Energy from Wood

20 Sep 2013

New climate change mitigation project to promote sustainable biomass energy production and modern bio-energy technologies in Sri Lanka

A new climate change mitigation project to promote sustainable biomass energy production and modern bio-energy technologies in Sri Lanka commenced with an inception workshop on September 17, 2013. The project is aimed at supporting Sri Lankan industries to meet energy needs from locally sourced fuel wood derived through sustainable practices, instead of imported furnace oil, kerosene and diesel. In implementing the project, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) will be partnering with the UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), the Ministry of Environment and Renewable Energy, the Forest Department of Sri Lanka and the Sustainable Energy Authority. The project is funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF).

Expressing that this project will help take important steps forward in addressing climate change challenges, Ms. Beth Crawford, Representative of FAO, speaking on behalf of the UN in Sri Lanka, stated, “The UN welcomes working with the Government and other partners in this critical area. As we move from recovery to longer-term development projects, addressing climate change issues and their impact becomes ever more important. We believe that working together with various key actors and bringing in their comparative advantages, will allow us to take important steps forward.” She added, “Biomass use for energy application is a priority in Sri Lanka’s renewable energy development strategy. It is also a priority identified under the United Nations Secretary General’s Sustainable Energy for All Initiative’, in which Sri Lanka is participating.”

Also speaking at the occasion, Dr. Ananda Mallawatantri, Assistant Country Director of UNDP Sri Lanka, noted that the project has multiple aspects, including soil enrichment and livelihood development, in addition to its main objectives of addressing the issues of climate change. He went on to add that the project builds on and supports other initiatives, such as the Divi Neguma, the Community Forestry Programme and the UN programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation.

The overall goal of the project is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the use of fossil fuel, diesel, furnace oil and kerosene for thermal energy generation in the Sri Lanka industrial sector. This will be achieved by developing fuel wood plantations and sustainable biomass supply chains and through the adoption of modern biomass energy technologies in Sri Lanka, explained, Mr. Ajith De Silva, Director, Policy and Planning, of Ministry of Environment and Renewable Energy, giving an overview of the objectives and outcomes of the project.

The project consists of four components: (1) Policy-institutional support for effective implementation; (2) Barrier removal for sustainable fuel wood production; (3) Enabling environment for fuel wood suppliers; (4) Wood-based energy technology development. The project is expected to be implemented in 12 districts across the Western, North Western, Central, North Central and Eastern Provinces.