Gender aspects of woodfuel flows in Sri Lanka (GCP/RAS/154/NET)

Table of Contents


Kandy, Sri Lanka

Field Document No. 55


Bangkok, June 1999

Published by
the FAO Regional Wood Energy Development Programme in Asia,
Bangkok, Thailand.

The designations employed and the presentation of material in this publication do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.

The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) alone and do not imply any opinion on the part of the FAO.

Photos by Anoja Wickramasinghe
and Tara N. Bhattarai.

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Table of Contents



Executive summary

1. Introduction

1.1 Present situation
1.2 Consumption patterns
1.3 Spatial patterns in the fuelwood flow
1.4 Purpose and scope of the study
1.5 Why study gender aspects?

2. Research methodology

2.1 Research plan
2.2 Field methodology
2.3 Household survey
2.4 Guided survey of saw mills
2.5 Guided survey of industries
2.6 Guided survey of fuelwood depots
2.7 Guided survey of supply systems and operations
2.8 Guided survey of the delivery mechanism
2.9 Key informant and group discussions
2.10 Participatory rapid appraisal/observations
2.11 Data processing

3. The geographical setting of the study area

3.1 Introduction
3.2 The geographical context
3.3 Socio-economic conditions
3.4 Land use
3.5 The socio-economic conditions of the sampled households
3.6 Woodfuel use patterns

4. Gender aspects of the woodfuel flow process in rural areas

4.1 Activities
4.2 The work place/source
4.3 Men and women as two gender categories
4.4 Patterns of involvement in work activities
4.5 Patterns of involvement in woodfuel related activities in the seven villages
4.6 Reasons for women's dominant role in flow activities
4.7 Commercial woodfuel flow for home consumption
4.8 Flow of commercial woodfuel for rural industries
4.9 Woodfuel supply sources and species
4.10 Discussion

5. Urban woodfuel trade

5.1 Geographical setting
5.2 Flow mechanism
5.3 Pricing system in the fuelwood trade
5.4 Gender aspects of the urban woodfuel flow
5.5 Woodfuel related living patterns

6. Gender aspects of the commercial woodfuel flow

6.1 Two emerging scenarios
6.2 Heavy and light work
6.3 Distinction between work for money and subsistence work
6.4 Production and reproduction spheres
6.5 Techniques, tools and modes of conveyance
6.6 Concluding remarks on gender and trade

7. Gender, policy issues and future directions for research and action

7.1 Introduction
7.2 Regulatory issues
7.3 Policies and woodfuel trade
7.4 Fuelwood to reduce imported energy
7.5 Recommendations
7.6 Future directions for research and action


Annex 1: Rural household survey gender aspects of woodfuel flows
Annex 2 : Guidelines for sawmill survey
Annex 3 : General guidelines used for the survey of industries
Annex 4 : General guidelines used for the survey of fuelwood depots
Annex 5: General guidelies used for the survey of large scale supply sourceners/contractors
Annex 6 : General guidelines used for the survey of transport system (respondents, lorry drivers/owners carters)
Annex 7: Research team and specific tasks performed


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