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3. Session 1: Wood energy situation

3.1 Presentations by resource speakers
3.2 Reactions from the panelists

3.1 Presentations by resource speakers

This session presented past studies on wood energy that focused on wood energy supply and demand. Ms. Isabelita Labus acted as moderator and the rapporteurs were Mr. Milo Lilang and Ms. Susana Cahig. Some of the key points raised in the presentations and the resulting discussions are summarized here.

a. Audio-Visual Presentation: Cebu Fuelwood Study by Ms. Elizabeth M, Remedio of USCANEC.

The presentation gave a clear picture of a fuelwood study that had been conducted in the province of Cebu. A slide presentation showed the different sites of fuelwood plantations in Cebu province. The different species of trees which households, establishments and industries were using were well documented.

b. Philippine Household Energy Strategy Study by Ms. Lilian Fernandez of Energy Planning and Management Bureau - DOE

This presentation gave a picture of the household energy consumption in 1989. The study reveals that the residential sector is the country's largest energy consumer which account to 75% of the total national energy consumption. The usage pattern shows that fuelwood and crop residues provide the bulk of energy supplied to rural households, while charcoal and conventional fuels like LPG, kerosene and electricity are commonly used in urban households. End use patterns indicate that fuelwood is used mainly for cooking, Fuelwood is regarded as a valuable renewable and indigenous resources. Among others, one recommendation given was to ensure that this resource base is not degraded.

c. Fuelwood Consumption Survey of Business Establishments by Mr. Alejandro Sibucao of FMB-DENR.

The paper is based on an FMB study which focused on the fuelwood consumption of various industries. The findings of this study indicate that great amounts of fuelwood and fuelwood substitutes are used in sugar refining and milling, bakery products manufacturing, fish canning, processing and preserving. The estimated total fuelwood consumption (consisting of tree roots, branches, twigs) was 7.32M cubic meters. The consumption of fuelwood substitutes on the other hand, totaled 6.66M cubic meters, 70% of which was bagasse and rice hull.

d. Fuelwood Supply Systems for Major Urban Areas in the Philippines by Ms. Fely Arriola of DOE-NCED.

This study focuses on the wood energy supply and distribution in six urban areas in the Philippines. Three main groups of actors were investigated namely: fuelwood gatherers and charcoal makers, rural traders and urban traders. The information collected in the study provides clear conclusions on some issues regarding fuelwood, such as the sources of fuelwood/charcoal supply, their environmental impact, their economic significance, prices and price build-ups.

e. Economic and Environmental Impact of the Commercial Firewood and Charcoal Trade in Cebu City and Province by Ms. Elizabeth M. Remedio of USC-ANEC.

This presentation covered the most significant findings of a recently completed study which looked into how wood energy Is produced, traded and consumed in Cebu Province. It also looked into the economic and environmental impacts of these activities. The study estimated the volume of firewood and charcoal consumed in Cebu City, examined how these fuels are transported into and sold within the city and to estimate the importance of these fuels to local employment and income generation. It also established the ways in which the commercial demand for woodfuels in urban Cebu affects the rural environment of the province.

3.2 Reactions from the panelists

Appendix 3 shows the members of the panels and the agency/sector they represent. They were requested to comment on and react to the papers presented and to give suggestions for tackling the problems identified. These can be summarised as follows:

· Women's participation, especially in household energy consumption, is very evident in the studies presented. Thus, the participation of women in energy planning should be encouraged, if not institutionalized.

· It is observed that fuelwood is an important source of income. Support services should therefore be provided to this industry and a minimum wage determined.

· The following recommendations to effectively tap the participation of women in energy management were given:

- Promote the organization of women to raise awareness of gender issues as well as of women's energy concerns;

- Ensure women's participation and active involvement throughout the energy project cycle;

- Establish and disaggregate energy sector data by gender, class and regions to highlight women's needs; and

- Promote networking among women professionals in the sector to improve common opportunities.

· There is a definite need for interactive participation and mutual sharing of ideas between people. The presentations overlooked the effects of the seasons (dry and rainy) on wood energy resource aspects. A study of these should be carried out.

· Wood energy studies must always look into the effects of fuelwood use on household health.

· Gender issues should be given consideration for these affect the management of the resource.

· The people depend on biomass not only for fuel but also for other purposes such as for income, employment, rural enterprises, etc. Thus there is a need for resource oriented woodfuel planning policies that are integrated and sustainable.

· There is a high consumption of fuelwood in the rural areas because of its accessibility to the users and because it is generally acquired for free.

· Fuelwood consumption surveys of business establishments should include tobacco flue curing and the prevalent use of biomass in sugar and rice mills.

· The cost of the transport system should be factored into analyses of fuelwood supply systems.

· The wood energy industry has to show both quantifiable and non-quantifiable benefits that can be obtained from wood energy projects.

· Concerned people in government should work together to address problems of wood and charcoal trading.

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