Network of Biodigesters for Latin America and the Caribbean (RedBioLAC)
RedBioLAC is a consolidated and very active network of individuals and organisations involved in applied research, implementation and advocacy on biodigesters. Their aim is to contribute to the proper management of natural resources while promoting socio-economic wellbeing in Latin American and Caribbean.
Upcoming webinar of RedbioLAC on circular economy for waste in Latin America and Caribbean
News from WISIONS posted on August 13th, 2020
The amount of waste generated in the Latin American region is growing alarmingly, while 40 million people do not even have access to waste collection on the continent, a figure that could increase as a result of the increase in poverty as a result of the global pandemic.
There has been a significant increase in the amount of regulations around waste, from specific regulations to ban plastics to broad legislation around the circular economy, but an intention to work towards zero waste cities is not yet clear.
The case of the energy recovery table in the development of the roadmap towards the circular economy in Chile, frames us in what is happening in several countries in the region.
It is necessary to make a realistic analysis of the current situation and look for solutions that do not repeat the formulas that have already been proven to have not worked.
Why reject waste incineration? And how RADA did it in Temuco. How to approach zero waste life, and incidentally, in what way can civil society be the guarantor of a true circular economy for the region? What do we understand by circular economy?
La cantidad de residuos generados en la región latinoamericana crece de manera alarmante, mientras 40 millones de personas ni siquiera tienen acceso a la recolección de estos en el continente, cifra que podría aumentar como consecuencia del aumento de la pobreza como resultado de la pandemia mundial.
Se ha experimentado un importante aumento en la cantidad de regulaciones en torno a los residuos, desde normativas específicas para prohibir plásticos hasta legislaciones amplias en torno a economía circular, pero aun no es clara una intención de trabajo hacia ciudades basura cero.
El caso de la mesa de valorización energética en el desarrollo de la hoja de ruta hacia la economía circular en Chile, nos enmarca en lo que está ocurriendo en varios países de la región.
Es necesario hacer un análisis realista de la situación actual y buscar formas de solución que no repitan las fórmulas que ya está comprobado que no han dado resultado.
¿Por qué rechazar la incineración de residuos? Y cómo lo hizo RADA en Temuco. ¿Cómo abordar la vida basura cero, y de paso de qué manera la sociedad civil puede ser garante de una verdadera economía circular para la región? ¿Qué entendemos por economía circular?
Biodigesters can help to improve the livelihoods of rural households in the Global South in different ways. They allow treating flows of organic waste, thereby improving the in-farm management of soil. The by-product of the treatment is biogas, a combustible gas which can replace other unsustainable fuels. Additionally the effluent and sludge produced by the process are of great value as organic fertilizer. In Latin America and the Caribbean, there is a long history of initiatives which have adapted, tested and further developed small and medium-sized biogas technologies. However, back in 2009, avenues for exchanging experiences were almost non-existent, especially for practitioners active in the field.
RedBioLAC came into existence in 2009, following a WISIONS SEPS project (Biogas Digester Innovations In Latin America), which focused on sharing experiences on the use of biodigesters in Latin America. This first exchange gave impetus to the idea of establishing a network to promote knowledge sharing between research, development and advocacy groups involved with biogas technologies in Latin America and the Caribbean. The network was formalised at a meeting in 2010 in Costa Rica.
RedBioLAC’s vision is to become the leading organisation providing research, development, implementation and advocacy in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) for the use of biodigesters to stimulate the sustainable management of natural resources and promote people’s socioeconomic wellbeing in LAC.
RedBioLAC’s brings together institutions related to applied research and the dissemination of anaerobic biodigestion to achieve the following objectives:
- Exchange information, knowledge and experiences among participating institutions
- Identify and overcome technical, environmental, social and economic barriers in the field of biogas
- 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 inclusion of other organisations, institutions and researchers in the field of biodigesters
- Promote actions to advocate and influence policies related to biodigesters
RedBioLAC is a very active 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 have emerged recently: working groups and a student internship programme. Find more about these activities below.
Annual Event and magazine
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.
2018 marked the 10th Annual RedBioLAC Conference, which took place from 17 – 21 September 2018 in Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil. A video summarising the conference is available on Facebook, along with photos of the event.Since 2017 the network has published an annual magazine to showcase academic research, case studies, scientific groups, technical factsheets and advertise projects, programmes, companies, and services on biogas.
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
A broad variety of publications on a number of topics can be found in the online library.
Topic-specific working groups aim to involve network members in the development of collaborative 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.
The network's secretariat is run by the organisation