"Nichts mehr davon, ich bitt euch. Zu essen gebt ihm, zu wohnen.
Habt ihr die Blöße bedeckt, gibt sich die Würde von selbst."
Friedrich Schiller
  May 2008 FOOD

Beware of "Invasive Alien Species": Biofuels!

At the ongoing United Nations conference on biodiversity in Bonn, Germany, strong arguments have emerged against the use especially of "second-generation" biofuels -- made from nonfood crops like reeds and wild grasses. Second-generation biofuel plantations growing jatropha, a genus of succulents, have sprung up all over Africa. In the United States and Europe, plans are being made to grow crops like switch grass and giant reed for energy and fuel by big financial interests from the US and Europe.

At the Bonn conference, scientists from the Global Invasive Species Program, the Nature Conservancy and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature as well as other groups warned in their paper that "some of the most commonly recommended species for biofuels production are also major invasive alien species," therefore these crops should be studied more before being cultivated for biofuel production in new areas.

But the EU is still committed to funding a project to introduce the "giant reed, a high-yielding, nonfood plant into EU agriculture," according to a plan authored by EU Commisioner Mariann Fischer Boel.