Reed resources in Poltava Oblast, Ukraine: biodiversity conservation and bioenergy production

T. van der Sluis, P. Kraisvitnii, R. Poppens, J.P. Lesschen, M. Galytska, W. Elbersen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingAbstract


Eastern Europe holds a large potential for production of biomass for bioenergy, due to the vast areas available at low opportunity costs. Bioenergy is still a largely untapped resource here. Key issues in a risk-mitigation strategy in biofuel production are: 1) con-servation of areas with significant biodiversity value, 2) mitigation of effects related to indirect land use change, and 3) promotion of agricultural practices with few low emis-sions and low negative impacts on biodiversity. These aspects form the basis for a large bioenergy project in Poltava Oblast (Ukraine). Biomass from natural reed (Phragmites australis) stands does not compete with land for food production, potentially giving this biomass an added value. In the trial project in Poltava 6,000 ha of reed beds will be used. There is a vast potential since the total area of wetlands in the Ukraine is some 10,081 km2 (1.68% of the total territory). The reed habitats are currently used for fishing and hunting but can provide significant additional environmental services. Most reed beds are burnt in autumn and winter. Controlled harvesting can result in conserved old reed stands, which will benefit key marshland birds. Use of biomass can significantly benefit rural communities and the national economy. Depending on yield, one hectare of reed can re-place about 2,000 litres of heating oil (which equals ca. 6 tons of CO2 emissions). So as to guarantee sustainability and future markets for biomass in Ukraine and Eastern Europe, it is important to develop certification systems that can be effectively implemented in the specific local context. In this project, the Dutch NTA 8080 standard served as basis for assessment and implementation of biomass sustainability. Important bottlenecks for its successful implementation were identified and recommendations for improvement were provided, to make this a more effective sustainability tool in Ukraine and possibly else-where in Eastern Europe. The challenge we face is to develop this potential without com-promising biodiversity and other sustainability conditions.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationReed a a renewable resource, Greifswald, Germany, 14-16 February 2013
EditorsH.C. Joosten, W. Wichtmann, J. Couwenberg
Place of PublicationGreifswald, Germany
PublisherUniversität Greifswald
Publication statusPublished - 2013
EventInternational conference on the Utilization of Emergent Wetlands Plants -
Duration: 14 Feb 201316 Feb 2013


ConferenceInternational conference on the Utilization of Emergent Wetlands Plants


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