Earth Summit 2002   Biomass

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The participants of this workshop discussed and explored different ways for the sustainable use of biomass energy.  Below is a record of that workshop as well as an actual proposal (PDF file), which has now been agreed and finalised.


The workshop opened with a Strategic Focus Question:

What strategies can we put in place to widen access for more sustainable energy options?


Some Areas of Concern:

Biomass energy conservation

Approved livelihood of poor people

Reduction of indoor air pollution

Gender consideration

Pricing issues for alternatives

How to move masses to alternative renewable energy

Income generation

Improved stoves

Policy issues



Some Areas of Success:  Identified Key Success Factors

Meeting the needs of the people and matching those needs with sustainability

Participation of all stakeholders

Ownership by stakeholders

Appropriate biomass technology (affordability, short payback, ecologically friendly, functionality)

Low cost and professionalism through strategic alliances

Integration of existing formal an d informal structures

Income generation/commercial approach

Organised group

Resource/support institutions


Vision Workshop

Focus Question:  What do we want to see in place over the next years?

Fuel Switching

Clean Energy & Efficient Housing Design

Improved Biomass Energy Efficiency

Improved Forest Management

Enhanced Capacity Building

Availability of clean and sustainable source of energy

Improved ventilation

Efficient transformation process (Improved kilns)

Sustainable wood lots

Provision of adequate training


Renewable sources of energy

Improved smoke extraction methods

Efficient fuel devices for household stoves

Improved natural forest management

Effective information dissemination

Access to clean and efficient fossil fuels

Enhanced local of fireplace

Efficient fuel devices for SMEs (e.g. street restaurant, brewing)


Focused research


Increased care space

Recycling biomass waste for energy





 Action Areas:

Knowledge & Information Services & Capacity Building

Lobbying & Influencing Policies

Cooperation & Networking


Commercialisation & Scaling Up

Offer gender and technology training to raise profile of biomass energy

Take decision makers on exposure visits showcasing best practices

Organize and carry out a symposium of sustainable biomass energy use in African sub-regions



Further research on implication on HIV/AIDS on biomass energy use and vice versa

Scale up production and commercialisation

Incorporate gender analysis and benefits

Change advocacy for greater biomass considerations and financing

Create a Multi-Stakeholder Forum in sub-Saharan Africa to promote sustainable biomass use

Carry out further research on indoor air pollution.  Scale up interventions

Modernize and standardize designs of energy efficient technologies

Offer training courses on sustainable biomass energy levels of expertise

 Enlighten donor agencies to realise time required for having biomass best practices

Create mechanisms to increase synergy between existing networks

Carry out research eg. Socio-economic and environmental impact analysis

Organise experience exchange between stakeholders
-  production and marketing level

Promote technologies

Carry awareness campaigns targeting both decision makers and users on improved biomass energy technology

Demonstrate and disseminate best practice models




Create a comprehensive and interactive database on biomass energy

Influence governments to set up full time inter-biomass energy units




Create information technology database



success stories

training tools

Integrated biomass into the energy planning process  - energy balanced





 Underlying Contradictions

Under-valuation of Women’s Contribution

Non Conducive Enabling Environment

Poor Promotion & Marketing Strategies

Insufficient Research & Information Dissemination

Insufficient Capacity & Skills

Complex & Long Term Process

Biomass energy not prestigious

Lack of conducive environment (policy, institutions, financing, capacity building)

No breakthrough (massive use of improved stoves) makes decision makers tired

Insufficient data on biomass energy

Inadequate skills among stakeholders

No  one biomass solution exists for all applications

Inadequate integration in regard to impacts and benefits of biomass energy utilization

Marginalisation of biomass energy issues by decision makers  at all levels

Success stories not enough marketed (eg Upesi Stoves – West Kenya)

Knowledge and information not reaching target groups

 Inadequate expertise on biomass energy

Length of time require to shift on tradition

Women’s labour for energy provision use is undervalued

Insufficient public budget targets to biomass sector

Lack of awareness of efficient biomass usage

More scientific needed evidence to address indoor air pollution issues

 No driving force within one sector (biomass is a cross-sector issue)


Biomass not properly valued

Underestimation of the complexity of the sector





Poverty among biomass energy users








Biomass Action Plan


Issue 1:  a)  Scaling up of Production and Marketing of Improved Energy Technologies

                b)  Increased production use and use of mature biomass technologies








·      Identify needs of poor communities

·      Identify & share information on mature improved technologies (e.g. stoves, kilns)

·      Carry out economic social and environmental analysis and impact assessment

·      Select and suggest best technology options according to context

·      Develop strategies and mechanisms for scaling up product, producers, marketing channels, quality control, support mechanisms such as financing incentives

·      Pilot the strategies selected

·      Organise and support commercialisation of improved biomass energy technology

·      Impact monitoring particularly indoor air pollution




·      Promote energy efficient technologies for SMEs

·      Identify and evaluate potential of waste to energy in rural and urban areas

·      Needs assessment identify technology options and possible aid carry out feasibility study

·      Implement the Interaction in selected areas

·      Development strategies for commercialisation and scaling up

6 months
6 months



6 months

3 months

12 months


48 months



9 months

6 months

24 months

36 months




Smail Khennas ITDG & Universities (SIA)
SIRDC/ETI (Zimbabwe)
Multi-stakeholder Forum
Northern Partners


Bilateral funds, DANIDA, SIDA, Ford Foundation, EU, World Bank, JICA, Shell Foundation



Issue 2:  Lobbying and Influencing Policies







1)  Fully integrate biomass into the energy planning process (energy balances)
-  develop criteria for assessment

-  Approach national governments through SADC/SADC CONTRACT POINTS to assess the level of biomass energy integration
- Write report
-  Develop way forward

2) Demonstrate & disseminate best practice models
-  adopt criteria developed from best practices group at IC

-  have competition on best practice according to criteria defined

- evaluate projects submitted

3) Enlighten donor agencies to realize time required is one of the criteria for best practice and when publish best practice (donors) are specifically addressed)

4)  Take decision makers (governments and donors on exposure visits showing best practice)

-       discuss results of energy assessment and budget allocation with the government

-       sensitise on disparities between percentage share of biomass in the energy public budget allocation

5)  Enhance advocacy for greater biomass considerations and financial support (national governments and donors)

-       take decision makers

-       address subject a national, regional and international conferences


6)  Influence governments to set up full-time inter-biomass energy units


6 months

1 year





Dutch, EU,  SIDA

Dutch, EU, SIDA



Issue 3:  Capacity Building

Indicators:  1) Increased Biomass Energy Awareness at User Level
                     2) Better Biomass Skills and Producer and Retailer Level
                     3) Biomass Knowledge at Trainer Level

Incorporation of Gender Issues at ALL Levels





Support Needed

Possible Funding Partners

1.1 Create and update a comprehensive and interactive IT database on:
-  technologies, training tools (marketing, quality control etc.)
-  socio-economic, gender issues, key partners

From 2002 onwards



Budget for:
- Biomass IT specialist
- Partner review meeting
- Data Collection



1.2 Finalise database at

     Hedon meeting

27-28th August ‘02




1.3 Lobby for additional funds

By end 2002




2.  Training of Biomass

From 2003 onwards

GTZ/ITDG sub-regional training institutions

Training funds for materials, venue etc

DFID, Dutch Government, National Governments

3.  Initiate discussions with Ministry of Education to include Biomass Energy issues in the Curricula development in primary, secondary vocational training

From 2003







Proposal:  Scaling-up of Sustainable Biomass Energy Management Systems in sub-Saharan Africa

This is a final approved collaborative proposal between GTZ-ProBEC and ITDG, which came about as one of the outputs of the Workshop. Click here for the PDF file (163 KB).

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