The demand for biomass for food, feed, fuel, and fibre purposes is ever increasing. Understanding and addressing the multiple challenges, opportunities, and preconditions of sustainable biomass production is essential to achieve sustainable development and should therefore enter the discourse on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The Sustainable Development Goals do not adequately acknowledge the implicit role of biomass in achieving the goals and do not sufficiently reflect the social, ecological, and economic conditions under which these resources are produced. Moreover, there is not sufficient reflection upon the interlinkages and trade-offs between water, energy and food security in a world with a changing climate. Building on the concept of common but differentiated responsibilities, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development will only be successful, if there are strong sustainability commitments by all countries.

The Renewable Resources and the Sustainable Development Goals Forum provides a research and exchange platform on the sustainable biomass to meet basic human needs. In particular, the multiple challenges posed by poor governance, overuse, and/or land use or resource competition in the production of different types of biomass are taken into account. This is necessary to avoid the further degradation of the underpinning ecosystems, and to ensure a people-centered and economically viable production and consumption of renewable resources.

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Renewable Resources and the Sustainable Development Goals Forum

  • Start: November 2013
  • Team: Ivonne Lobos Alva, Ira Matuschke, Nora Rocholl, Oscar Schmidt, Thando Tilmann
  • Funder: Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture
  • File number: 22017613


  • IISD Guest Article: Piloting Global Thematic Reviews of the SDGs: The Case of Natural Resources (Read here)
  • IISD Report High-Level Event on Towards Thematic Reviews for an Integrated Follow-Up & Review of the 2030 Agenda (Visit the website)
  • Outcomes from the session on EMPOWERing vulnerable land users to become agents of a transformative 2030 Agenda. A proposal for inclusive and participatory global thematic reviews on natural resources at the European Development Days 2016 (Read here)
  • Outcomes of Jump-starting the SDGs in Germany: natural resources and sustainable consumption and production (Visit the website)
  • Five Messages of the High‐Level Event on Follow‐Up and Review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (Download here)
  • Statement of the Co‐Chairs Conference on Bioenergy and Development (Download here)
  • IASS Issue BriefTowards an Integrated and Inclusive Follow-up and Review of Natural Resources (Download here)
  • Chair’s Conclusion of the conference on Europe and the Post 2015 Development Agenda: Shaping effective follow up, review and accountability mechanisms (Download here)
  • Summary of Side Event: Dialogue on Follow-Up and Review Mechanisms for Natural Resource Management and Governance to Achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (Download here)
  • IISD Summary Report of the International High-Level Event: Follow-Up and Review Mechanisms for Natural Resources in the Post-2015 Development Agenda (Download here)
  • Chair’s Conclusion of the International High-Level Event: Follow-Up and Review Mechanisms for Natural Resources in the Post-2015 Development Agenda (Download here)
  • Working Paper: The Role of Biomass in the Sustainable Development Goals (Download here)
  • IASS Policy BriefGrounding the Post-2015 Development Agenda: Options for the protection of our precious soil and land resources (Download here)
  • Workshop summary: Summary of the Peer-Review Workshop on biomass in the Sustainable Development Goals (Download here)



Ivonne Lobos Alva

Project Coordinator SDG Project

Ivonne Lobos AlvaIvonne Lobos Alva joined the IASS in April 2012. She is an environmental engineer with a focus on agroecology and environmental governance. In the Global Soil Forum, her work focuses on the development of strategies to address soil and land degradation at the global level. She currently advocates the protection of soil and land resources in the United Nations negotiation process to develop universal sustainable development goals. Prior to joining the IASS, she had over seven years of work experience with international development organizations such as the Canadian International Development Agency and the European Commission in rural development, disaster risk reduction and natural resource management projects.

Tel +49 331 28822-431

Dr. Ira Matuschke

Project Specialist

Dr. Ira MatuschkeIra Matuschke is an agricultural economist and policy analyst with a focus on food security, pro-poor growth, sustainable development, and stakeholder processes. She has gained a wealth of experience in the field of global governance through her work at the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). She further holds a PhD in Agricultural Sciences based on fieldwork conducted in rural India.

Tel +49 331 28822-375

Oscar Schmidt

Research Associate

Oscar SchmidtOscar Schmidt holds a MSc in Integrated Natural Resource Management and a BSc in Horticultural Sciences from Humboldt University Berlin. His research is committed to the sustainable governance of natural resources in the context of rapidly changing social conditions. He approaches this topic primarily from the perspectives of Institutional Economics, Development Studies and Rural Sociology.

Tel +49 331 288 22-431

Thando Tilmann

Program Associate

T_Thando TilmannThando Tilmann is a Program Associate at the IASS and has been with the institute since 2010. She has an Mphil  in Land Economy from the University of Cambridge and a Postgraduate Diploma in Management Studies from the Cambridge Judge Business School.

She  has worked as a Lecturer and research assistant in the Department of Agricultural Economics and Agricultural Business at New Mexico State University teaching a course on Land Policy and Development Economics. She has also worked as a Programme Analyst at the United Nations Development Programme in Zimbabwe building and maintaining a framework of cooperation between UN agencies based in Zimbabwe and a broad range of societal actor groups.

Tel +49 331 28822-317

Nora Rocholl

Student Assistant
Foto_NR_klNora joined the IASS in February 2016 and supports the SDG Team. She holds an MSc in Environmental Sustainability from the University of Edinburgh and a BA in International Cultural and Business Studies from Passau University. During her Masters she focused on energy policy which led her to take up an engineering degree in renewable energies. She previously worked at the GIZ and interned at the German Council for Sustainable Development and the Federal Foreign Office.

Tel +49 331 28822-398/99

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