Patterns and drivers of fuelwood collection and tree planting in a Middle Hill watershed of Nepal

Article


Webb, Edward L. and Dhakal, Arun. 2011. "Patterns and drivers of fuelwood collection and tree planting in a Middle Hill watershed of Nepal." Biomass and Bioenergy. 35 (1), pp. 121-132. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biombioe.2010.08.023
Article Title

Patterns and drivers of fuelwood collection and tree planting in a Middle Hill watershed of Nepal

ERA Journal ID3452
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsWebb, Edward L. (Author) and Dhakal, Arun (Author)
Journal TitleBiomass and Bioenergy
Journal Citation35 (1), pp. 121-132
Number of Pages12
Year2011
ISSN0961-9534
1873-2909
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biombioe.2010.08.023
Web Address (URL)http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/986/description#description
Abstract

The majority of residents in the rural Middle Hills of Nepal use fuelwood from public and private sources as their primary energy source. This study investigated fuelwood availability in accessed forests, amount of fuelwood collected, preferred tree species for fuelwood, contribution of public and private sources to total fuelwood consumption, and investment in tree planting on agricultural land. Fuelwood availability declined in the decades prior to 1990, but stabilized by 1990. Fuelwood from fifty-three species was collected from forests. Median
annual per capita collection was 683 kg and predicted only by family size. Occupational castes(‘low castes’) did not show different harvesting rates than non-occupational castes and noncaste ethnic groups. Wealth was not associated with total fuelwood collection, probably because there was no fuelwood market. Most households collected fuelwood from a private source, namely trees planted on sloping, rain-fed agricultural land (bari), but this accounted for only a small portion of most households' requirement. Bari landholding area and livestock holdings -typical measures of wealth- drove the decision to plant trees on bari land, and the number of trees that were planted. Bari-poor and landless households were consequently
the most vulnerable to forest degradation, so the promotion of private fuelwood planting by large bari landholders could reduce pressure on forests and promote greater fuelwood availability for landless households. Support of community forestry emphasizing access for bari-poor and landless families could further decrease fuelwood vulnerability of poorer households.

Keywordscaste, dependency, ethnicity, firewood, Himalaya, livelihood; Nepal
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020410406. Natural resource management
410404. Environmental management
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Byline AffiliationsNational University of Singapore
Nepal Agroforestry Foundation
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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