In the Balkans, soil degradation is a large-scale issue, as a result of decades of intensive agriculture or other unsustainable land uses. Local and national governments are taking action, like the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina in Serbia. This regional breadbasket, with large tracts of fertile, flat land sees its rural poverty increasing and agricultural production is deteriorating. As a result, the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina and the Government of Serbia have committed to regenerate local economy and make it part of a domestic agenda to source clean, affordable energy. Fuel Wood, produced domestically, can be a large part of the answer in the whole Balkan region.
Together, CIFOR-ICRAF, E3I and Resilient Landscapes are lead advisors for Vojvodina’s strategic plan to enable private investment at scale in renewable energy, with a focus on sustainable wood biomass. Step by step, we are growing field operations for sustainable biomass production and land regeneration.
This project meets concrete local business demand and will bring much-needed positive socio-environmental impact to the region. Over a period of 10 years, this project will gradually scale up to 40,000 ha of Short-Rotation Plantations (SRP), a proven technique that can produce woody biomass at very competitive yields and can be managed as a soil regeneration technique at the same time. Moreover, it will enhance tree cover by deploying agroforestry planting techniques along field borders and by permanently protecting forest and trees in the landscape. Agroforestry interventions will offer extended tree cover and restore key landscape functions. Better erosion control, a greater contribution to climate change mitigation, and improved air-quality regulation are just some of the many positive outcomes expected from this project.