General Aim:

The overall aim of STRAP projects is to develop sustainable transition criteria towards low-carbon societies using hybrid analytical tools that allows systematic investigation of trade-offs and pathways in the development of 1st and 2nd generation bioenergy.

Specific Objectives and Tasks:

1.  To systematise existing knowledge on sustainability that will support the integrated assessment of development pathways in bioenergy through the following tasks:

a)  Collect field data from personal interviews and online surveys that inform about the opinions and policy preferences on bioenergy of individuals from different parts of the society;

b)  Collect high-resolution spatial maps on land use as well as land’s bio-physical properties that influenced changes in land use patterns between 1960 and 2010;

c)  Collect cross-section statistics on technologies that inform about economic, social and environmental impacts of converting biomass into biofuel;

d)  Collect time-series data that represents the indicators for economic, social, and ecological sustainability of bioenergy production for the period 1960-2010; and

e)  Collect global change parameters from previous studies that can be used to develop climatic and economic scenarios for the spatial and statistical data.

2.  To understand social perception of and policy preferences for the different bioenergy feedstock (e.g. starch/oil-rich food products as well as alternative lignocellulosic crops) and indicators of sustainability through the following tasks:

a)  Apply conjoint analysis to estimate preference weights for bioenergy feedstock and sustainability indicators using the field data (task 1.a); and

b)  Conduct participatory assessments to consider stakeholders’ preferences and improve the policy-relevance of the criteria for sustainable land use transition (task 4.b).

3. To determine society’s sustainability trade-off decisions in the use of economic, social and environmental resources to develop the bioenergy sector through the following tasks:

a)  Apply overlay analysis of Geographical Information System (GIS) data to identify patterns of land use conversion for 1st and 2nd generation biomass using spatial maps (task 1.b);

b)  Apply analytic hierarchy process to rank alternative conversion technologies for 1st and 2nd generation feedstock using cross-sectional statistics (task 1.c);

c)  Apply fuzzy logic analysis to generate social, economic, and ecological indices that indicates sustainability trade-offs through systematic integration of statistical time-series data (task 1.d), preference weights (task 2.a), and ranks of conversion technologies (task 3.b); and

d)  Apply logistic analysis to generate land use conversion indices that measure the trade-offs for producing 1st and 2nd generation bioenergy crops through systematic integration of land use conversion indices (task 3.a), bioenergy sustainability indices (task 3.c), and land’s biophysical properties (task 1.b).

4. To identify alternative pathways in bioenergy development and assess their effects on the sustainable transitions to low carbon societies through the following tasks:

a)  Apply path analysis to generate pathways for developing 1st and 2nd generation bioenergy for the baseline period 1960-2010 using the logistic model specifications and their estimated parameters (task 3.d); and

b)  Apply participatory multi-criteria analysis to generate policy-relevant criteria for sustainable transitions to low carbon societies through integrated assessment of indices of sustainability trade-offs (task 3.c), maps of production potentials (task 3.d), and diagrams of development pathways (task 4.a) with stakeholders (task 2.b).

c)  Develop scenarios for sustainable transitions to low carbon societies under different global economic and climatic contexts using global change parameters generated from task 1.e in the fuzzy model (task 3.c), logistic model (task 3.d) and path analysis (task 4.a).

5. To facilitate the integration and dissemination of the knowledge generated from STRAP projects through the following tasks:

a)  Manage the implementation of STRAP approach through distribution of tasks among, regular monitoring of progress of and regular communications with/among the partners.

b)  Construct and maintain a website to inform public about the activities in STRAP projects as well as an online database for the collected data (tasks 1.a – 1.e); Make data accessible to the consortium and, whenever property rights allow, to the public;

c)  Liaise with the stakeholder committee, which will be formed in STRAP projects to support the task of improving the relevance of the criteria for sustainable land use transitions (task 2.b) and ensuring participation of other stakeholders in the integrated assessments of model outputs (task 4.b); and

d)  Prepare articles, reports, and other documents to disseminate the knowledge generated from STRAP projects through the project website (task 5.a), stakeholder committee (task 5.b), stakeholder dialogue (task 2.b), leaflet distributions, conference presentations, and highly-ranked journal publications.