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Global Bio-Energy Partnership - Pilot Sustainability Indicators Ghana

GBEP - Ghana

Client: NL Agency, Global Bio-Energy Partnership (GBEP)
Period: 2011 - 2013

The Global Bio-Energy Partnership (GBEP) has developed a set of 24 sustainability indicators applicable to all forms of bio-energy and aimed at voluntary use by national governments. The GBEP indicators enable governments to assess the bio-energy sector and to develop new policies related to sustainable bio-energy production and use. These indicators have been piloted in Ghana.

Sustainable bio-energy policy

The ECOWAS region, including Ghana, has very high levels of biomass use for energy purposes, most of which is unsustainably harvested or utilized, impacting heavily on lives, the environment and the economy. Whilst a draft bio-energy policy has been formulated, the government of Ghana decided to conduct a pilot with the GBEP sustainability indicators.

Ghana pilot project
Modern bio-energy is a big opportunity for the region, which is why NL Agency adopted and supported the pilot, together with the Global Bio-Energy Partnership (GBEP). The pilot project also was supported by the ECOWAS Regional Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE) and has been coordinated by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). The Ghana Energy Commission took the responsibility to involve policymakers.

Partners for Innovation was commissioned by NL Agency to provide technical assistance for the pilot. The main aims of the project are:

  1. Enhancing the capacity of the host country Ghana (and ECOWAS) to use the GBEP indicators as a tool for assessing the sustainability of its bio-energy sector and/or developing sustainable bio-energy policies;
  2. Learning lessons on how to apply the indicators and how to enhance their practicality as a tool for policymakers and giving this as feedback to the GBEP community.

Three Ghanaian research institutes (CSIR-FORIG, CSIR-IIR and UG-ISSER) have studied 11 out of the 24 GBEP indicators in the pilot.

Main conclusions and recommendations
The pilot has been a success: the 24 sustainability criteria appear to be very valuable for Ghana. As such the indicators provide, also for other governments, a practical tool to assess sustainability of biomass sectors and policies. The report also shows important insights on data availability and quality, and on the applicability of the GBEP indicators in Ghana.

The final report provides concrete recommendations on:

  • How Ghana can proceed with the GBEP sustainability indicators;
  • The lessons learned for GBEP and the GBEP community.

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