Relationship between scarcity and shortages of fuel wood

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relationship between scarcity and shortages of fuel wood

massive wood fuel shortage and that an increasingly desperate population would these wood fuel shortages never came to pass, and while there was a large . wood fuel collection have in relation to land use change is higher. Particular. This article reviews and analyses available data and information on the relationship between the availability of fuelwood and the nutritional situation of rural. Wood fuel (or fuelwood) is a fuel, such as firewood, charcoal, chips, sheets, pellets, and The discovery of how to make fire for the purpose of burning wood is regarded as one of 10 See also; 11 References; 12 External links . The shortage of suitable firewood in some places has seen local populations damaging huge.

Fuelwood is perceived a free resource in rural areas, making fuelwood production unattractive to local people. In fuelwood consumption in developing countries excluding China was 1, million cubic metres, already million cubic metre short of requirements; an estimated million people live in areas of fuelwood shortage.

By the year potential demand, at present per capita levels, rises to 2, million cubic metres, but actual needs to satisfy minimum requirements would reach 2, million cubic metres. There is some parallel with the gap between demand for food and nutritional requirements. Because of the shrinking of the resource base, fuelwood production may be only 1, million cubic metres - 1, million cubic metres short of requirements.

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As a result, some 3, million people would face acute fuelwood shortages by the end of the century, with the result that many poor people will not be able to cook their food adequately.

This can have serous nutritional and health consequences. The digestibility of food will decrease and the incidence of parasites ingested with insufficiently-cooked meat will rise; there are already reports of this happening.

Present levels of planting programmes do not offer much hope of alleviating the fuelwood situation. A recent survey of fifteen developing countries estimated that they would have to plantha a year to meet domestic fuel requirements in the yearwhereas current programmes cover only 63, ha, less than a tenth of what is needed.

In any case, the bulk of rural energy over the next few decades will continue to come from fuelwood. A lack of this basic fuel produces a chain of reactions affecting the nature of rural society, its agricultural base and the stability of its environment. As fuelwood becomes scarcer, substitutes are eagerly sought.

In a rural society, agricultural residues are virtually the only alternative and such materials as straw, dried dung, rice husks and even plant roots are burnt. Where these materials formerly provided a useful animal feed, there is a consequent loss to the food production system.

Where they were formerly returned to the land, the latter becomes improverished, deprived both of the essential nutrients in the waste and of the humus it would otherwise provide.

Shortage of firewood | World Problems & Global Issues | The Encyclopedia of World Problems

It has been estimated that in Nepal every tonne of dung which is burnt deprives the country of SO kg of grain. A related effect occurs where, as in parts of Senegal, a tree cover of species which are naturally nitrogen-fixing, such as Acacia, is removed. Soil fertility declines and in the end the land must either be abandoned or brought back into production with expensive artificial fertilizer.

Land on which the tree cover has been drastically reduced soon suffers from a variety of other ill-effects. It becomes increasingly susceptible to soil erosion, both by wind and by heavy seasonal rainfall. This, in turn, encourages desertification. And soil which is eroded from one place usually ends up somewhere else where it is not wanted - on the bed of a new reservoir or the bottom of a fast-flowing river.

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Siltation and flooding can then become major problems. An overview It has been suggested that the solution to the fuelwood problem is to find an alternative energy source for the developing countries.

Nutritional impacts of an increasing fuelwood shortage in rural households in developing countries.

Unfortunately, as the Panel on Fuelwood and Charcoal pointed out in"There is no alternative source of energy that could provide a viable substitute for fuelwood The best alternative to fuelwood is more fuelwood - and the reason is that providing energy in the form of renewable wood solves far more than a drastic energy shortage.

Wood plantations can take many different forms and provide many different advantages. As well as yielding fuel, they can help provide timber for homes and village industries, restore fertility to the land, halt desertification, prevent soil erosion, reduce flooding, provide animal forage and improve the climate.

No other alternative form of energy can offer such a broad prospectus. Most of what has been published about forest energy stresses the magnitude of the fuelwood problem but this is only one aspect of the story. In the long run, the role of forest energy in world development is likely to be far more positive. Even today, there are many countries in which fuelwood supply is much higher than demand.

In those countries, this important and renewable energy source will play, and already is playing, a key role in national development.

relationship between scarcity and shortages of fuel wood

Wood, after all, is a cheap and renewable form of solar energy. As one report has put it, "Despite much research, no one has yet invented a cheaper or more adaptable system for capturing and storing solar energy than leaves and wood.

relationship between scarcity and shortages of fuel wood

Many countries are already using forest energy not only to meet the domestic needs of cooking and heating but to meet industrial ones as well. Fuelwood and charcoal have many positive features as sources of commercial energy. They are ideal, of course, for providing both process heat and shaft power for forest industries - sawmilling, chipping, panel production and pulp and paper making, for example. In most cases these industries can now be run more profitably off forest energy than they can off fossil fuel.

relationship between scarcity and shortages of fuel wood

Secondly, there are many small-scale, predominantly rural industries where fuelwood or charcoal can provide a convenient source of heat. These include crop drying, brick making, pottery firing, lime production and even the manufacture of cement. Thirdly, forest energy is also used extensively in heavy industry, notably in mineral smelting where charcoal is in some countries the preferred fuel. Finally, the use of fuelwood and charcoal for electric power production is being intensively investigated - and, in fact, a handful of countries is already generating electricity in this way.

It is also significant that the uses of fuelwood are now being intensively investigated in the developed countries. In53 million m3 of fuelwood were harvested in Europe, million m3 in North America and 78 million m3 in the Soviet Union. In Sweden about 8 per cent of primary energy consumption comes from wood, and a number of other European countries have intensive development programmes for wood energy.

In the long run, restoring and increasing the number of trees in rural areas is likely to provide more advantages for less expenditure than any other comparable technique for dealing with the fuelwood crisis.

But solving the fuelwood problem cannot be conceived as an isolated issue, separate from related problems of rural development, agricultural production and environmental stabilization.

relationship between scarcity and shortages of fuel wood