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(crossposted with pics at the Villages Group Blog)

We continue supporting the economic viability of Palestinian residents in the Massafer-Yatta / South-Hebron-Hills region of the Occupied West Bank, who are under a constant ethnic-cleansing pressure.

Following the success of the Villages Group's first environmental initiative - the renewable energy project, which has been now running independently for about a year under the banner Comet-ME - the Villages Group is  now launching a second environmental initiative: Biodigester units for shepherd families' use. These systems turn the family herd's manure into  bio-gas for the family's cooking needs.

As mentioned in our previous post,  a month ago a team led by Yair Teller installed the first Biodigester  unit at the residence of the family of  Ismail Nawageh in Susiya.  After  a few weeks' incubation period the manure in the Biodigester is  by now producing enough gas, so yesterday it was connected to the Ismail  family kitchen for regular use.

(see pics at the Villages Group site )

In  the meanwhile, we also received the encouraging news, that the Arava  Institute for Environmental Studies decided to adopt Yair's project, and will  send its Palestinian, Israeli and International students to help Yair  in the installation of more Bidigester units in Susiya and elsewhere in  the south Mt. Hebron region.

--- Additional DKos points for discussion: ---

Assuming that at least some of the DK environmental forum will read this, I have a few questions and feel free to discuss them below.

Clearly, given the Susiya residents' struggle for their rights, and the fact that their environmental footprint is so much smaller than a typical consumer-culture society's footprint, their use of Biogas is completely justified and should be supported in the near and medium future, at least, including from the "purist" environmental aspect.

My question to you is more academic, about the general issue of using livestock dung for biogas, and its meaning for global warming. For sure, if cooking gas is already used anyway, then taking it from a bio-source is preferable to drilling it from the ground. But at bottom line, using gas does release CO2. Is this a wash, since dung would contribute CO2 anyway? Or has anyone analyzed this issue and concluded what is the best way, global-warming wise, to treat livestock dung? Does composting, say, release less CO2 than Biogas conversion?

Thanks.

Originally posted to Assaf on Sat May 08, 2010 at 09:47 AM PDT.

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