Project Scope



The Competence Platform on Energy Crop and Agroforestry Systems for Arid and Semi-arid Ecosystems – Africa (COMPETE) will bring together world-leading scientists, researchers, funders and practitioners from different fields and across the world to create a platform for discussion, knowledge exchange, policy and methodology development. It will use this concentrated expertise to provide strategic and practical guidance and tools on the provision of modern bioenergy for the sustainable and optimal usage of these special ecosystems.


The main objective of COMPETE is to identify pathways for the provision of bioenergy, which will:


1. improve the quality of life for the inhabitants e.g. poverty alleviation, value added activities, alternative means of income generation and providing options to reduce vulnerability whilst, in parallel;
2. aid the preservation of the critical functions of arid and semi-arid regions in Africa as intact ecosystems e.g. maintaining biodiversity and providing ecosystem services, and;
3. enhance the equitable exchange of knowledge between EU and developing countries in this critical area of activity



A number of sub-objectives which represent the highly cross-sectoral nature of bioenergy provision and the breadth and depth of the scientific and technological objectives that COMPETE will integrate into providing useful decision making and implementation tools.


The long-term provision of secure supplies of bioenergy will require the evaluation of a large range of inter-related factors within a comprehensive analytical framework and associated decision making tools leading to a holistic policy development process. Factors, such as; the optimal and socially acceptable allocation of land between food, infrastructure, bioenergy and other uses; soil degradation; the impacts of, and on, climate change; water use; and, the potential for political conflict. These factors are closely linked to the problems that many regions in Africa are confronted with. A multi-sectoral cross-disciplinary approach is urgently needed to cope with these problems and the likely demands generated by high oil prices, and that reflects the emerging evidence base on ecosystem damage and tools for monitoring sustainability.




Project Implementation Plan


The project work of the COMPETE competence network is divided into seven major co-ordination activities (work-packages, WP) comprising a specified number of tasks. These co-ordination activities have been identified in a way to ensure that all important aspects connected to an improved and sustainable management of natural resources in arid and semi-arid regions of developing countries are addressed.