Thursday, April 21, 2011

Common global guideline on standard can help boost sustainable criteria for bio-energy

With rising global interest in bio-energy, there is a need of common global guidelines on standards related to sustainability criteria for bio-energy, according to the experts, who participated in three-day standardisation workshop to strengthen institutional capacity of standard organisations, private sector and other relevant stakeholders from the South and Southeast Asia regions on sustainable criteria for bio-energy.
The experts urged for requirement to take into account the possibility of producing bio-energy from wastes, need for international cooperation to help developing countries assess the impact of bio-energy production on food security and need to take into account customary laws and practices while designing sustainability criteria for bio-energy.
During the closing session, Swedish Standards Institute's MD Lars Flink urged the participants to make preparations for the Project Committee meeting to be held in Frankfurt to make sure that ISO standards will really be globally relevant.
Similrly, executive chairman of SAWTEE Dr Posh Raj Pandey opined that incapacity to participate in the standard setting process now could create trade barriers for us later. "Therefore, the current exercise is a crucial giant step to transform us from the position of standard takers to standard setters," he added.
The workshop attended by fifty-two participants from Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Vietnam and concluded here today was organised by South Asia Watch on Trade, Economics and Environment (SAWTEE), in collaboration with the Swedish Standards Institute and with the support from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency.
A Working Group draft (ISO 13065) has also been prepared at the initiation of the International Standards Organisation that is expected to address the environmental, social and economic concerns related to bio-energy.
The workshop was organised to prepare country-specific, and appropriate regional, comments on the draft ISO 13065 document and submit it to the ISO.
After a series of presentations and discussions on the first day, the participants worked in expert working groups on the second day and in national working groups on the third day to formulate their comments to be submitted to the ISO. During the final session of the workshop, comments on the Working Group draft ISO 13065 document were submitted by each individual expert to the ISO.
The experts from each country who participated in the Kathmandu workshop will also be participating in the Project Committee meeting to be held in Frankfurt next month to defend the comments submitted and to ensure that the concerns of South and Southeast Asian countries are well reflected in the final international standards on sustainability criteria for bio-energy.

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