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Individual Highlight

Global Bioenergy Partnership Sustainability Indictators for Bioenergy

Photo of Snapshot : The Global Bioenergy Partnership (GBEP) agreed on a set of science-based, voluntary, practical sustainability indicators with the aim of helping countries to assess and develop sustainable bioenergy production and use. It is the first global, government-level consensus on a set of voluntary, science-based indicators for assessing the sustainable production and use of bioenergy. Review and technical comment provided by Forest Management Sciences staff through the USDA Foreign Agriculture Service (FAS) significantly helped to inform the development of US policy and positions in these discussions.

Principal Investigators(s) :
Buford, Marilyn 
Research Station : Washington Office (WO)
Year : 2011
Highlight ID : 431


GBEP is a multilateral forum that was created by the G8 to promote sustainable bioenergy globally. In 2007, GBEP created a Task Force on Sustainability (TFS) to produce a set of indicators of sustainable bioenergy. Since September 2010 the U.S. has engaged the GBEP TFS with a view to optimize the indicators of sustainability such that they are science-based, technically-sound and act to promote bioenergy production and use, resulting in numerous positive outcomes including:

The GBEP TFS has reached consensus on 24 indicators of sustainability. The titles and short descriptions of these indicators have the approval and support of the U.S. Biofuels Interagency Working Group, with language vetted by the U.S. trade agencies (Department of Commerce (DOC), USDA, Office of US Trade Representative (USTR)). U.S. technical leadership in preparing the methodologies for implementing the indicators has resulted in a science-based approach to criteria and indicators for the environmental, economic and social sustainability of biofuels within the multilateral Global Bioenergy Partnership. By promoting science-based, technically-sound indicators of sustainability, GBEP is now poised to promote sustainable bioenergy projects in the developing world -that when implemented in a deliberate and rational manner bioenergy is a sustainable way for developing countries to achieve energy and food security

Since the creation of the GBEP Task Force on Sustainability, Forest Service R&D has actively and consistently provided critical technical guidance to USDA FAS on the GBEP criteria and indicators for sustainable bioenergy production and use. Active engagement in this process redeems our mission to inform policy and has positively impacted US domestic and international policy.

Forest Service Partners

External Partners

  • Collaborators included a team of several USDA agencies led by the Foreign Agriculture Service, and an interagency group led by the National Security Council and the State Department which included USDA, US DOE, US EPA, Office of the US Trade Representative, OMB, CEQ, US DHS, USAID, US DOT, and US DOC.