Network of Biodigesters for Latin America and the Caribbean (RedBioLAC)
RedBioLAC is a network of institutions involved in the applied research and advocacy of biodigesters for the treatment and management of organic waste, as a strategy for improving the wellbeing of the Latin American and Caribbean people.
10th RedBioLAC Annual Conference 2018
News from WISIONS posted on August 6th, 2018
Biodigesters are a promising alternative for the treatment of the residues of human activity in urban and rural spaces. Biodigestion is directly related to the fight against climate change – it mitigates greenhouse gases and reduces the use of synthetic fertilisers while providing energy and natural fertiliser.
Since 2009, RedBioLAC – The Network of Biodigesters for Latin America and the Caribbean – connects initiatives, projects, people and organisations dedicated to biodigestion in the region through its annual conference in countries such as Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Chile, Argentina, Peru, Mexico, Honduras and Colombia.
In 2018, this annual encounter of the Network will be held in Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil, to celebrate 10 years of continuous work and its positive impacts for the sustainable development of the continent.
The conference will take place from September 17th – 21st September 2018 and includes the implementation of small and large-scale introductory courses to biodigestion technology, site visits and an international congress.
RedBioLAC is a network active in the fields of research, development, implementation and diffusion of biodigesters and aims to stimulate the adequate management of natural resources; thereby promoting the socioeconomic well-being of people in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Under the framework of a former SEPS project (Biogas Digester Innovations In Latin America),
a workshop took place in Cajamarca, Peru, in May 2009, which focused on
sharing experiences on the use of biodigesters in Latin America. The
lively and valuable discussions demonstrated the huge potential for
mutual learning and for finding solutions.
From the impetus of that
first exchange the idea emerged to establish a network to promote
knowledge sharing between research, development and advocacy groups
involved with biogas technologies in Latin America and the Caribbean.
During a second meeting in 2010 (this time at EARTH University in Costa Rica), the network was formalised and the first strategic plan of RedBioLAC was developed. Since then the network has been active in promoting and disseminating research, development and the implementation of biodigesters as a valid technical option for the management of natural resources and for improving the wellbeing of the Latin American and Caribbean people.
Mission & Goals
Founded in 2009 in Peru, the RedBioLAC – Red de Biodigestores Para Latino América y el Caribe – is a multinational network connecting actors primarily in the domestic, productive and educational biogas field across Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). The RedBioLAC’s vision is to become the leading organisation providing research, development, implementation and advocacy in LAC for the use of biodigesters to stimulate the sustainable management of natural resources and promote people’s socioeconomic wellbeing.
The RedBioLAC is a network that brings together institutions from diverse sectors (private, public, academic, international cooperation, etc.) to collaborate to achieve the following objectives:
- Exchange information, knowledge and experiences among participating institutions
- Identify and overcome technical, environmental, social and economic barriers in the biogas field
- Propose projects, mechanisms and ideas to disseminate biodigester technology within LAC
- Generate alliances that facilitate the adoption of biodigester technology
- Systematise research and disseminate findings among partners, and share insights with related fields including health, financing, policy, education, industry and marketing
- Promote the incorporation of other organisations, institutions and researchers in the field of biodigesters
- Promote actions to advocate and influence policies related to biodigesters
The RedBioLAC has become a lively platform for knowledge exchange, development and dissemination. This is achieved via diverse methods and activities, specifically through the annual conference, annual magazine, e-learning, online library and forum. Additionally, two areas of activity fostering knowledge creation and dissemination are envisaged as part of the consolidation process: working groups and a student internship programme. To promote participation and raise awareness across the region, the network develops relationships with universities; publicises information about courses, conferences, seminars, and funding opportunities; uses social media; publishes educational material and systematised information; conducts webinars on technical and trending topics; conducts in-person trainings; and connects students and organisations for internships and academic research, as well as people and projects.
The annual conference provides a dynamic opportunity for interaction between experts, relevant stakeholders and interested audiences in general. The conference format entails not only presentations and discussions about the latest developments, but also training courses on basic biogas technologies and field visits.
The annual conferences in 2014 and 2015 encouraged rich discussions and feedback from all participants through participative sessions from which conclusions were drawn, leading to the first booklet published by the network outlining the opportunities for small- and medium-scale biodigestion in LAC. The booklet is available online and downloadable in a printer-friendly version.
Since 2017 the network has published its own magazine to showcase academic research, case studies, scientific groups, technical factsheets and advertisement of projects, programmes, companies, and services on biogas. The annual magazine is also available online at no cost (hardcopies are available for a small fee to cover shipping costs).
Online Platform and Library
Of the network's online tools, the discussion forum is the liveliest area for interaction, with more than 900 participating subscribers. Almost 500 topics are available on the forum, providing a rich source of knowledge on anaerobic digestion as applied in the region, together with information about the practitioners involved. Podcasts of webinars and videos are also available online. A broad variety of publications on a number of topics can be found in the online library (manuals, factsheets, national biogas programme portfolios, diffusion, capacity building, etc.).
Mutual Exchange of Knowledge
Topic-specific working groups aim to involve network members in the development of cooperative projects in order to address specific knowledge gaps (e.g. technical issues, management monitoring and impact assessment) or to strengthen collaboration at sub-regional levels (e.g. the ‘southern cone’, the ‘Andean countries’, the Caribbean states and Central America).
The student internship programme aims to facilitate and support applied research on topics relevant to network members by involving students at the advanced stage of their studies. This serves to address knowledge gaps, while simultaneously contributing to international knowledge-sharing and capacity-building of the next generation of experts and decision-makers.
2018 marks the 10th Annual Conference of RedBioLAC, which will take place from 17 – 21 September 2018 in Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil. Additional information, including registration, application to present, and logistical details are available here.
Coordination & Support
The network secretariat is run by the organisation GreenEmpowerment, who initiated the SEPS project and network.