10th GBEP Bioenergy Week: ASEAN Cassava Centre's Contributions

On October 26, 2023, Dr. Warinthorn Songkasiri, Head of the Director of the Biochemical Engineering and Systems Biology Research Group at BIOTEC-NSTDA, Thailand, was invited as a speaker at the 10th GBEP Bioenergy Week, "Focus on Asia and the Pacific," organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). This event was held in the context of the Global Bioenergy Partnership (GBEP) and hosted by the Department of Alternative Energy Development and Efficiency (DEDE), Ministry of Energy, Thailand, with the contribution of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) at the Marriott Marquis Queen’s Park in Bangkok, Thailand, from October 24 to 27, 2023.

Dr. Warinthorn participated in the morning panel, discussing the topic "Bioenergy in the context of the broader bioeconomy," alongside Prof. Yukihiko Matsumara from Hiroshima University, Japan; Ms. Yustina Artati from the Center for International Forestry Research, Indonesia; Dr. Francis X. Johnson from the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI); and Mr. Agustin Torroba from the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture. The panel was moderated by Ms. Emily Marthaler from the Foreign Agricultural Service – U.S. Department of Agriculture. Dr. Warinthorn delivered a presentation titled "Promoting Sustainable Development through the Advancement of Thailand’s Bioeconomy." Her key message focused on promoting the adoption of a circular economy as an alternative economic approach to create greater value at different levels within production and consumption processes. This approach aims to assist the country in escaping the middle-income trap, while simultaneously addressing social inequality and mitigating harmful environmental impacts, with a specific focus on cassava, a major staple crop in Southeast Asia.

The event also featured our ASEAN Cassava Center (ACC) Research Network, with Prof. Shabbir H. Gheewala from The Joint Graduate School of Energy and Environment (JGSEE), discussing "Biorefineries for food-fuel-fiber in Thailand"; Prof. Vu Nguyen Thanh from the Food Industries Research Institute (FIRI), Vietnam, presenting on "Opportunities and challenges of ethanol production in Vietnam"; and Mr. Jossy Thomas from the Bioenergy Programme, UNIDO, presenting on "Scaling ethanol clean cooking through the Council on Ethanol Clean Cooking (CECC)."

The 10th GEBP Bioenergy Week concluded with a site visit to King Monkut’s University of Technology Thonburi (Bang Khun Thian Campus) in Bangkok, which is a part of our ACC research network. The highlights of the visit included tours of the biogas and bioethanol facilities, as well as the algal laboratory and facility showcasing the Clean Energy System.

Dr. Warinthorn Songkasiri, the Director of the Biochemical Engineering and Systems Biology Research Group at BIOTEC, delivered a presentation on "Lessons learned from the UNIDO-funded project addressing policy, market, and technological barriers to support technological innovation and South-South technology transfer: the pilot case of ethanol production from cassava and sustainable cassava value chain projects."

We are optimistic that the 10th GBEP will serve as a significant starting point for further discussions and potential collaborations aimed at supporting the development of bioenergy, biofuels, and the biochemical industry in our region. ACC is committed to playing a vital role in this region and is open to potential collaborators who share our vision of building a stronger and more sustainable bioenergy industry, particularly within the cassava industry in ASEAN.

For in-depth details about the event, we invite you to explore the presentation slides by following this link here