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IDB program includes agricultural & environmental studies of Guatemala
17
Jan '08
The Inter-American Development Bank announced approval of a US$400,000 grant from its Sustainable Energy and Climate Change Initiative (SECCI) for technical studies that will help implement a program to produce and promote biofuels in Guatemala.

The grant will be used by the government of Guatemala to develop a technical and regulatory framework to spur investment in domestic ethanol and biodiesel production.

The project includes macroeconomic, fiscal, agricultural, social and environmental studies that will help devise a solid framework for Guatemala's production of biofuels. The resources will also strengthen institutions and help train key public and private participants, as well as members of civil society, in implementing legislative mandates on domestic use of biofuels.

Guatemala currently imports all fuels used in productive activities. The program will help diversify the country's energy matrix and reduce its dependence on biofuel imports. It will also stimulate socioeconomic development in rural areas of the country.

"This grant will help ensure that the National Biofuels Program is comprehensive and sustainable, from an economical standpoint as well as socially and environmentally," said Arnaldo Vieira de Carvalho, one of the IDB team leaders.

"Countries need a legal and regulatory framework in order to receive investment," added co-team leader Laura Natalia Rojas. "They have to be prepared to take advantage of international agreements such as the Central America-Dominican Republic-United States Free Trade Agreement."

The program will be executed by Guatemala's Ministry of Energy and Mines (MEM).

Inter-American Development Bank

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