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FAO/UNEP/UN-Energy Bioenergy Decision Support Tool -
MODULE 7: Deployment and Good Practices
trees for nutrition; fodder trees that improve smallholder livestock
production; timber and fuelwood or oil producing trees for shelter
and energy; medicinal trees to combat disease; and trees that
produce gums, resins or latex products. In many cases, there are
multiple purposes and/or ecosystem services that provide a range
of local and regional benefts. Agro-forestry approaches can also
increase aboveground carbon stocks as well as increasing carbon
sequestration in soils, thus providing global GHG benefts.
CA follows three basic principles: (1) avoidance of continuous
mechanical soil disturbance; (2) maintenance of permanent
organic soil cover; and (3) use of adapted crop rotations. Adop-
tion of these principles results in soils with higher organic matter
content, which are more likely to remain productive under drought
and excess water conditions. CA can also help to mitigate climate
change by reducing GHG emissions and sequestering carbon
through building up soil organic matter. Crop yields from CA can
be equal to those from conventional intensive farming; however,
the yields are more stable and require lower amounts of chemical
inputs compared to conventional systems.
Eco-agriculture aims to conserve biodiversity and ecosystem
services; provide agricultural products sustainably and support
viable rural livelihoods. Eco-agriculture concerns itself not just
with a diversity of agricultural systems but with entire mosaics
of land use that also encompass forests, human settlements,
coastal zones, and waterways. Taking into account the ecologi-
cal systems that interact with agricultural systems is critical for
identifying and fostering synergies between conservation and
production. Eco-agriculture may combine approaches to mimic
ecosystem functions, combine annual and perennial crops,
increase connectivity between habitats, and improve farming
techniques to enhance biodiversity in the feld. Eco-agriculture
can rarely be achieved by individual land managers; it requires
collaboration among the diverse stakeholders who impact and
manage the landscape.
Good Agricultural Practices refer to voluntary codes of practices
and principles for on-farm production and post-production
processes. GAPs are aimed at providing safe and healthy food
and non-food agricultural products, which take into account
economical, social and environmental sustainability. GAPs may
be applied to a wide range of farming systems and at different
scales but they are deliberate and should not create barriers to
trade. They are applied through sustainable agricultural meth-
ods, such as integrated pest management, integrated fertilizer
management and conservation agriculture. GAPS are based on
four principles: (1) economically and effciently produce suffcient
(food security), safe (food safety) and nutritious food (food quality);
(2) sustain and enhance natural resources; (3) maintain viable
farming enterprises and contribute to sustainable livelihoods; (4)
meet cultural and social demands of society.
IPM is the careful integration of a number of available pest control
techniques that discourage the development of pest populations
and keep pesticides and other interventions to levels that are
economically justifed and safe for human health and the environ-
ment. IPM emphasizes the growth of a healthy crop with the
least possible disruption of agro-ecosystems, thereby encourag-
ing natural pest control mechanisms. IPM improves ecological
sustainability, as it relies primarily on environmentally-benign
processes including the use of pest resistant varieties, healthy
seed/planting material, the actions of natural enemies and cultural
The Global Water Partnership defnes IWRM as “a process which
promotes the coordinated development and management of
water, land and related resources in order to maximize the result-
ant economic and social welfare in an equitable manner without
compromising the sustainability of vital ecosystems.” IWRM is
based on three main pillars: economic effciency in water use;
equity (i.e. the basic right for all people to have access to water
of adequate quantity and quality for the sustenance of human
well-being); and environmental and ecological sustainability. Good
water management offers signifcant economic and environmental
benefts; for instance, effcient use of irrigation water will reduce
nitrogen losses, including nitrous oxide emissions, and reduce
energy used for pumping, while maintaining high yields and
productivity. Active participation and buy-in of concerned stake-
holders through collaborative approaches is a prerequisite to the
successful up-scaling of any sustainable intensifcation approach.
Some feedstock, particularly those used for biodiesel and second
generation biofuels, have the potential to become invasive
species. Indeed, the very features which make them attractive
biofuel crops – wide environmental tolerance, rapid growth, ease
of establishment, and ability to resprout when harvested – are
precisely those characteristics which predispose species to
become invasive. The signifcant environmental and economic
risks associated with invasive species require preventive efforts at
both the project and national levels, including risk assessments,
monitoring and the development of indicators for biodiversity and
ecosystem impacts (UNEP, 2010).
The Global Invasive Species Programme identifed a list of poten-
tially invasive species under consideration as biofuel feedstocks
and made the following recommendations (GISP, 2008):
Information gathering: check national noxious weed lists,
databases and websites;
• Risk assessment: use formal risk assessment protocols to
evaluate the risk of invasion by species in biofuel proposals,
with particular attention and support for countries with less
experience in addressing biological invasions or screening for
impacts on biodiversity;
• Beneft/cost analysis: conduct market studies and present
business plans for the proposed activities before funds are
made available; there are many cases of introduced species
that never achieved commercial value (but still remained as
actual or potential problems);
• Selection of native or low risk species: create incentives for
the development and use of native and/or non-native species
that pose the lowest risks to biodiversity;