WISIONS of Sustainability

Our mission is to empower individuals and communities to transform the production and use of energy so that it effectively enables sustainable development. Read more about WISIONS activities, goals and background.

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RedBioLAC's webinar series kicks-off focusing on biodigestion in smallholder agriculture and livestock farming

News from WISIONS posted on June 18th, 2021

For the Spanish speakers among you: News from our regional partnership network RedBioLAC! Their recent webinar discusses the application of biogas in the agricultural and livestock sector on a domestic and productive scale. It offers first hand insights on energy practitioners in Latin America and the local transition to sustainable energy in small-scale agriculture. At the same time, it introduces a series of digital panels that RedBioLac aims to accomplish this year. Read moreMinimize
The guest speakers are Edmundo Rodríguez Alvarez from Peru and Claudio Moreno from Paraguay.

Edmundo Rodríguez is a leading promotor of biodigestion in his country. As manager for agriculture and biodigestion at the company Cidelsa, he has worked in the field for fourteen years. He also focuses on spreading his knowledge on biodigestion in conjunction with various experts from Latin America and Europe. In the webinar, he shares his experiences of a number of biodigestion projects in rural areas and explains the different systems and their functionalities. Pointing to data from the Ministry for Agriculture and Irrigation, which shows that 70% of production from the agricultural and livestock sector comes from small farms at risk of poverty, he emphasises the socio-economic significance of biodigester use in this sector.

His Paraguayan counterpart, Claudio Moreno, is an engineer in human ecology and teaches at the Agricultural Faculty His focus of research is on the use of technology in the food industry. In the webinar, he first presents data that may appear surprising: renewable energy makes up 70% of the Paraguayan energy mix, whereas globally it accounts for only 17%. Claudio Moreno proceeds to give detailed and visual insights into his academic projects on biodigestion, as well as on the use of biothermal energy for drying plants - an important practice in Paraguay.

To hear more about the experiences of the lecturers, don't miss the closing discussion moderated by the expert Joaquín (Costa Rica) that also elaborates on further questions, like the potential of biodigesters in cities.

-- Did you know? At WikiBiogas you can access more webinars and a full archive of their knowledge products!

Improving livelihood family farmers through biodigester technology

News from WISIONS posted on June 15th, 2021

Family farming is a central pillar of Costa Rica's agricultural sector, and biodigesters have been used in this field for nearly two decades. Unfortunately, the number of active biodigesters has been decreasing recently due to insufficient maintenance and a lack of trust in the technology by farmers. In response to this problem, WISIONS and our regional partner in Latin America, Asobiogas, held a workshop in 2019 to discuss strategies for the re-establishment of biodigesters. This has now become one of WISIONS’ new core projects.Read moreMinimize

Costa Rica is known to have a strong agricultural sector largely constituted by small and medium-sized farms run by family farmers (appr. 55% of all registered agricultural enterprises), providing employment and income. Additionally, biodigesters have been promoted substantially by different stakeholders during the last two decades as renewable energy sources for those family farmers to tackle environmental and economic challenges. In particular during the COVID-19 pandemic those family farmers have been identified as a major factor in the latest economic development plan of the government to build-up economic and social resilience. However, in case of the biodigesters, maintenance became an increasing issue. Hence, many biodigesters became abandoned or not fully active recently.

The Costa Rican biogas association (Asobiogas) is seeking to address this problem. Asobiogas organised a workshop in July 2019 and came to the conclusion that family farmers significantly represent important actors to reestablish these biodigesters again. Five key points have been identified as necessary for rebuilding family farmers’ trust in biodigester technology and for ensuring the adoption of sustainable energy solutions in this important agricultural sector. Additionally, the adoption of a multistakeholder approach combining the successful use of biodigesters by family farmers with support from biogas researchers, local energy practitioners and other local actors will create a knowledge exchange platform. This will support the revitalisation of the use of biogas technology among other family farmers. The main goals are to develop and implement successful strategies for biogas application and to provide other family farmers with the opportunity of adopting the technology.

WISIONS supports this core project as it accentuates the importance of local knowledge among family farmers for establishing the sustainable transition to renewable energy access. A series of exchanges between the different stakeholders – with a focus on family farmers – will be facilitated and the insights gained will lead to a best case example of how local knowledge can build up resilience and capacity for sustainable energy access in the Global South.

The core project will be facilitated in collaboration with our local partner Asobiogas and also members of the RedBioLACwhich has been working with us already in the past for the further consolidation of biodigesters technology and biomass gasification.  The resource and project management of the RedbioLAC is carried out by our US-based partner Green Empowerment.

Upcoming Webinar from RedBioLAC

News from WISIONS posted on June 7th, 2021

Okay, biodigesters producing thermal and electrical energy is nothing new. But did you know about their contribution to wastewater management? Subsequent to the first webinar in RedBioLACs webinar series about biodigestion in the agricultural and livestock sector and matching the focus of this year’s World Environment Day, the sequel, talks about two different examples using biodigesters in wastewater treatment and restoration projects. Register here!Read moreMinimize

First, Raúl Botero (Costa Rica) will present a study that introduced wastewater coming from the daily cleaning s of livestock floors before collecting septic sludge and conducting the decontamination process.

Afterwards, Julián Andrés Giraldo (Colombia) will present a restoration project in a micro basin in the Colombian Andes. The recovery efforts of the basin were complemented with decontamination systems, consisting of biodigesters and aquatic plants, to treat waters from livestock farming and to simultaneously generate biogas and biofertilizer.

The event will be held online the 9th of June at 8am Costa Rican time, but will be available afterwards, as well. Please note that the webinar will be held in Spanish. 

Register here for the webinar!

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