Invasiveness of biofuel crops: implications for energy research and policy in Botswana
PublisherTaylor and Francis group; https://www.tandfonline.com
Rights holderThe authors
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In developed countries, biofuel development was largely driven by a desire to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and increasing energy security, whereas in developing countries, in addition to energy security, the quest for rural development and employment creation incited an interest in biofuel production. Notwithstanding the benefits of biofuels, there are reservations about their potential invasiveness. These concerns stem from the fact that the traits that characterize an ideal biofuel crop such as rapid growth rate, tolerance to drought and low soil fertility as well as pest and disease resistance, match those of invasive plants. The objective of this paper was to review literature on experiences of other countries on invasiveness of biofuel crops, with a view to providing lessons for biofuel production in Botswana. The review has revealed that most plants proposed for biofuel production are classified as invasive. The review concludes with recommendations for the Government of Botswana: Improve the cultivation of indigenous wild plants with high oil content for biodiesel production, screening of exotic species through a science-based risk-assessment procedure to evaluate their invasive potential before embarking on large-scale cultivation, and development of appropriate management practices and regulations to mitigate risk of invasion.
- Research articles (ORI)