Energy is an important factor towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals. Recording wood energy supply and consumption patterns is essential for development planning. It reveals areas where people rely on non-conventional energy sources, highlights poverty issues and illustrates environmental problems that may contribute to vulnerability.
The thematic geo-statistical layers produced with this WISDOM exercise and reported in this paper represent the beginning of an analytical process that will hopefully support a further level of analysis at national, sub-national levels. Further WISDOM analyses at these levels should be designed to support energy, forestry and development policies, while serving as a reference for regional and global wood energy mapping. To this end, it is important to improve the data gathering and statistics available to analysts and policy makers alike.
It is recommended that FAO and other national agencies:
1. Continue collecting reference data concerning both woodfuel consumption and woody biomass stocking and potential productivity. If an adequate set of field reference data can be gathered (main current constraint), it is recommended to stratify land cover data on a more detailed reference than the FAO Global Ecological Zone Map used in the present study. Notwithstanding the limitations posed by scarce field data on wood and biomass, a possible alternative could be the White Vegetation Map of Africa that provides a detailed description of a wide range of natural formations.
2. Widen and deepen the spatial analysis between supply and demand by introducing accessibility analysis based on physical (distance, slope) and legal (protected areas) factors.
3. Analyze the possible evolution of supply/demand scenarios using land cover change probabilities and demographic trends.