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Biofuel Boom Sparks Environmental Fears

The use of biofuels is on the rise in Latin America and is feeding dreams of abundance in countries like Argentina and Colombia . But the experience of Brazil, a pioneer in this alternative energy, raises questions about their potential negative environmental consequences…. environmentalists warn that although biofuels reduce emissions of greenhouse gases (which lead to global climate change), they could also trigger a massive expansion of the biofuel crops, pushing the agricultural frontier deeper into the forests, destroying habitat and biodiversity. Soy, the main raw material for biodiesel in Brazil , due to its massive current production, “has already become one of the principal factors behind deforestation of the Amazon and the Cerrado, a biome of savannahs and scrub forests that covers the extensive central area of Brazil ,” said the expert. the plan involves small farmers only as simple suppliers of oil-producing crops, without including them in the agro-industrial process, in cooperatives that at least process the harvests for the oils, said Rodrigues. Petrobras should assume “social responsibility”, he said.

News notes are courtesy of Southern Forests Network News Notes
www.southernsustainableforests.org

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