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Although, since as early as 80, reports called attention to the fact that information on subsistence wood production was very limited (Kir, 1984). The supply component of woodfuel use in Africa is among the weaknesses of woodfuel knowledge (Amous 1999). Statistics with this regard are totally lacking. Like elsewhere in Africa (Amous, 1999) almost all wood fuels in Mozambique are collected, transported and consumed through informal channels.

According to Amous (1999) although woodfuel utilisation has traditionally been a crucial issue as regards its interaction with environment, development and social welfare, there have been no serious efforts in any African country to include it definitively as a basic sector in planning processes. Otherwise, this would improve understanding of global trends of woodfuel use, their contribution to wood removals, and associated future environmental and energy challenge.

3.1. Woodfuel commodities

Fuelwood is a traded commodity in urban areas in Mozambique. Fuelwood, by urban household, is mainly consumed in the form of charcoal.

African countries rely on wood to meet energy requirements far more heavily than most other developing countries (Amous 1999). Woodfuel account for about 40% of total African primary energy consumption. During the period 1991-1994, this share dropped slightly from 41% to 39.4%, which does not appear significant given the uncertainty of woodfuel data (Amous, 1999). Even though, Mozambican data fits the Tropical Southern Africa (TSA) data trends, as can be seen in the following Table:

Table 6. Fuelwood consumption in the region


















Source: Amous (1990); DNFFB (1995).

Given this situation, the collection, compilation and analysis of biofuel data, particularly woodfuel data, never constituted a priority for these countries, and past initiatives (surveys, studies) were more project -based and tended to be limited in scope from the following points of view: geographically, sectorally and historically.

Like in most sub-Saharian Africa, in the future, woodfuels are likely to remain the major energy source in Mozambique. However, despite their importance, woodfuels data in Africa are very scarce and are characterised by high degree of uncertainty, which makes it difficult to undertake relevant: planning tasks, impact studies of woodfuel use on the environment in general and on forestry resources in particular; forecasting studies (Amous 1999).

According to (Amous 1999) Mozambique with 3.5% is one of the Top 10 countries that contributed around two thirds of total African consumption, while the 45 other countries contributed one third. However, in Africa, per capita woodfuel consumption dropped significantly from 1.08 m3 in 1980 to 0.89 m3 in 1994 (Amous, 1999). This is can be attributed to urbanisation which in general is accompanied by a decrease in per capita consumption because of social evolution and the specificity of urban space.



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