This publication has been prepared as part of FAO's Forestry for Local Community Development Programme. It has been made possible by a contribution from the Swedish International Development Authority (SIDA) to FAO to support this Programme.
The publication is intended for persons confronted with the task of trying to deal with the growing fuelwood shortages which threaten so much of the developing world. It is designed to help develop the information needed in order to understand the reasons for a shortage and to identify and plan successful interventions that can improve the situation.
Fuelwood supply and usage are usually embedded in a complex system within which most of the factors that affect the ability to intervene with forestry solutions are of a non-forestry nature. They are primarily human factors, connected with the ways in which people organize their lives and use their land and other resources.
Simply measuring wood fuel use and the tree resource, while a necessary part of the whole, will by itself give very little indication of what can and should be done. It has become clear in recent years that in order to provide an adequate information base for planning effective fuelwood-related projects it is necessary to draw as well upon the techniques and experience of other disciplines used in the study of rural, and urban, problems and development.
Recently the gravity of the rural energy problem in developing countries has attracted the attention of researchers from a number of disciplines, and has led to various important innovative studies the results of which are already greatly expanding our understanding of the fuelwood situation. FAO therefore invited a number of people engaged in such work to write about various aspects of surveying rural energy situations dominated by wood fuel supply and use. This publication contains the papers thus prepared.
The publication is consequently designed primarily to make available to those in the forestry profession relevant experience from other disciplines. It does not deal with the forestry components of studies of fuelwood situations as knowledge of this is assumed in the audience to which it is directed. Nor, as the editors explain in their introduction, is it a manual. Rather, it attempts to provide guidance to those responsible for planning fuelwood-related projects in identifying the nature of the situation they are confronted with and the appropriate approach to assembling information for planning.
The authors of the five papers are: David Brokensha, Professor of Anthropology and Director of the Social Process Research Institute at the University of California, Santa Barbara, writing with Alfonso Peter Castro, also from the Department of Anthropology; Russell deLucia, President of Meta Systems Inc. in Cambridge, Massachusetts; William B. Morgan, Professor of Geography at King's College in London; and Amulya K.N. Reddy, Professor, Department of Inorganic and Physical Chemistry, and Convener, Centre for the Application of Science and Technology to Rural Areas (ASTRA) at the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore. In addition, Howard S. Geller, American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy in Washington, writing with Gautam S. Dutt from the Center for Energy and Environmental Studies at Princeton University, contributed the sixth paper on measurement issues which appears as an annex. The publication was edited for FAO by David Brokensha and Alfonso Peter Castro.
FAO is most grateful to the many other people who contributed to the work in one way or another. In particular it wishes to record its appreciation to Deanna Donovan, James Douglas, David French and Keith Openshaw for their contributions to the annex materials, and to C. Anthony Pryor for advice and assistance in the early stages of the exercise and for hosting a review meeting of the authors at the Center for Integrative Development in New York midway through the preparation of the publication.
J.E.M. Arnold, Chief
Policy and Planning Service