Apart from reducing global carbon emissions, bio-fuel investments offer opportunities to ensure energy security; promote rural development and investment; reduce poverty; and create employment in developing countries. However, such investments might lead to habitat alteration, food insecurity, human displacements and environmental degradation if not properly guided and implemented. It is against this background that WWF commissioned two studies in 2008.
The overall objective of the studies was to understand the status of bio-fuels in study countries and identify gaps for follow up work. The first study was on sugarcane based bio-ethanol production in Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia. The second study incorporated more feedstocks and the bio-fuel versus food security versus environment debate. It was carried out in Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe.