Ambientales y Rurales de la Pontificia Universidad Javeriana (Bogotá )
            0122-1450
            January 2013
            : 10
            : spe70
            : 69-92
            S0122-14502013000100004

            http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

            Product
            Product Information: SciELO Colombia
            Categories
            AGRICULTURE, MULTIDISCIPLINARY

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