With the latest in fuel alternatives growing and more people concerned about gas emissions in the atmosphere, it is no wonder biofuel production is on the rise. Biofuel is being produced in the hopes to reduce and even prevent negative impacts to the climate. While long range positive effects are showing great promise such as negative climate impacts on biodiversity, more short term effects are showing negative impacts. Biofuel can have a promising effect if the land used to grow biofuel crops is done so on sustainable land. Where we should show concern is the rise of biofuel crops in locations of natural ecosystems. When natural habitats are converted to biofuel crops, the threat to biodiversity rises.
For example, “the expansion of biofuel production in the tropics has resulted in the loss of tropical forest and wetlands” (unep-wcmc.org). This in turn results in a loss of biodiversity. Not only is biodiversity an issue but soil erosion and watercourse pollution is also possible with biofuel crops on non-supported lands. The need for land used for biofuel crops will grow just as demand for biofuel grows. As this demand grows so does the threat to biodiversity. While we may want to protect the future environment by using more biofuel, we also need to be educated on the negative impacts this fuel source can have on the environment in the present.
Posted by: Mary Hoefler
Image Provided by: www.foe.co.uk