Umumnya penduduk di negara miskin dengan pendapatan yang rendah akan terus menggunakan sumber energi dari kayu untuk pemenuhan kebutuhan energi domestic dan sebagai sumber pendapatan. Diperkirakan bahwa 1,700 juta ton bahan bakar kayu dihasilkan secara global. Tingkat konsumsi yang sangat tinggi terhadap kayu bakar di negara miskin berpotensi terhadap penurunan sumberdaya hutan. Selain itu, keterbatasan supply kayu bakar dewasa ini juga diprediksikan akan memberikan konsekwensi sosial ekonomi yang sangat serius bagi penduduk miskin di dunia (Danish et al, 2003:279).
Penelitian ini bertujuan untuk memberikan kontribusi terhadap keberlanjutan dari supply bahan bakar kayu dengan penekanan beberapa kebijakan untuk memenuhi permintaan akan bahan bakar kayu tanpa menimbulkan kerusakan lingkungan. Penelitian pustaka ini dilaksanakan dari bulan Maret sampai bulan Juni 2008 termasuk di dalamnya adalah wawancaralangsung dan jarak jauh dengan beberapa pakar kehutanan dan lembaga kehutanan. Study ini khususnya difokuskan kepada sumber-sumber bahan bakar kayu dan kebijakan yang menunjang tercapainya keberlanjjutan supply bahan bakar kayu. Dari hasil penelitian ini ditunjukkan bahwa pelibatann penduduk local dalam pengelolaan supply bahan bakar kayu melalui pentuan tingkat harga dan penerapan kebijakan pajak telah berhasil dipraktekkan di beberapa negara berkembang. Kebijakan lainnya adalah agroforestry dan konservasi energi melalui pengenalan kompor yang hemat energi.
Many people in developing countries will continue to depend on wood energy whether as fuel for their daily energy needs or as a source of income. It is estimated that 1,700 million tons fuel wood now harvested each year globally. This huge consumption of fuel wood in the developing world has led to predictions of potentially devastating depletion of forest resources. Besides that, the perceived widening shortages of fuel wood are also expected to have serious negative socio-economic consequences for the rural poor.
This report aims to give a contribution to the sustainability of fuelwood supply by emphasizing some policies in order to fulfill the demand of fuelwood without degrading the environment in developing countries. Library research was carried out from March to June 2008 and included direct and long-distances interviews with foresters and forest institutions. The study focused especially on the types of fuelwood sources and enhancing the sustainability of fuelwood supply. This research has shown that involving the local community in fuel wood supply management trough pricing and taxation systems has been successfully implemented in some developing countries. Other policies which help are agroforestry or tree plantation and energy conservation through introducing improved stoves.
Keywords: fuel wood, sustainable, developing countries.
Two billion people or about 40 percent of the total world population depend on fuel wood as their primary energy source (Arnold and Persson, 2006:379). The majority of households in poor countries, especially those in the low-income bracket, rely entirely on fuel wood, either firewood or charcoal for cooking and space heating. Many of them face a daily struggle to find enough fuel to warm their homes and cook their food (Ellegar, 2004:2).
The dependency on fuel wood by people in developing countries as their principal domestic fuel is not only for household consumption but also for rural industry consumption. For rural industries in most parts of the developing world, including the Asia and Pacific region, energy in the form of heat is an important input to the production processes, such as brewing processes in Africa, brick kilns in India and coconut processing industries in Sri Lanka (FAO, 2000:28).
A number of countries have launched programs to address these problems in terms of achieving sustainability in fuel wood supply. This paper provides an overview of the experience of and lessons learnt from some programs, such as local participatory approach, taxation systems and energy conservation. I will argue that the programs that have been implemented have better managed the natural wood resources and ensured the rural population benefits more from wood resources. It means the demand for fuel wood in developing countries can be achieved without degrading the environment.
Developing countries are the research focus due to their dependency on fuelwood as a energy resource and income resource. This research was conducted in 2008 under the direct supervision of the School of Resources, Environment and Society (SRES) at the Australian National University. While collecting qualitative data in some libraries, searching internet, additional information through interviews with foresters and forest institutions can add important relevance to research. The process of analysis begins at the beginning of the research project and continues through the writing process. There is an ongoing dialogue between the researcher’s understandings of the social actions studied. The diversity of data collection methods I used enriched the research itself.
RESULTD AND DISCUSSION
1. Types of fuel wood sources
Leach and Mearns (2005:11) clarify that generally there are five main sources of fuel wood; the relative importance of each various greatly from place to place.
1.1. Tree cutting directly for fuel
This source is exploited especially to make charcoal and occurs around some cities where close to main roads or railway lines. The cutting system may be intensive, but is usually more selective, in that only larger trees or suitable species are felled. This system prevails around Blantyre, Malawi and has seriously degraded the woodland (FAO, 2005:1). The larger trees have gone, leaving a dense patchwork of smaller trees interspersed with patches of maize and vegetable crops. The sustainability of this source depends on whether trees are replanted and on cutting rates compared with the rates of natural regeneration in the affected areas (Roberts et al., 2004:80).
2.2. Dedicated fuel wood plantations
This system is common only in Asia as a source of urban fuel wood and in a few cities in Africa, such as in Addis Ababa in Ethiopia (FAO, 1997:167). Their economic viability depends mostly on whether single-purpose industrial or mixed small holder methods are used and on the price structures of urban fuel woods transport and markets (Neth et al., 2004).
2.3. By-product wood
This source stems from various tree growing activities, for example, multi purpose farm trees, commercial forestry for timber or specialized farm tree crops such as Gum Arabic in Sudan and tannin from small woodlots of wattle in Kenya (Leach and Mearns, 2005:11). The complexities of urban market structures and prices are some factors that influence the amount of fuel wood supply to urban people.
2.4. Dead branches and twigs
Generally dead branches and twigs are picked off the ground or cut from the tree. Many surveys confirm that these sources are non-destructive sources (Remedio, 2002:13). It can sometimes be taken from state-owned forests and woodlands or from managed tree and other woody resources on farmlands and village commons as well (Kirubi et al., 2000:49).
2.5. Surpluses arising from agricultural land clearances
These sources usually greatly exceed local fuel wood needs, even though many trees may be left standing as part of the farming system, while others are burned to provide soil nutrients or simply to clear the land (Leach and Merns, 2005:25). Farmers think that it is normally much more profitable to use land within of urban markets to grow food for the city than to leave it under tress and sell the wood. The pressures to clear such land of trees, sell any salvage wood to the city, and then farm it, are almost irresistible (Bembridge, 2000:46).
2. Fuel wood Consumption Trends
Table 1 shows the FAO projections of fuel wood consumption in the main developing regions. As shown in this table, aggregate consumption of fuel wood and wood for charcoal in Africa is growing from year to year. Even in some African countries, such as Mauritania, Rwanda and Sudan, fuel wood demand is already ten times the sustainable yield. Arnold and Person (2003:380) estimate that the consumption of fuel wood in this region is growing at a rate close to that of population growth.
Table 1. FAO projections of fuel wood and charcoal consumption to 2030 in the main developing regions.
1970 1980 2000 2000 2010 2020 2030
Fuel wood (million cubic metres)
South Asia 234.5 286.6 336.4 359.9 372.5 361.5 338.6
Southeast Asia 294.6 263.1 221.7 178.0 139.1 107.5 81.3
East Asia 293.4 311.4 282.5 224.3 186.3 155.4 127.1
Africa 261.1 305.1 364.6 440.0 485.7 526.0 544.8
South America 88.6 92.0 96.4 100.2 107.1 114.9 122.0
Charcoal (million tons)
South Asia 1.3 1.6 1.9 2.1 2.2 2.4 2.5
Southeast Asia 0.8 1.2 1.4 1.6 1.9 2.1 2.3
East Asia 2.1 2.3 2.3 2.2 2.1 2.0 1.8
Africa 8.1 11.0 16.1 23.0 30.2 38.4 46.1
South America 7.2 9.0 12.1 14.4 16.7 18.6 20.0
Source: Arnold and Persson, 2003:380
Several factors are responsible for increasing consumption of fuel wood and wood for charcoal in most developing countries. Rapidly growing population in many developing countries creates increasing demands for firewood and charcoal. Another factor that has resulted in increasing fuel wood demand is low income per capita of society. The World Bank Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP) has undertaken a survey in 46 cities in 12 developing countries (Arnold and Persson, 2003:382). This survey found that income per capita has an important influence on the level of fuel wood use. Consumption of both fuel wood and charcoal usually decreases with an increase in income as people can afford to pay for electricity, gas or petroleum products (Arnold and Persson, 2003:383).
In this survey, it can be noted that the lower income per capita in many developing countries contributes to increasing demand for fuel wood (Neth et al., 2004:57). The reason is their income is not enough to switch energy demand of fuel wood into another energy source that is absolutely much more expensive, such as LPG. However, based on my own experience in Indonesia, even though rural people have enough income to use LPG, they prefer using fuel wood for certain occasions.
In Indonesia, when they have a party that requires much energy to cook many dishes with large portions, such as a wedding party, the cooks always use fuel wood to save money. The high demand for fuel wood for a wedding party is not only for cooking fuel, but also for preparing fires traditional ceremonies that need much fuel wood. Furthermore, many households could use multiple fuels for the same end (such as fuel wood and LPG for cooking). Regarding saving money on cooking fuel, rural people are more likely to use fuel wood to cook food that needs a longer cooking time and LPG to cook food with a shorter cooking time, such as just preparing tea in the morning and cooking sauces.
3. Potential Impacts of fuel wood energy resource
In many places fuel wood resources are dwindling because of deforestation which is caused to varying degrees by the need for farming land, and by over grazing, commercial logging, uncontrolled fires and tree cutting for fuel (FAO, 1997:167). As wood resources diminish and recede, millions people that obtaining fuel woods whether in cash or time for gathering them have suffered, especially for marginal households. These impacts are greatest for the poor and for women, who normally bear the responsibility for fuel provision and use.
The sale and trading of fuel wood provide an income for huge numbers of people. Plas and Hamid (2003:2) explain that in 1991, in Chad, a Sub-Saharan African country, there were at least 9000 persons active in the fuel wood supply chain, from cutting to transforming, transporting and selling. Likewise there were about 125,000 people producing or selling charcoal for use in the city of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, in the 2000s (Rolf et al., 2006:9)
However, besides creating jobs and providing an income source for rural people, using fuel wood had negative impacts on the health of household members and environmental aspects as well. The most serious direct health impacts, especially for women and children, are respiratory infections and chronic lung disease (Ellegard, 1994). These occur when fuel wood is burned indoors without either a proper stove to help control the generation of smoke or a chimney to vent the smoke outside. Besides deforestation, increasing fuel wood energy consumption would result in reduced agricultural productivity by depriving the soil of recycled nutrients that would have been available from trees, crops and animal residues (FAO, 2006).
Great efforts will be needed to reduce these impacts, prevent them spreading, and provide sustainable and adequate energy supplies at affordable costs for fast-growing populations.
4. Enhancing the sustainability of fuel wood supply
Fuel wood supply as part of sustainability issue has led to a number of many responses that can be categorized into supply- and demand-side measures or interventions. The supply-side measures are implemented independently or integrated with a participatory local community approach, the taxation system and agroforestry projects. The objective of these projects would be to increase fuel wood supply from existing tree plantations or develop new policies for the same purpose.
The sustainability problems have also been addressed indirectly through demand-side measures, that is, by promoting energy efficiency and conservation. In particular, in the case of fuel wood, efforts have focused on the design and dissemination of improved cook stoves.
5.1. Participatory local community approach
A sustainable solution for fuel wood supply will be difficult to conceive and implement unless the local community truly benefits from these resources. Many trees, typically forests on public land, are controlled by government agencies in order to extract revenues from legalized commercial extraction and to protect them from illegal over exploitation (Fleuret, 1983). However, generally, the government agencies, such as in Chad and Niger, face many problems in managing all the resources in their country, such as location of resources and poor road construction to reach the location (FAO, 2002)
Given public institutional weaknesses to properly manage forestry resources, it was decided by the government in Chad in 1994 through the new law (No. 36/PR/94) that this management would be transferred from the national to the village level (Plas and Hamid, 2003:1). Involving the local community in management of natural resources is undertaken to address this shortcoming and create a capacity to manage wood resources at the village level and enable villages.
Several community forestry projects have been successfully established in India, Africa and Niger (Bembridge, 2000:43). India is possibly the global showcase for joint forest management and forest policy reform. According to the World Bank, some 40,000-village communities are now protecting about 4,5 million hectares of forest, under a wide range of land -lease or land-sharing arrangements with state forest department (Cunningham and Cunningham, 2002:285).
In India, the source of wood for timber and pulp production was switched to farm plantations in 2005, while forests were managed, not to earn revenue, but for their environmental and ecological benefits and to meet the minimum needs of local people for fuel wood (Sonaton et al., 2004:159).
Plas and Hamid (2003:1) explained that villages in Chad have signed a long-term contract with the Ministry of Environment to manage their own territory, under a program called Village Exploitant Rationellement son Terroir (VERT). There were 55 villages, which became village VERT in 2002 and are managing 350,000 ha, based on management plans. In practice, they work on and allow cutting of only one out of ten parcels each year and the total volume to be cut is guided by a quota system. The quota is based on the estimated Mean Annual Increment (MAI) for the standing stock in that village (Plas and Hamid, 2003:5).
As a result, many forest areas that have implemented a local community participatory approach are apparently now stabilized and this is a huge relief from the worries of total deforestation and the fuel wood crisis. This has been achieved not by government intervention, but by mental revolution followed by the creation of new market, patterns of ownership and institutional environments (Remedio, 2002:18).
5.2. Taxation systems
Another strategy used by governments to avert the fuel wood crisis has been the imposition of a tax system to prevent the right of villagers in terms of setting up small fuel wood business. The tax system that has been introduced by Law 36 in Chad allows villages to prevent encroachment by outsiders and to benefit from fuel wood business and the fuel wood transport levy (Plas and Hamid, 2003:5).
Plas and Hamid (2003:6) show the benefits obtained by villages. Before the village became a VERT, the local communities would not receive amounts anywhere near as much. However, after implementing villages VERT the 55 villages collected about F.CFA 29 million as their part of the tax, and they also earned an estimated F.CFA 112 million for the 90,000 bags of charcoal they produced in January to June 2003 (Robert et al., 2004:163).
The tax was imposed for a unit of either one bag of charcoal (of about 40 kg) or one stere of wood (about 350kg). A bag of charcoal is sold in town for about F.CFA 4000, and a tax of F.CFA 600 would increase the price by 15% (Plas and Hamid, 2003:7). The consumers can buy fuel wood cheaper at a lower tax in village VERT. The preferential tax is 50% lower for a villages VERT than for all other fuel wood production zones in the supply basin of N'Djamena.
"Agroforestry is the collective name for all land use systems and practices in which woody perennials are deliberately grown on the same land management unit as crops and/or animals" (Arnold and Persson, 2003:8). This type of land use system gives direct economic benefit in terms of the availability of fuel wood and increases the quality of environment as well, such as preventing erosion and increasing soil nutrients.
The Koro Village Agroforestry Project (VAP) in Mali's fifth Region, Africa was implemented in mid 1986 (Leach and Mearns, 2005). The Koro VAP engaged in extension for tree planting activities, which included windbreaks, interspersed field trees, fruit and shade trees and live fences. The biggest challenge for this program is the management of live fences during the project. Rural people could reject this project because the potential of loss of grass fields to feed their livestock (Danish et al., 2003:280).
Another agroforestry projet is Gia Lai Agroforestry Extension Project in Vietnam, funded by the New Zealand Overseas Development Administration (ODA) since 1997 (FAO, 2002). The objective of this project is improve the ability of female and male smallholder farmers to better organize grassroots-level resource management and build the response capacity to rural development needs and opportunities within the Extension Service, Gia Lai Women's Union and the farming community
5.4. Wood energy conservation: promotion of improved stoves
One strategy that has been introduced to decrease the demand for fuel wood is promoting new cooking stoves in the rural sector of developing countries (Ellegard, 1994). Traditional stoves and fireplaces that commonly used in developing countries are believed to have low cooking efficiencies and are detrimental to women's health because of smoke they produce in the kitchen (Salariya, 1983).
In order to reduce consumption of fuel wood and eliminate smoke from traditional kitchens, much effort has been devoted to designing and distributing stoves, which are both smokeless and more efficient. Gill (1985:3) argued that such stove programs would improve women's health and reduce time spent cooking and in collecting fuel. If this stoves program could be adopted on a widespread scale, then firewood consumption would fall, thereby reducing pressure on forests.
The nafacama stove that has been introduced in Chad, has reduced fuel consumption by saving about seven bags of charcoal per household per year (Ellegard, 1994). Furthermore, introducing this improved stove has created job opportunities for rural people. More than 50 stove makers have received training and blueprints of the stove model.
Like wise, the lorena stove in Srilanka has been promoted to rural people with expected lifetime is about 2 years. About 10,000 have been sold at a level of about 200-500 per month (Inglis, 2005:7).
However, it has been discovered that many problems arise regarding the implementation of this program. Stove users regard cooking speed as a very important factor rather than fuel efficiency. Gill (1985) argues that the rural people in Tanzania were more concerned about being able to cook quickly than about fuel efficiency.
Besides that, people are likely to be more attracted to a new stove if it offers a variety of benefits. Bembridge (2000:45) argues that rural households in Ciskei, South Africa have apparently not been exposed to the possibilities of using wood to economize on fuel wood. They thought the designers of the fuel economy-cooking stove ignored the need for internal heating in winter, as well as the light thrown out by stoves.
Based on that reason, people prefer using traditional stoves that produce light, heat and smoke all of which may be considered useful. Heat from the fire can be used for cooking food, brewing beer, providing space and heat and drying. In Zimbabwe, for example, the 3-stone fireplace is used to support a large oil drum for brewing beer as well as for cooking (FAO, 2005:2).
Rural people in Indonesia also prefer using traditional stoves because traditional stoves and fireplaces are often highly versatile and can burn different fuels, such as crop residues. Generally, women use the traditional 3-stone fireplace outside the house, but have specific kitchen at the back of the house to avoid smoke coming inside and reducing the potential respiratory diseases.
Many people in developing countries will continue to depend on wood energy whether as fuel for their daily energy needs or as a source of income. Even if rising national incomes and urbanization drive the shift towards using modern fuels, the fact is people in developing countries with lower income per capita can not afford to buy other alternative fuels.
Addressing the high demand for fuel wood, some policies have been implemented to achieve sustainability of fuel wood supplies, either from the demand side or the supply side. Involving the local community in fuel wood supply management trough pricing and taxation systems has been successfully implemented in some developing countries. Other policies are that help are agroforestry or tree plantation and energy conservation through introducing improved stoves.
However, there are some remaining challenges in implementation of these policies, such as superstitions which still remain in society, lack of women's participation and lack of tenure security. Greater efforts are therefore required to achieve the sustainability of fuel wood supply by removing these constraints from government, environment and energy associated agencies and society itself.
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