Dr Rodrigo Olave from AFBI’s Agri-Environment Branch was invited by the University of Concepcion in Chile to participate as guest speaker for a workshop on energy crops and GHG emissions between 13th and 17th November 2017 in the city of Concepcion.
The visit was funded by the Department of Graduate Studies of the University of Concepcion. During the workshop Dr Olave gave several short presentations to an audience that consisted of professional consultants, policy makers from public organisations, energy crop growers and postgraduate students. The event provided an opportunity to bring together potential stakeholders to improve their knowledge on Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from energy crops, based on research conducted in AFBI and to help energy development programmes in better targeting their priorities, when implementing their measures to support innovation in forestry and agriculture.
Subsequently, as part of the workshop a field trip was arranged to visit energy crop growers in the south central region of Chile where the majority of the forest industry is located, based largely on plantations of exotic Radiata pine and Eucalypts spp, which is a major economic sector in South America. Despite large quantities of residues from the forest industry that are currently used for energy projects, there is an interest to explore short rotation energy crops and /or fast growing trees species, which could be established on vacant land suitable for forestry.
In addition all parties see future collaboration with AFBI as a key component of their current research programmes. Further discussions are planned to follow up on opportunities for increased collaboration on GHG emissions and atmospheric pollution from energy crops.
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