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.
New WISIONS Fact Sheet Presented at SE4ALL Forum in New York City
News from WISIONS posted on March 29th, 2017
Since its inception in 2004, WISIONS has aimed to empower local practitioners to identify and scale successful models and sustainable energy practices in their regional contexts. Twelve years on, we have taken stock of the achievements by quantifying our contributions to sustainable energy development. The facts and figures are summarised in our new fact sheet, which highlights benefits, numbers of activities, types of sustainable energy technologies supported and developments needs addressed. For example, the 110 projects and knowledge exchanges supported by the WISIONS initiative have provided access to sustainable energy for 95,131 households and 4,021 business and institutional units. For additional facts and figures and to learn more, download the fact sheet.
The Forum of SE4All takes place in the context of UN efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It will bring together more than 1,000 high-level representatives from government, business, civil society and international organisations. The theme of this year’s forum is “Going Further, Faster – Together” and the event will act as a marketplace to help broker new partnerships and ideas, spur investment and drive action towards sustainable energy and achieving SDG7.
The event will take place at Duggal Greenhouse, located in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, New York City. Further information is available on theSE4All Forum Website, including a day-by-day conference programme.
Since its inception in 2009, the network has become a lively platform for knowledge exchange between more than 300 participants. Currently there are three channels for these exchanges::
The 8th RedBioLAC annual conference took place from 7th to 11th November 2016 at the Instituto Interamericano de Cooperación para la Agricultura (IICA) in San José, Costa Rica. It was supported by WISIONS.
More information, including a detailed programme of the event, is available on RedBioLAC's website (in Spanish only). This short video summarises the network meeting:
Seven conferences have so far taken place. This annual opportunity to meet and interact intensively with experts from all around the region is a central component for sustaining the impetus of the knowledge sharing process. Most of the presentations and memories from the conferences are available in the network's online library. Various photos of RedBioLAC's annual conferences are available on Facebook here.
Online Platform and library
The network's website www.redbiolac.org (Spanish only) offers different options for participation and for accessing a myriad of information. Currently more than 300 people are subscribed to the online platform. Particularly useful is the discussion forum, which has become a rich source of knowledge on anaerobic digestion as applied in the Latin American and Caribbean contexts.
The online library is divided into four sections:
- Information on previous annual conferences
- Documents about biodigestion in Latin America and the Caribbiean, including manuals, national biogas plans, research results, project reports, companies etc. (in Spanish)
- Information about the mutual exchanges that have taken place to date
Mutual exchange of knowledge
Since 2013 peer-to-peer knowledge exchanges between experts in the region have been supported. These are activities where experts with extensive biodigester experience gained in one country travel to another country or sub-region to provide emergent biodigester initiatives with more extensive hands-on training, technology transfer and/or business model development. Information about these exchanges can be found on the network’s webpage. To date, two exchange activities have been completed:
Exchange: Alterna (Guatemala) – Viogaz (Costa Rica) 2014
Joaquín Víquez, a biogas expert from the company Viogaz in Costa Rica, visited Alterna, an NGO working in Guatemala, in order to strengthen the technical capacities of the team. More details of this inspiring exchange can be found here. The complete report in Spanish can be downloaded here. The complete report in English can be downloaded here.
Exchange: Bolivia – Ecuador 2013
Jaime Marti, a biodigester expert from Bolivia, spent three weeks in 2013 with different stakeholders in Ecuador, working to evaluate and improve the use and promotion of biodigesters through a combination of field visits, workshops and meetings. More details of this interesting exchange can be found here, and the executive summary report of the results can be downloaded here. The complete report in Spanish can be downloaded here.
SEPS exchange activities – linked to RedBioLAC
In the last calls for SEPS project support WISIONS selected two exchange activities from members of RedBioLAC:
Under the framework of a former SEPS project (Biogas Digester Innovations In Latin America (SEPS 5) 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.