RedBioCOL

National network for biomass energy in Colombia

The Colombian Biomass Network aims to improve the perception of biomass technology, including biodigesters and gasifiers, in different areas of Colombia where the network has members through the dissemination of the various benefits of the technologies.

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Second National Meeting of RedBioCOL in Colombia

News from WISIONS posted on October 11th, 2016

The second national meeting of RedBioCOL took place between 27th September and 1st October in Villavicencio, Meta, Colombia. The event comprised five main practical sessions with different aims and activities.Read moreMinimize

The first day focused on providing information and training for a demonstration project in the application of biomass energy technologies (biogas and gasificiation) in small and medium-sized coffee farms. This project is supported by SEPS. The session took place at a farm belonging to a member of the "Asociación de Productores de Puente Abadía" (one of the farmers’ associations involved in implementing the project).

The sessions on the second day were dedicated to the consolidation of the network. Through different group formats, the participants (more than 50) worked together to define specific objectives and activities related to RedBioCOL’s five main branches: communication, local promoters, solidarity economy, knowledge and wisdom, and involvement of youth.

Field visits were organised for the third day. Four different options offered the possibility to experience at first hand the achievements of some of the most active organisations working in the development and implementation of sustainable family farming systems in the Orinoco and Amazonian region of Colombia.

On day four, a forum on agroecological farming systems took place at the University of the “Llanos” (UniLlanos). The forum offered a platform where different stakeholders (e.g. experts, students, farmers and representatives of NGOs) presented their knowledge and experiences of applying agroecological principles in different regions of Colombia.

On the final day, the participants were given the opportunity to visit a farmers’ market (mercado campesino). This market is coordinated by the "Asociación de Mercados Campesinos del Meta" (AMCM), one of RedBioCOL’s members in the Meta region. The main aim is to offer small farmers in the region a direct commercial channel for the sale of their products; this should ensure the farmers receive a larger share of the sales revenue.

The national meeting provided fresh motivation for the further consolidation of RedBioCOL. It also acted as a platform for strengthening existing relationships and forging new ones, particularly between people and organisations from the Orinoco and Amazonia regions in Colombia.


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Activities

Annual meeting

The second Annual Meeting of the Colombian Network of Biomass Energy (RedBioCOL) took place from 27th September to 1st October 2016 in the Meta Departamento, Colombia. Its objectives were to work on the network committees, to present achievements and future network challenges, to exchange experiences with local organisations, as well as various "learning by doing" activities in four communities in the Orinoquia Region.

WISIONS also supported and attended the first meeting of RedBioCOL, which took place in Medellín, Colombia in 2014. The event brought together more than 80 participants, from diverse sectors of the Colombian society and economy, interested in the energy potential of biomass resources. You can find more information here and all details in Spanish (including all presentations) here.

Workshops and events

To date, two national workshops have enabled participants to exchange experiences and innovations and to discuss future research, technical challenges and strategies for disseminating the technology and increasing the adoption of the technology by farmers.

Online Platform

The network has developed an online platform with information about former and upcoming events and organisations involved, as well as details of their vision and current activities.

Objective

The main shared objective during the first phase of the network is to improve the perception of biodigester technology among relevant stakeholders in Colombia. In order to achieve this, the network has set the following objectives: 

  • Identify successful experiences on different scales where biodigester technology has demonstrated a positive impact
  • Develop didactic material to be used through local communication media
  • Foster the exchange of knowledge, ideas and experiences among individuals and organisations working in the field of biodigestion and gasification in Colombia
  • Advance research on specific topics to enhance knowledge about biodigestion, gasification and the use of their products

Background

During the conferences of the Latin American Network for Biogas, RedBioLAC, it became apparent that to complement this huge regional network the development of national sub-networks would be an important next step towards the broader dissemination and increased advocacy of small scale biogas technologies. 

In order to make this goal a reality and explore the potential for a national network, experts and practitioners from Colombian organisations and institutions came together at an initial meeting from 15th -17th October 2012 to share experiences and discuss future advances in the field of biodigesters and other types of biomass energy in Colombia. The participants agreed to form the "Red Colombiana de Energía de la Biomasa" (RedBioCOL) as a national chapter of the RedBioLAC network.

The event was organised by the Colombian chapter of the Foundation for Tropical Sustainable Agriculture with the support of RedBioLAC and WISIONS.

Coordination and support

The network is currently coordinated by Lylian Rodriguez of the UTA Foundation and is supported by different organisations, one of which is the WISIONS initiative.