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Between dead end and energy transition:
A social-ecological multilevel analysis of transnational biofuel policy

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Workshop Regarding the Social and Ecological Impacts of Investments in Palm Oil Production in Pará/Brazil

October 21st 2013, Belém
A workshop regarding the social and ecological impacts of investments in palm oil production in Pará/Brazil was facilitated by Maria Backhouse and Prof Rosa Acevedo Marin at the university of Pará. 86 workshop participants including social movements representatives, politicians, civil servants, researchers, university students and entrepreneurs joined in controversial discussion of the social and ecological impact of oil palm plantations in general and the contract agriculture inclusion of small scale farmers into the sector. A further focus was directed to the problematic situation regarding land rights in Pará.
Programme and Workshop Presentations

Workshop "The Political Ecology of Agrofuels"

October 11th - 12th 2012, Berlin
The workshop The Political Ecology of Agrofuels took place under the direction of Dr. Kristina Dietz and Maria Backhouse at the Freie Universität Berlin from October, 11 to 12 of 2012. Young academics from different academic backgrounds and countries presented their current research on agrofuels to about 50 participants. The focus laid on the dynamics of agrofuels production and policies, social-ecological consequences and conflicts, labor disputes, discourse and lobby strategies, the role of agrofuels as part of a "green economy", as well as, Political Ecology as a critical perspective within social-ecological research.
To the Workshop Documentation

National Seminar on Transition from Traditional Biomass to Modern Bioenergy in Malawi

October 2nd, 2012
The National Seminar on Modern Bioenergy in Malawi was organized by the Fair Fuels? project members of the German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE) jointly with the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI), The Department of Energy in the Ministry of Energy and Mining of the Government of Malawi, as well as the Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR).
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Call for Abstracts: "Africa's land as a contested arena for international and national biofuel policies and actors" at the conference "Embattled Spaces – Contested Orders" (30 May - 2 June 2012, Cologne)

May 30 to June 2nd 2012, Cologne
The Fair-Fuels?-Team organised the panel "Africa's land as a contested arena for international and national biofuel policies and actors" at the conference Embattled Spaces – Contested Orders of the African Studies Association in Germany (VAD). The panel was organised by Fair-Fuels?-scientists Michael Brüntrup, Kristina Dietz, Raoul Herrmann and Aaron Leopold.
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The Ethics of Biofuels - Lecture and Discussion

12 December 2011, Bonn | 13 December 2011, Berlin
The promotion of biofuels has caused heated debates in recent years – mainly due to reported negative social and ecological effects. Against this backdrop, the Nuffield Council on Bioethics – an independent body that examines and reports on ethical issues in biology and medicine – has recently published a report on biofuels. After a lecture about the main findings and recommendations of the report, experts will critically discuss the state of public support for biofuels in the transport sector with the audience.

Further information (pdf) 

“Sugarcane-Ethanol-Production in Malawi” FairFuels?-Study presented at IEA-Bioenergy Workshop



Organized by the International Energy Agency the workshop on “Quantifying and managing land use effects of bioenergy“ was held in Campinas, Brazil, from 19- 21 September 2011. Elisa Dunkelberg (IÖW), researcher of the “Fair-Fuels?“ project presented the results of a case study on sugarcane ethanol production in Malawi. Under the title “Sugarcane Ethanol Production in Malawi – A ‘Real World‘ Case Study on Greenhouse Gas Emissions due to Direct and Indirect Effects“ she showed that the greenhouse gas balance of sugarcane ethanol produced in Malawi could be considerably improved by substituting coal used in the ethanol plant by biomass. Furthermore, indirect land use change (ILUC) can be avoided, at least in part, if expansions in crop production are linked to compensatory measures.

Workshop  |  Presentation Elisa Dunkelberg (pdf)

Participation in the 2010 Berlin Conference "Social dimensions of environmental change and governance"

8th - 9th October 2010

The 2010 Berlin Conference on the Human Dimensions of Global Environmental Change was held at the Environmental Policy Research Centre at the FU Berlin from 8th - 9th October 2010. In this event, Thomas Vogelpohl and Bernd Hirschl of the "Fair Fuels?" team (IÖW) presented current results from the project module 6 (Potentials and Limitations of Policy Instruments for the Reduction of Social-ecological Problems). In accordance with the topic of this year's event - "Social dimensions of environmental change and governance" -  the focus  of the presentation was on the analysis of the social aspects of voluntary bioenergy certification initiatives and the legitimacy facets arising out of this way of governing sustainability.
Conference Paper 

Participation in the Ökobilanz-Werkstatt in Darmstadt

September 28 to october 1 2010

The LCA workshop „Ökobilanz-Werkstatt”, which addresses Ph.D. students in the subject area of  life cycle assessment, was held from september 28 to october 1, 2010 at the Technical University of Darmstadt, Germany.   Elisa Dunkelberg (IÖW), member of the "Fair Fuels?" team  presented the state of the art of the integration of indirect land use changes in the green house gas balance of biofuels. The focus was on strengths and weaknesses of various methodological approaches.
Presentation (only in German)

Conference of the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation "Power to the people!"

October 1 2010

Co-administrator of the "Fair Fuels?" project Kristina Dietz (Lateinamerika-Institut, FU Berlin) was moderating the panel  "Strategies of the Green New Deal – agroenergy" at the conference "Power to the people!", organized by the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation from september 30 to october 2 2010 in Berlin.
Conference program

Workshop "Resource conflicts in Brazil" at the LAI

July 21 2010

To refine the definition of the term "social-ecological conflicts" and to discuss possible and suitable empirical research approaches for such conflicts, the workshop "Resource conflicts in Brazil" was conducted at the Institute for Latin American Studies (LAI), Freie Universität Berlin on July 21 2010.
Results (only in german)

Opening of the Brazil Research Center

February 4-6 2010

With an international conference, held from the 4th to the 6th of February 2010, the Latin America Institute (LAI) of the Freie Universtität Berlin inaugurated its new Brazil Research Center. The Cen-ter focuses on research projects from a wide range of disciplines with a common perspective on Brazil within the world. The LAI project team of Fair Fuels” participated in the conference and presented its work in a poster presentation session.

International Expert Meeting Bio-fuels for Development

November 5-6 2009

The German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE) together with Internationale Weiterbildung und Entwicklung gGmbH (InWEnt) and the German Technical Coop-eration (GTZ) organized on the 5th and 6th of November 2009 the International Expert Meeting Bio-fuels for Development – Lessons learnt and current trends in Sub-Saharan Africa with about 60 na-tional and international participants from public and private sector and civil society.
Further information and documents for download are available here.