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Invasive Species Council report on biofuels

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  • almuthbernstinguk
    [ The full report, which has 2.7 MB, can be found here: http://www.invasives.org.au/downloads/isc_weedybiofuels_oct07.pdf ]
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 9, 2007
      [ The full report, which has 2.7 MB, can be found here:
      http://www.invasives.org.au/downloads/isc_weedybiofuels_oct07.pdf ]

      http://www.invasives.org.au/issues/biofuels.html


      The Weedy Truth About Biofuels

      ________________________________________________

      This report, by the Invasive Species Council, exposing the weed
      risks of many proposed biofuels is to be released tomorrow, 3
      October 2007, at the 'Greenhouse 2007' climate change conference in
      Sydney.

      Most plants being promoted as biofuels in Australia are serious
      weeds that should not be grown, The Weedy Truth About Biofuels
      report has found.

      The assessment examines the weedy risks posed by 18 proposed biofuel
      species being touted as climate change solutions.

      In the report, the Invasive Species Council also recommends reforms
      to policy to reduce the weed risk of the emerging biofuels industry
      in Australia.

      Thus far the weed risk of biofuels has been ignored by policy makers
      in Australia.

      ________________________________________________

      Media Release
      Most plants being promoted as biofuels in Australia are serious
      weeds that should not be grown, a new assessment by the Invasive
      Species Council has found.

      In a report to be released on 3rd October, at the 'Greenhouse 2007'
      climate change conference in Sydney, the Invasive Species Council
      has assessed the weedy risks posed by 18 proposed biofuel species
      being touted as climate change solutions.

      "Australia should not try to solve one environmental problem by
      creating another," warned ISC spokesman and report author, Tim
      Low. "These plants have no proven value as biofuel crops but bad
      reputations as weeds."

      Seven plants considered promising as biofuels are banned as noxious
      weeds in parts of Australia - jatropha, spartina, castor oil plant,
      Chinese apple, olive, willows, and poplars.

      Two species - giant reed and spartina - appear on the World
      Conservation Union's 'List of 100 of the World's Worst Invasive
      Species'. Giant reed is now on trial as a biofuel crop in South
      Australia, despite the enormous weed problems it causes around the
      world. In California alone, many millions of dollars are spent each
      year destroying it.

      Jatropha is widely promoted as a "miracle crop" but there is no
      technology for harvesting its seeds. It is closely related to
      bellyache bush, one of the worst weeds of farmland in northern
      Australia.

      "The naïve enthusiasm shown for jatropha and other weedy biofuel
      plants recalls the enthusiasm shown for cane toads in a past age -
      and the outcome may be similar," Mr Low said.

      "We should be very wary of "miracle crops" and over-hyped
      agricultural ventures, as past experience with aloe vera and deer
      farming has shown."

      "The Invasive Species Council advises that any plant proposed as a
      biofuel should be assessed first for its environmental impact," Mr
      Low said.

      "Disappointingly, Australian governments and biofuel experts have so
      far failed to acknowledge that the weed risk exists, an unacceptable
      situation."
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