The role of wood energy in Africa

One of the regional studies in the FAO Wood Energy Programme’s Wood Energy Today for Tomorrow (WETT) series, The role of wood energy in Africa, has now been translated into French.

Copies of Le rôle de l’énergie ligneuse en Afrique (Document de travail FOPW/99/3) are available free of charge by contacting Miguel Trossero or Tina Etherington at the address given on the first page, or by sending an e-mail (forest-energy-forum@fao.org ).

Actes du symposium international

Les Actes du symposium La biomasse énergie pour le développement et l’environnement: quelles perspectives pour l’Afrique? viennent d’être publiés. Ce symposium international, organisé par l’IEPF, la BAD, la Banque mondiale, le CIRAD, l’Ademe, l’ACDI, la Région wallonne, le Ministère français des affaires étrangères et la CIABE, s’est tenu à Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, du 29 novembre au 2 décembre 1999.

Cet événement a réuni 250 personnes et intervenants issus du secteur privé et public (techniciens, ingénieurs, cadres dirigeants, etc.) représentant une trentaine de pays, essentiellement d’Afrique, et d’organismes régionaux et internationaux de développement.

Les Actes contiennent les textes des présentations faites durant le symposium, la synthèse et les recommandations qui en sont issues. (Source: Liaison, numéro 50, 1er trimestre 2001.)

Pour plus de détails, veuillez contacter:
M. Philippe Girard, CIRAD Forêt,
TA 10/16 – 73 Avenue J.-F. Breton,
34398 Montpellier Cedex 5, France.
Télécopie: +33 4 67616515;
mél.: philippe.girard@cirad.fr ; ou
IEPF, 56 rue Saint-Pierre, Québec GIK
4 AI, Canada.
Télécopie: +1 418 6925644.


Biomass stoves

Energy for Sustainable Development of the United Kingdom has produced Commercial production of energy-efficient biomass stoves for the commercial and institutional sector: Manual for producers, promoters and users, for those wanting to establish and promote the commercial production of large fuel-efficient wood stoves for commercial or institutional cooking.

The manual was prepared as part of the United Kingdom Government DFID KaR project, Deployment of Commercial Energy-Efficient Cooking R6848. Partners in the project were Rural Technology Enterprises of Nairobi, Kenya, and Megen Power of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

An electronic version is available free of charge: a printed version costs £10 (US$14.5). (Source: Boiling Point, No. 45.)

For more information, please contact:
Alastair Gill, Energy for Sustainable Development Ltd (ESD),
Overmoor Farm, Neston, Corsham, Wiltshire SN13 9TZ, UK.
Fax: +44 1225 812103;
e-mail: alastair@esd.co.uk


Development Bookshop Online

ITDG Publishing, the publishing arm of the Intermediate Technology Development Group, and a leading publisher of books on development issues, has recently launched the Development Bookshop Online.

This new bookshop allows you to use the Internet to search their database of key development books, make secure on-line orders, and browse bargain and best-seller lists. The on-line catalogue includes an extensive list of books on Household Energy, Renewable Energy and Appropriate Technology.



Pilot Analysis of Global Ecosystems (PAGE): Forest Ecosystems

This study, prepared by the World Resources Institute (WRI), analyses datasets at the global, national and subnational levels, and draws on published and unpublished scientific studies. It develops selected indicators that describe the condition of the world’s forests, where condition is defined as the current and future capacity of forests to provide the full range of goods and services that humans need and consume.

The following summarizes the key findings of the PAGE study regarding the conditions and trends in woodfuel use, as well as the quality and availability of data.


Conditions and trends

About 1.8 billion cubic metres of wood are burned directly as fuel each year, equivalent to more than half the total roundwood harvest. Production and consumption are concentrated in low-income countries.

Woodfuels account for an average of about 15 percent of primary energy supply in developing countries and up to 80 percent of total energy in some countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia.

In the industrialized countries, burning of industrial wood residues, as well as wood harvested directly for fuel, means that between 30 and 50 percent of total wood removed from forests is ultimately used for energy, but wood contributes only about 3 percent of total energy supply throughout the OECD region.

Forests appear to supply only about one third of woodfuels. The balance is obtained from other sources, including woodlands, roadsides, backyards, community woodlots and wood industry residues.

Shortages of woodfuel exist at the local level but, at the global level, forecasts of scarcity have probably been exaggerated. Poor data mean that the likelihood of a future woodfuel crisis cannot be accurately assessed. Scarcity hotspots appear to be concentrated in areas of high population density, low tree cover and low income.


Information status and needs

Data on woodfuel production and consumption in most developing countries are limited, unreliable and largely dependent on modelled estimates. Wood energy is generally accorded low priority in national energy planning, despite its major role in energy supply.

Information is needed at the subnational and national levels on the sources of woodfuel and household and industrial consumption to develop better estimates of demand and to integrate woodfuels into national energy planning.

Development of the FAO Wood Energy Database can be expected to improve knowledge of non-forest sources of woodfuels and patterns of supply and demand. Information on the ecological impacts of woodfuel collection is patchy.

More use of remote sensing data and the development of low-cost sampling and analysis techniques could help to determine biomass balances associated with woodfuel collection. Such data would be relevant to both energy planning and environmental analysis.

The full PAGE analysis on woodfuels and forest ecosystems can be downloaded in PDF from the WRI Web site.

For more information, please contact:

World Resources Institute,
10 G Street, NE (Suite 800),
Washington, DC 20002, USA.
Fax: +1 202 729 7610;
e-mail: lorih@wri.org;


After three days without reading, talk becomes flavourless.

Chinese proverb