The main objective of the H2020 funded EU project SEEMLA (acronym for “Sustainable exploitation of biomass for bioenergy from marginal lands”) is the establishment of suitable innovative land-use strategies for a sustainable production of plant-based energy on marginal lands while improving general ecosystem services. The use of marginal lands (MagL) could contribute to the mitigation of the fast growing competition between traditional food production and production of renewable bio-resources on arable lands.
The project will focus on three main objectives:
(i) the promotion of re-conversion of MagLs for the production of bioenergy through the direct involvement of farmers and forester
(ii) the strengthening of local small-scale supply chains
(iii) the promotion of plantations of bioenergy plants on MagLs
Hence, SEEMLA will involve farmers and foresters directly to the process, in order to minimize conflict potentials with traditional agriculture, and will contribute to building up small-scale supply chains for biomass local sites. This will lead to increasing the production of bioenergy, farmers’ incomes, investments in new technologies and the design of new policy measures. An essential part of the project is ensuring the environmental and socio-economic sustainability of the foreseen actions: impacts on biodiversity, fauna, flora, soil and water will be analyzed by a life cycle assessment (LCA), as well as strategies, policy guidelines and handbooks will be elaborated.
The project is coordinated by the FNR, the Agency for Renewable Resources (Germany), and partners are: IFEU – Institute for Energy and Environmental Research (Germany), BTU – Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus‑Senftenberg (Germany), Democritus University of Thrace (Greece), Decentralized Administration of Macedonia & Thrace (Greece), IBC-SB Institute of Bioenergy Crops and Sugar Beet of the National Academy of Agrarian Sciences (Ukraine), SALIX – Salix Energy Ltd. (Ukraine), and Legambiente Onlus (Italy).
The project has a duration of three years from January 2016 till December 2018.