Fuelwood Importance

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Fuelwood, defined as “woodfuel in which the original composition of the wood is preserved”, accounts for most of the energy supply of many dispersed and poor rural populations around the world (FAO 2007). Fuelwood plays an important and diverse role in the rural livelihoods of millions of people in developing countries. According to Scoones (2009) a livelihood comprises of “the capabilities, assets and activities for a means a living. This short essay will discuss the role of fuelwood in maintaining and improving rural livelihoods in developing countries. The method of economic valuation will also be addressed and discussed. Assessment Fuelwood plays a diverse role in rural livelihoods in developing countries. It helps maintain rural livelihoods…show more content…
Due to easy access to resource and market, the fuelwood trade, despite of high demand, is usually characterized by high competition, high transportation- and transaction costs and subsequently very low returns (Arnold et al., 2003). Consequently, reliance on income from collection, trade and sale of fuelwood is for many people a livelihood of last resort, who engages in more rewarding activities when available. As noted in Arnold et al. (2003) an increase in fuelwood demand might also cause a diversion of fuelwood from own consumption to sale, resulting in less equitable conditions for woman who rely on continued supply of fuelwood for household use and…show more content…
2003). Nevertheless, the more efficient and safe use of fuelwood, though improved stoves, does have the potential to improve the health of millions of people in developing countries. Studies have found that the inefficient use of fuelwood results in significant exposure to indoor pollution. Women, children and the elderly face higher risks, owing to the long hours spent around solid fuel-based fires (Colfer et al., 2006; FAO

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