International recognition for rice straw research at Global Bioenergy Partnership Week

The United Nations has honoured Czaneil Gomez, a visiting researcher to the Energy & Bioproducts Research Institute (EBRI) for her research on harnessing rice straw to empower rice farming communities in the Philippines under the supervision of our Hub sustainability experts Mirjam Roeder and Katie Chong.

She was presented with the prestigious Youth Award by Maria Michela Morese, FAO senior natural resources officer and energy team leader on 17 June during Global Bioenergy Partnership (GBEP) Week in Rome organised by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations.

Czaneil is an early career researcher based at University of the Philippines Los Baños and Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) and is carrying out research on the current Rice Straw Biogas Hub project in partnership with EBRI,  Hub industrial partner Straw Innovations, SEARCA and Koolmill. She  presented her research on rice straw during GBEP-YUNGA Bioenergy Youth Day and her research poster has been on display at the FAO headquarters in Rome, one of the highest profile international bioenergy organisations.

Czaneil said:

“Receiving this award recognises my passion and dedication for finding sustainable approaches for rice farming communities in the Philippines. My recent research visit to Aston University and working with world-leading experts in sustainable bioenergy was a great experience and has excelled my research skills and knowledge. Receiving the GBEP Youth Award is a big honour and made me realise that regardless of your background, as long as you keep moving forward, anything is possible.

I am very grateful to the people and institutions who supported me in this. I am now more inspired to continue exploring innovative solutions that promote a more sustainable world, believing that each of us has the power to make a significant impact.”

Mirjam Röder said:

“EBRI is committed to capacity building and support early career researchers. Czaneil’s GBEP Youth Award success is a fantastic achievement. It shows the importance of empowering future generations to develop skills and knowledge in the field of sustainability and renewable energy for local communities. Czaneil is a female engineer from a low-income background, and I have found working with her insightful and inspiring. The experience has emphasised that all ideas, perspectives and voices are relevant to find inclusive solutions in tackling climate change.”

This year’s Global Bioenergy Partnership Week focused on bioenergy within food production and private sector collaboration to improve sustainable production and use of bioenergy.
Tiziana Pirelli, GBEP secretariat coordinator, said:

“Czaneil’s work is a shining example of how multifunctional, integrated agrifood systems can benefit both the environment and farming communities. Her innovative approach to harness rice straw for biogas demonstrates how sustainable bioeconomy supports rural livelihoods, enhances food and energy security and reduces greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution. This is precisely the kind of innovation we need to achieve our climate and development goals.”

Photo (left to right): Josyline C. Javelosa (Agriculture Attaché and Deputy Permanent Representative to Rome-based Agencies of the United Nations), Tiziana Pirelli (Coordinator, Secretariat GBEP), Mirjam Röder, Czaneil Gomez, Michela Morese (Energy Team Leader and Senior Natural Resources Officer, FAO), Katie Chong

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