2.3 Classification of resources
2.4 Study procedure
2.5 Presentation of results
The methodology worked out for this study is based on two fundamental considerations: the geographical specificity of fuelwood supply and consumption situations, and the very varied nature of the supplies. The aim is-to assess the level of supplies compatible with sustained production and to which a population can have access, and then to compare this level with that of the requirements. It is this comparison which provides an indication of the fuelwood situation and makes it possible to detect indices of incipient acute scarcity or deficit.
The geographical specificity of fuelwood situations is a well-known characteristic. The limited possibilities for transporting and having access to fuelwood mean that in studying a situation it is necessary to take into consideration relatively limited areas; otherwise there is a great risk that considerable local variations will be ignored in presenting an overall picture of the situation. The abundance of forest resources available in a relatively large region may eclipse local situations of acute scarcity, the resources obviously being where there is no demand; the reverse is also possible. There are, however, rapidly attained limits to the amount of disaggregation that is reasonably possible in sue a study. One of the first problems that the methodology had to resolve, therefore, was that of defining the parameters to be used in identifying fuelwood situations while endeavouring to go beyond the appearance of the situations at national level in order to show up the variations that this may conceal.
The second characteristic is connected with the heterogeneity of what is covered by the term "fuelwood" and the variety of the sources from which populations obtain their supplies, although it is not usually possible to ascertain their relative importance accurately except in very detailed studies Fuelwood sources consist not only of forests properly so-called but also of other types of woody vegetations trees and shrubs, in closed or open formations, woodlots and even isolated trees scattered throughout the countryside, and wood waste from agriculture and industry. All these heterogeneous resources are utilized to produce warmth for domestic or artisanal purposes through direct combustion or after carbonization. Within the framework of this study it is particularly important to emphasize that the more difficult a fuelwood situation, the more probable it is that resources not directly connected with forests play an important supporting role, even a principal one in extreme cases The methodology, therefore, had also to define approaches that would make it possible to include the different fuelwood resources in assessing supplies.
Finally, the methodology was worked out so as to use relatively homogeneous criteria in handling the great diversity of existing and available information, checked and supplemented by the knowledge and experience of those participating in the study. Here the regional teams played a particularly important role in checking and completing the analyses. It must be emphasized, however, that owing in particular to the need for global coherence, the overall presentation masks, over and above regional differences, considerable variations in the coverage and quality of the information; this is symptomatic of the varying degrees of awareness of the importance of fuelwood in energy balances and of the degradation in supplies under way in many places. Cases in which information was lacking were studies by reference to similar situations.
In order to assess the situation as regards fuelwood supply and demand, it was necessary to define from the outset, precisely and unambiguously, the concepts necessary for achieving the objectives of the study. These definitions must be completed by referring to the classification of woody vegetation as used in evaluating the resources: potential yield of fuelwood.
The following definitions apply to the main terms used in the study:
Fuelwood; Wood and pulp material obtained from the trunks, branches and other parts of trees and shrubs to be used as fuel for cooking, heating or generating energy through direct combustion, not only in households but also in rural industries (curing, smoking, etc.). Included in this definition are charcoal and agricultural and industrial wood and pulp residues. The large-scale use of wood fuel for industrial purposes, for example in metal - working, is not covered.
This definition may cover a wide variety of material used as fuelwood, comprising even roots, bark and the leaves of woody plants, or crop residues such as straw, husks and the products from the pruning of fruit trees. Fuelwood hence covers a very varied range of plant material used more or less indiscriminately for the same purpose, depending on how scarce real fuelwood is.
Fuelwood needs; Minimum amount of fuelwood necessary in view of the minimum energy estimated to be indispensable for household consumption, artisanal purposes and rural industries, in line with local conditions and the share of fuelwood in their energy supplies. In some cases actual fuelwood consumption may be lower than estimated needs, owing to the existence of acute shortages, or higher, owing to the abundance of supplies. Fuelwood needs here exclude large-scale industrial use - for metallurgy, cement - making, etc. They are estimated on the basis of current conversion technologies in the energy systems that exist in the rural areas and in urban concentrations of limited size where energy consumption patterns remain very similar to those in the neighbouring rural areas.
Populations dependent on fuelwood or rural populations; For the purposes of this study it has been assumed that the populations dependent on fuelwood are populations with a rural type of energy consumption in which traditional fuels such as fuelwood play a major role.
It has been arbitrarily assumed that populations dependent on fuelwood consist of rural people properly so-called and the inhabitants of towns with a population of less than 100 000, who have usually kept a similar type of energy consumption. It is assumed that the proportion of the population of these towns which depends essentially on conventional commercial fuels is made up for by the proportion in the larger towns which continues to depend on traditional fuels.
Unless otherwise stated, it is to this definition of populations dependent on fuel-wood that reference is made in this study.
The population statistics used in this study, in particular as regards population trends to the year 2000, are those published by FAO ¹.
¹ World Population Estimates and Projections, 1950-2000.
Fuelwood supplies: Quantities of fuelwood which are, or can be made available for energy use on the basis of the mean annual productivity of all potential resources on a sustainable production basis. The mean annual fuelwood productivity is calculated by deducting from the mean total annual productivity the amount of wood destined for industry - which usually has priority. The potential resources comprise natural woody vegetation, plantations, the wooded elements scattered throughout cultivated zones, and the wood waste from industry and agriculture} these resources are defined more in detail in the following paragraph, which explains their classification.
Accessible fuelwood supplies! A distinction should be made between these supplies and the total apparent supplies. Accessibility, a correcting factor based on physical and economic considerations, makes it possible to take into account dispersion of the resources, lack of infrastructure for their utilization, their use for other purposes, such as the use of agricultural waste to fertilize the land, and various other parameters. The accessible fuelwood supplies represent the proportion of the quantities available for energy purposes that can actually be used under normal conditions of supply and demand.
Fuelwood balance; The difference between needs and accessible supplies shows whether there is balance or imbalance in the fuelwood situation at .present. A positive balance denotes an excess of supply over needs, and a negative balance a deficit. In the latter case, requirements are met either by over-utilization of the existing supplies, or by shifting to other types of fuel, if there are any. In the last analysis, consumption may be well below needs Since fuelwood situations are markedly location-specific, the fuel - wood balance for a fairly wide area may conceal considerable localized gaps between supplies and needs, particularly in the vicinity of large towns.
The balance between accessible supplies and needs, the end result of analysis, is the main indicator of the fuelwood situation in a given zone. When the balance is positive, it shows that the use of wood for energy purposes can be further expanded. When it is negative, it indicates the extent of the deficit between the level of accessible supplies on the basis of sustained yield and the minimum requirements of the populations dependent on fuelwood. The balance per inhabitant is particularly significant and will be constantly used in this study.
2.3.1 Natural woody vegetation
2.3.3 Other natural woody resources
2.3.4 Agricultural and industrial residues
2.3.5 Concept of fuelwood volume
The classification of resources for the purpose of assessing fuelwood supplies covers mainly natural woody vegetation, plantations, rural woodlots, and agricultural and industrial residues. The classification of natural woody vegetation and plantations, taken from the FAO/UNEP project on the evaluation of tropical forest resources, is briefly summarized below as regards the elements directly connected with fuelwood.
These are formations in which woody elements cover more than 10 percent of the ground. Though it is often difficult, if not impossible, to estimate this percentage from the descriptions given, and this percentage is not always used in information, it has been selected as the limit between formations in which the woody elements actually constitute a community and those in which they are scattered (or in lines) in landscapes with a non-woody vegetation or without any other vegetation".
"The word 'woody' is used although the trees of some monocotyledons do not contain 'wood' in the usual meaning of the word".
"The adjective 'natural' is used only in relation to plantations which can be considered as a purely artificial vegetation (see section 2.3.2 below). It does not mean at all that there is no human or, more generally, biotic interference. On the contrary a significant proportion, varying with countries, of 'natural vegetation' corresponds to degradation stages (after fires, clearings by shifting cultivation, over-exploitation for wood, grazing) or reconstitution stages after degradation, or to forests disturbed by logging, with or without management".
The following different types of natural formations are distinguished (see also the attached diagram):
- "N stands for any vegetation type of which the dominant woody element is the tree,... viz a woody perennial plant typically large and with a single, well-defined stem carrying a more or less definite crown (height more than 7 metres for mature trees) .
- "n corresponds to any vegetation type the main wood elements of which are shrubs of more than 50 cm and less than 7 metres high".¹¹ These limits must be interpreted with flexibility, particularly the minimum tree height (and maximum shrub height), which may vary between 5 and 8 metres approximately.
- "NH corresponds to types with predominance of trees of broadleaved species (angiosperms), dicotyledons or monocotyledons (e.g. palms, raphias). Premodimance is characterized by a proportion of more than 50 percent of the crown cover".
- "NS corresponds to types with predominance of trees of coniferous species (gymnosperms). Coniferous species (for instance of genus Podocarpus), are often present in mixed tropical forests of medium and high mountains, without being predominant. As a result, no significant forest area has been classified as NS in some countries in spite of the occurrence of coniferous species".
- "NHC stands for closed broadleaved forests, i.e. those which, when not recently cleared by shifting agriculture or heavily exploited, cover with their various storeys and undergrowth a high proportion of the ground and do not have a continuous dense grass layer allowing grazing and spreading of fires".
- "NHO corresponds to mixed, broadleaved forest - grassland formations with a continuous dense grass layer in which the tree synusia cover more than 10 percent (e.g. various forms of "cerrado" and "chaco" in America, tree and wooded savannas and woodlands in Africa). This division between closed forests and mixed formations is more of ecological than physiognomic type and is not necessarily characterized by a crown cover percentage, since, for instance, trees of some woodlands cover the ground completely like closed forests".
A distinction has been introduced between mixed, broadleaved forest - grassland formations covering more than 40 percent of the ground (NH01), corresponding to wooded savanna, and those which cover 10 to 40 percent (NH02), or savanna with trees, this distinction corresponding to noticeable differences in the level of wood production and hence in fuelwood supplies.
Stretches of closed forests and mixed forest - grassland formations are sometimes rendered unproductive of fuelwood, either by legal prohibition of cutting, (in national parks, reserves, etc.) or by the terrain, which makes them almost impossible to utilize. These stretches have usually been excluded from the assessment of fuelwood resources.
- "NHCa (or NSa). or 'forest fallow', stands for all complexes of woody vegetation deriving from the clearing by shifting cultivation of closed, broadleaved forests or coniferous forests and consisting of a mosaic of various reconsitution facies ('secondary bush', 'young secondary forests', stands of Musanga or becropia. 'secondary growth'). Patches of uncleared forest and of agricultural fields are generally included in these areas, as it is impossible to account for them separately within the shifting cultivation areas (in particular in the visual interpretation of satellite imagery). When site conditions are unfavourable (e.g. broken terrain) or when the fallow period is reduced to a very short period, clearing by agriculture leads to such a degradation of the site that reconstitution of the forest is not possible within the foreseeable future; the resulting degraded vegetation is not included in the NHCa (or NSa) category, but in shrub formations (n) or outside woody vegetation".
- "nH stands for formations in which the woody element consists essentially of deciduous shrubs and bushes (thickets, shrub savanna). In the absence of precise information, no attempt has been made in most cases to introduce a classification of these formations. For many mixed, deciduous forest - grassland formations, the separation between those in which the dominant woody elements are trees (MHO) and those in which they are shrubs (nH) is often approximate".
The term 'plantation' corresponds to:
- forest stands established artificially by afforestation on land which previously did not carry forest;
- forest stands established artificially by reforestation on land which carried forest within the previous fifty years or within living memory, and involving replacement of the previous crop by a new and essentially different crop
Plantations in the sense used in this study do not include stands established by artificial regeneration and essentially similar to those they are replacing
A distinction is made between industrial plantations established totally or partly for production wood for industry (mainly sawlogs and veneer logs, pulpwood, pitprope) or as an industrial source of energy and non-industrial plantations (or 'other plantations') established mainly for the production of fuelwood and wood for charcoal, or small wood for rural populations
In the case of industrial plantations, fuelwood productivity is calculated on the basis of the products from thinning and the residues not used industrially.
These other resources important for fuelwood supplies consist of row plantations, hedges, village and family woodlots, orchards and trees scattered over agricultural areas. The term rural woodlots is applied to small woods with an area of less than 10 hectares scattered over rural areas. In the absence of precise information on the other woody resources and their effective contribution to fuelwood supplies, we have been forced in the study to put forward estimates usually obtained from agricultural production statistics or localized studies whose results have been extrapolated} specific estimates have been included on the extent of these resources and their fuelwood yield.
There are many kinds of agricultural residues that can be used as fuel to complement or replace fuelwood. Wherever these residues are known to constitute a fuel used by the rural people, estimates of the amount available have been made. These estimates are based on agricultural production statistics, using a conversion factor between the residues derived from a product unit and their equivalent in fuelwood. In order to take into account the important role that such residues should play in maintaining productivity by being dug into the soil, it has been generally assumed that only 50 percent of the total amount of residue derived from a crop is actually available for supplying energy through direct combustion.
The residues from wood industries that can be used as fuelwood consist of the waste from logging, saw-mills and the panel industries. It has been estimated that this waste amounts to about 30 percent of the volume of industrial wood extracted from the forests for processing. It has been assumed, however, that only 50 percent of the estimated amount of waste is available for use as fuelwood, the rest either being recycled in the production process or used for industrial energy purposes, including coverage of at least part of the production unit's requirements.
It will be noted that animal waste used for energy purposes is excluded from this study and that account has bean taken of this exclusion in defining minimum fuelwood needs.
For the various types of resources thus classified and assessed, an average fuel-wood productivity has been estimated. This corresponds to the gross volume of woody material utilizable as fuelwood after removal of the volume suitable for an industrial use or for purposes to which more value is attached than energy, such as construction. It has thus been clearly admitted as a principle that any use as industrial timber when the material is suitable for this is preferable to use as fuelwood. In addition, the volume of fuelwood used in this study corresponds to an average definition of fuelwood and can obviously not be confused with the volume of biomass utilizable for energy.
After analysing the information available and discussing it with the regional teams, the following figures were adopted as the average levels of fuelwood productivity per hectare and per year for the various types of natural woody vegetation:
Closed broadleaved forests (NHC)
Formations with predominance of trees of coniferous species (NS)
Wooded savanna (NHO1)
Savanna with trees (MHO2)
Shrub formations (nH)
Forest fallow (NHCa, NSa)
This represents a prudent average which may be modified, increased or decreased locally in order to take into account existing knowledge on the real yield capacity of the natural woody formations.
2.4.1 Stratification of situations
2.4.2 Classification of situations
2.4.3 Analysis of situation categories
2.4.4 Classification of deficit or potentially deficit situations
The procedure followed for this study consisted essentially of identifying zones where the fuelwood situation was relatively homogeneous and analysing supplies as compared with needs in order to work out the balance as the main indicator of the nature of the situation. The procedure adopted, therefore, called for a special effort to stratify situations and analyse The resources, One of the essential aspects consisted, of identifying as far as possible the major differences in situations that may exist within a country and referring them to distinct geographical zones. The approach followed, is, therefore, not national. Another important aspect is the flexibility used in analysing fuelwood resources within a given situation: only where fuelwood supplies from traditional forest resources appeared insufficient to cover needs was the analysis taken further and extended to other less conventional resources such as rural woodlots or residues, in order to work out as complete an overall balance as possible.
The study, therefore, comprised the following stages:
a) stratification of situations and identification of "homogeneous" zones;
b) classification of situations into categories;
c) analysis of situations in 1980;
d) study of trends up to 2000;
e) classification of crisis situations and feasibility of forestry solutions.
These various stages are described below.
National information on fuelwood was first studied in order to identify the geographical zones corresponding to more or less homogeneous situations. These zones might correspond either to a country as a whole or, when this appeared necessary and possible, to a portion of the national territory: for obvious reasons, in order to avoid additional difficulties the geographical boundaries of these zones were chosen to correspond to known and mapped administrative units (State, province, department, etc.).
The purpose of identifying relatively homogeneous zones was to enable situations to be stratified in accordance with two categories of parameters linked to fuelwood supply and demand.
- Fuelwood supply;a) extent and nature of the various types of forest formations as defined in section 2.3.1;
b) average annual fuelwood productivity of these resources, in accordance with the average levels indicated in section 2.3.5;
- Fuelwood demand:a) size of the populations dependent on fuelwood, as defined in section 2.2 compared with the area covered by wooded formation: urban centres with more than 100 000 inhabitants are treated separately;
b) level of individual fuelwood needs calculated on the basis of available information on energy consumption in the zones concerned.
The relative homogeneity of the levels of fuelwood resources and needs made it possible to check the identity of a zone
The fuelwood situation zones were then grouped into categories with similar conditions of fuelwood supply and demand and relatively similar geographical, and particularly ecological, conditions insofar as these are a decisive factor in the growth and productivity of forest vegetation. Every effort was made to group the zones identified into approximately six categories, a number which seemed sufficient to be able to convey the diversity of situation without excessively increasing the complexity of the study. The classing of a zone in a particular category is the result of consideration of all the parameters that characterize it, and cannot possibly be absolute, far less definitive.
Bach situation category was analysed in order to assess the various components of fuelwood supplies in 1980 and the conditions of access to these supplies, making the analysis more detailed where supplies appeared insufficient to cover needs. The fuelwood supply levels of the natural formations were corrected by the accessibility factor in order to take into account terrain, dispersal of the formations and density of the population as compared with the extent of the resources. Comparison between realistic levels of supply compatible with the maintenance of sustained production, and the minimum need levels, provided the balance defined in section 2.2. In order to be really significant, this balance must be expressed by inhabitant as well as in overall terms.
An analysis of the situations in 1980 led to a distinction being made between two groups of categories; those in which the balance was positive, indicating a surplus of supplies, and those in which it was negative, indicating a deficit. Since the purpose of the study was to concentrate attention on zones with problems, a distinction was introduced into the deficit situations in order to underline more clearly the seriousness of the problem in 1980. the deficit zones were, therefore, classified into:
- Acute scarcity situations; zones or countries with a very negative balance where the fuelwood supply level is so notoriously inadequate that even overcutting of the resources does not provide the people with a sufficient supply and fuelwood consumption is, therefore, clearly below minimum requirements. These situations of acute scarcity result mainly either from particularly difficult ecological conditions or from continuous overcutting of the resources owing to high population density.
- Deficit situations; zones or countries where the people are still able to meet their minimum fuelwood needs, but only by overcutting the existing resources: the present level of supplies is insufficient to ensure provisioning on a sustained yield basis, and overcutting leads to degradation or even progressive destruction of the resources.
It is particularly important to be able not only to identify fuelwood situations in 1980, but also to place them within the perspective of the dynamic evolution of the problem. The analysis by situation category was, therefore, taken up again to see how the situations would evolve over the next twenty years if population growth, exhaustion of the forest resources and plantation programmes continued at their present rates. In making these projections the study relied mainly on the analysis of trends in forest resources carried out within the framework of the FAO/UNEP project on the evaluation of tropical forest resources. As regards developments in fuelwood needs, it was assumed, in agreement with the regional study teams, that there would be little change in the minimum needs estimated for 1980 - a decrease of only 5 percent - because it was considered improbable that substitute energy sources, whose technical and economic acceptability to the rural populations remains to be shown, would have any great impact on the level of requirements. It goes without saying that very often the situations such as they appear in 2000 are improbable, since the marked decrease in wood supplies and its repercussions on the energy supply and the environment will force people and governments to take remedial measures. Extrapolation of present trends to the year 2000 nevertheless provides a useful indicative basis for examining prospects and determining the size of the problem posed by fuelwood. It made it possible not only to see what would happen where there was already a deficit in 1980, but also to identify two other groups of situations:
- Prospective deficit situations; zones or countries in which supplies still exceeded demand in 1980, hut which in 2000 will be in a deficit situation if present trends continue, This group of situations is added to the acute scarcity and deficit situations already identified in 1980, which will have worsened in the meantime, owing mainly to the population growth and continued dependence on fuelwood;
- Satisfactory situations; zones which on the whole will still have sufficient supplies by the year 2000. Two types of situations may occur: either the resources will continue to satisfy present and future needs; or else they will dwindle, but at a rate which will still make it possible to meet requirements in the foreseeable future, although acute scarcities may occur at certain points, particularly in and around urban centres.
It is important to stress that, just as the classing of a zone in a category is based on a judgement whose value is only relative, the identification of a category with a situation type cannot be interpreted as an absolute evaluation applicable to all situations. The overall balance of a zone or a category, in fact, necessarily disguises variations and gradations in the intensity of the problems. Zones classed as having a prospective deficit may mask local situations in which there is no fuelwood problem; and satisfactory zones may experience localized critical problems, particularly in the vicinity of large urban agglomerations or heavy population .concentrations. Similarly situations classed in different groups may present certain similarities.
The large towns pose a particularly difficult problem. Owing to their special characteristics and their complexity, they really need to be treated case by case, but this would have gone well beyond the possibilities of the present study. As part of the preparatory work some case studies were effected in large towns in order to improve understanding of regional situations, and whenever the information available permitted, urban situations were taken into account in the overall analysis.
When analysis of the fuelwood situations had been completed, more careful study was made of deficit or potentially deficit situations in order to identify the specific characteristics of the various types of situation identified. The purpose of this classification was also to underline the obstacles which might render any forestry solution more difficult and the socio-economic and ecological implications of an aggravation of the deficit. This classification and the identification of obstacles are important because they provide indications on the potential and the possible impact of purely forestry solutions to the fuelwood crisis. It would have been out of place to embark in this study on a detailed analysis of the possible and desirable forestry solutions and of the extent to which they could reverse present trends or even make up existing deficits. It did seem important, however, after analyzing the situations, to express an opinion regarding the feasibility of forestry solutions and the eventual need to supplement them with other measures in order to ensure coverage of the minimum energy needs of populations which to date have depended almost exclusively on traditional fuels. This opinion is of a purely technical nature and obviously does not touch on countries' capacity to operate substantially enlarged programmes or the financial and institutional constraints with which such programmes might find themselves faced.
The fundamental principle of This study is to analyse fuelwood situations within the framework of a geographical entity in which the parameters of supply and demand present a certain homogeneity. This geographical entity may correspond to part of a country or to the whole country, if the latter is of limited size. The study is not 'based, therefore, on an analysis of national situations, and a country may find itself sub-divided into several zones, themselves then broken down between several categories of situation. The procedure followed in the study leads, in fact, to a regional approach: the identification and classification of fuelwood situations into major characteristic groups makes it possible to demonstrate the scale and special nature of the problem at regional level while at the same time localizing it. There are many reasons for adopting this regional approach: the "cross-frontier" nature of fuelwood situations, the common characteristics at regional level, the use of a regional team to conduct and interpret the analysis, the usefulness of regional presentations as a basis for consideration of the actions to be undertaken, etc.
The regional study teams played a leading role in the active phase of identifying and grouping zones and analysing the situations, and in assembling and interpreting a large amount of information of various kinds. Final presentation of the results of the study was undertaken at Headquarters in order to ensure overall coherence and to prepare the overall map.
The results of the study are given in two complementary documents:
a) the Map of the Fuelwood Situation in Developing Countries, with explanatory note, immediately prepared and published for the United Nations Conference on New and Renewable Sources of Energy:
b) the present publication, which contains a detailed summary of the results and conclusions of the study.
An overall picture of the fuelwood situation in developing countries is given in Chapter III, while the four following chapters are devoted to regional presentations: Africa south of the Sahara, Asia, Latin America, North Africa and the Middle East.
The regional presentations follow the same plan and the results are presented in a certain number of basic tables. The presentation is as follows:
1. An introduction containing a list of the countries concerned
2. The regional situation in 1980:2.1 the populations concerned and their energy needs;
2.2 the woody resources utilizable as sources of energy;
2.3 identification and nature of the various categories of situation, comprising an analysis category by category:
2.4 regional summary, presentation of balances, identification of deficit zones.
3. Possible evolution of the situation up to 2000:3.1 Populations and their needs;
3.2 wood energy resources;
3.3 regional summary, probable balance in 2000, identification of critical situations
4. Classification of deficit situations, crisis levels and feasibility of forestry solutions.
In each case a special annex makes it possible to locate easily the zones identified and the administrative divisions composing them.
TABLE 1 - CLASSIFICATION OF NATURAL WOODY VEGETATION