This study concerns the impacts of biofuels by contributing to the debate about biofuels from two cases and two perspectives. In order to do so, a comparative account of the study is used to elucidate not just the differences but also how the role of actors and approaches enforced by them ascertain the underlying reasons that produce such differences. This paper aims to contribute to this debate by highlighting the social and political consequences from two contrasting cases in Honduras. Drawing on two cases covering diverse crops (Palm Oil and Jatropha), and approaches (neoliberalization and social sustainability). The analysis of the impacts is based on evidence from reports and studies setting the ground with a realistic perspective to contribute to the debate on biofuels differentiated impacts. Hence, the discussion and the analysis are centered on two specific cases depicting contrasting impacts of biofuels production. The first depicts one case with undesirable social-political results attempting to achieve sustainable goals. The second presents a case where sustainable practices have resulted in social peace. Our objective is not to assess how well the impacts of biofuels have met these goals, but to explain why these impacts differ, and thus to ascertain the underlying factors driving such contrasts. The debate of biofuels in this study focuses on the problems linked to sensitive political and social issues around land tenure and access, especially as land goes
4 experiences several changes and pressures affecting several rural communities in developing countries. The land issue is therefore vital for the social and political stability, as the effects of such intensification are seen when dispossession occurs and marginalization is widespread on some of the territories they develop. The study attempts firstly to identify social and political impacts, which are addressed here as an intertwined process of social disruptions in which land tenure and land access are under threat and limitations for peasants and poor rural communities, therefore prompting political instability as conflicts are triggered. In that case, the problems with land use and ownership are leading to negative social and political impacts in Honduras, which ultimately, destabilize and worsen the social and economic conditions of the rural areas. In that context, the role of international institutions and their policies are influential as they further undermines the democratic process and the institutions within the country while the social and political stability diminishes. This is nurtured by a growing resistance by social and rights movements struggling to have access to land and their livelihoods, and to a more sustainable ways for biofuels and food production.
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