At the Second East Asia Summit held in January 2007 on the island of Cebu, Republic of the Philippines, participating nations issued the Cebu Declaration on East Asian Energy Security in recognition of the need for alternative energy sources to petroleum to ensure sustainable economic development of the East Asian region.
The Declaration stated that joint efforts are required to accelerate the use of biomass fuels, and to reinforce development and promote international cooperation in this area, in order to provide a rapid response to depletion of oil reserves, environmental problems, global warming, and problems of climate change.
At the Summit, the then Prime Minister Abe announced the Energy Cooperation Initiative (Fueling Asia - Cooperation Initiative for Clean Energy and Sustainable Growth) covering the promotion of biomass energy. The announcement received high praise from all Summit participants.
The initiative stated that Japan would implement the following cooperation package to improve energy security in the East Asian region in light of expected rapid expansion in energy demand.
- Establishment of the Asia Biomass Energy Research Core within the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology to carry out joint research on biofuel production and associated standards.
- The Institute of Energy Economics, Japan to receive 500 trainees over the next five years to train specialists in the biomass field.
- New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) to hold seminars related to best practice in government policy and technology in the biomass field.
- Establishment of the Asia Biomass Energy Cooperation Promotion Office within the New Energy Foundation to promote smooth cooperation in the field of biomass energy in 1, 2 and 3 above.
In accordance with the initiative, the Asia Biomass Energy Cooperation Promotion Office was established within the New Energy Foundation in June 2007.
The Office will primarily undertake the following work in its function as a contact point for East Asian countries in the field of biomass energy, and as a hub for a network of cooperation between related organizations within Japan.
- In response to requests for cooperation received from overseas organizations, coordination with Japanese organizations in accordance with request content.
- Compilation of information on overseas research organizations and related agencies, and its dissemination to organizations within Japan.
- Gathering of information in such topics as past cooperation, research results by Japanese organizations, and resources on research personnel, in a database for dissemination both within Japan and overseas.
- Planning and coordination of workshops open for overseas and Japanese organizations, and liaison meetings etc.
The Office has established a network for cooperation between biomass energy related organizations within Japan, and exchanges information and provides enterprise support. It is also engaged in acquisition of information from overseas, and dissemination of information both overseas and in Japan, and as a part of this work hosts the Asia Biomass Energy Liaison Meeting consisting of the following organizations as appropriate.
As a further part of its operations, the Office convenes a conference on the Asia Biomass Energy Cooperation Project at the end of each fiscal year to introduce related projects, to present project results, and to introduce case studies. This conference is held for the general public through the experts, and the guidance of the participation is introduced in NEF homepage http://www.nef.or.jp and Asia Biomass Office http://www.asiabiomass.jp/.
- National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology
- New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization
- The Institute of Energy Economics, Japan