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Hazelton J.A.,Newcastle University | Tiwari S.,Local Governments for Sustainability ICLEI | Amezaga J.M.,Newcastle University
Biomass and Bioenergy | Year: 2013

Through careful management and policy formulation, modern bioenergy programmes could be important for rural development globally. Discussions over sustainable bioenergy use are focused on high level mechanisms (e.g. certification and legislation), led by developed world institutions. Full stakeholder participation, involving all relevant groups, is vital to successfully incorporating sustainability into planning. Getting equal engagement in multi stakeholder consultation (MSC) is challenging, but a structured approach to analysing stakeholder dynamics to improve this situation has been trialled; summed up as: (1) Context analysis; (2) Identification of feedstock production models; (3) Mapping according to land size and ownership, market end use and scale; (4) Typology of production models; (5) Social mapping. Learning from Social Impact Assessment and Sustainability Assessment methodologies has been used in developing this approach. Five models of Jatropha curcas L.-based seed production in the Indian State of Chhattisgarh were identified and stakeholders from relevant groups at all levels consulted. The significant distinctions separating feedstock production models were found to be: land ownership and value chain; and market end use and route. When analysing social impacts locally it was important to consider risks and responsibilities of different groups. Local- and context-specific assessments, such as those undertaken here, are essential in planning for sustainable bioenergy production; although not at the expense of higher level mechanisms. A priori, informed stakeholder interrogation and social mapping, building on detailed context analysis, are presented as practical approaches to increase the likelihood of successful MSC and sustainability analysis, making it a more viable policy making tool. © 2013.

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