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Annex IV - Definition of priority issues

The multidisciplinary and inter-sectoral character of wood energy systems often represents a limitation to the acquisition of political relevance and to the formulation of efficient solutions. In addition, it makes the definition of main priorities for action difficult and subjective.

For these reasons, the workshop attempted to identify critical/priority issues following two different approaches: (i) through work group discussions, and (ii) through the filling of a questionnaire individually by all participants.

Conclusions of work group discussions

The participants were divided into two groups, at random, and were requested to carry out a diagnosis of critical issues and indicate the main priorities for action at national and regional level. In order to guide the discussions within the two separate work groups on the same themes, and to orient the result of diagnosis into priorities for action, the following questions were proposed

What should be done:
      I to improve WE statistics/information?

      II to improve on Institutional Links/arrangements for acquisition (presentation/dissemination) of Wood Energy data?

      III for the promotion of WE Planning at National/Regional levels?

      IV to establish proper Wood Energy strategies and legislation on Wood Energy issues?

      V to have easy communication/dissemination of FAO work?

The general conclusions resulting from the integration of the conclusions of the two work groups are the following:

I. Improvement of national WE statistics

Establish a harmonized framework (UWET and guidelines) for data collection/compilation/ analysis/dissemination (by area, by sector, by WE product);
Improve Demand side data through ground- field surveys on a regular basis;
Data analysis, consumption statistics :
 Frequent and reliable WE estimates/U&R +HH&I;
WE supply from the agricultural private lands, etc.;
Use modern tools for data collection on supply side (e.g. remote sensing, GIS, etc.);
WE supply from the agricultural private lands etc.

II. Improvement institutional links, etc.

Establish institutional mechanisms which officialize the process + Establish a steering committee involving the major stakeholders;
Establish adequate framework for exchanging information & experience:
    - National, regional and international network of experts on WE field
  - National web site on WE

III. Promotion of WE planning activities at national/regional levels

Awareness raising at different levels (policy makers, main players, etc.)
Develop projections/outlook for planning purposes

IV. Establish appropriate WE strategies/policies

Review and revise the legislation/policies addressing WE issues
Dissemination of sustainable practices in transforming and using WE

V. Communication/dissemination of current FAO work/results

Each country should review the data available at country level in order to define new best estimates where relevant. Replace the current FAO statistics with new ones
Large dissemination and communication of the documents produced by this project
Accessibility through web site
Establishment of officials focal points interacting with this FAO process for WE activities

Conclusions from Individual Questionnaires

Wood energy systems are site specific, and very complex and, due to its multidisciplinary and inter-sectoral character, the definition of priorities is difficult and subjective. For this reason, the workshop attempted to identify and rank critical/priority issues through a questionnaire in which key issues were hierarchically structured. At each level of such structure, the participant was requested to rank the three provided issues with unique ranking: 1 for the highest priority (most critical limiting factor), 2 for the second priority, and 3 for the third priority. The purpose of this questionnaire was to obtain an immediate response expressing the "gut's feelings" of the workshop on critical issues and priorities.

The summary of the ranking attributed by the individual participants, shown in the following page, allows to highlight the issues perceived by workshop participants as most critical for an appropriate management and development of the wood energy sectors in the region.

In the summary table the priority assigned is inversely proportional to the values reported for each item. Such priority is only referred to the two/three issues listed for the specific level.

Main conclusions

1. Wood energy sector development and planning.

Woodfuels information is clearly considered the most critical for the overall sector development, needing urgent improvement. Asked whether the most critical element affecting appropriate planning of Wood Energy was lack of adequate wood-fuel information, the poor role in national planning, or poor linkage/coordination among stakeholders, most participants identified the first as most critical. Adequate and reliable information was considered instrumental to present the case to policy makers, to highlight the importance of the sector for the well-being of the population and to clearly indicate priorities for action and propose solutions.
Going along the priorities concerning wood-fuel information, the "critical path" of the needed urgent improvements is:

2. Poor role of the wood energy sector in national planning

Lack of financial appeal and difficulty to acquire official statistics on the informal sector (elusiveness) are considered responsible of the poor role of the wood energy sector in national planning. In spite of the fact that wood-fuel satisfy most of national energy requirements, hence representing a huge economic value, the sector is considered "poor business", with little attraction for capital investments and little promise of rich revenues. This, along with the difficulty to account for the informal sector, is considered the cause of the marginal role played by this sector in the national planning context.

3. Poor linkages among stakeholders.

Lack of adequate resources/capacities and, to a lower extent, lack of co-ordination, is considered responsible for the current poor linkages among stakeholders. Most participants felt that the responsibility for the poor links among stakeholders is with the chronic lack of human and other resources that the various institutions allocate for this task. This, more than the pure co-ordination or compatibility of definitions among stakeholders is considered critical.

Workshop's participants' priority ranking - Aggregation of individual results

NOTE: Due to ranking system, priorities are inversely proportional to the numbers reported.
Lower values identify most critical aspects needing improvement

1 - Woodfuels information

2 - National planning role

3 - Linkages among stakeholders

 

15

24

27

   

First priority

     

 

Second priority

1 - Woodfuels information

     

Third priority

1.1

Data analysis

1.2

Consumption

1.3

Supply

   

20

21

25

   
         
 

1.1 - Woodfuels data analysis

 
 

Data projection / modelling

Socio-economic data

Trade and distribution

 
 

16

20

25

 
         
 

1.2 - Woodfuels consumption information

 
 

1.2.1

Rural/urban

1.2.2

Household / industrial

 
 

15

18

   
         
   

1.2.1 - Rural/urban wood-fuel consumption

   

Frequency of assessment

Compatibility / reliability of estimates

Administrative subdivision

   

18

19

29

         
   

1.2.2 - Household/industrial wood-fuel consumption

   

Frequency of assessment

Compatibility / reliability of estimates

Administrative subdivision

   

18

19

29

         
 

1.3 - Woodfuels Supply information

 
 

Agricultural / private lands

Other natural vegetation

Reserved forests / plantations

 
 

19

20

27

 
         

2 - National planning role

   

Financial
appeal

Informal sector elusiveness

Political influence / visibility

   

18

19

29

   
       

3 - Linkages among stakeholders

     

Adequate resources / capacities

Coordination within / among institutions and in time

Compatibility of definitions / subdivisions

   

16

19

31

   

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