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Forest Management and Sustainable Charcoal Value Chain in Uganda Bulletin, January 2023 | Issue #1








FAO. 2023. Forest Management and Sustainable Charcoal Value Chain in Uganda Bulletin. January 2023 | Issue #1. Kampala.


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    Brochure, flyer, fact-sheet
    Forest Management and Sustainable Charcoal Value Chain in Uganda 2023
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    This brochure of the Forest Management and Sustainable Charcoal Value Chain project at FAO Uganda is a brief of the four-year project that seeks to address negative environmental, social and economic impacts of charcoal production. Charcoal is a preferred cooking fuel for a big percentage of Uganda's population because it is relatively affordable and accessible compared to the alternatives. Uganda is in an energy transition to clean fuels but charcoal will remain a significant option during this transition. However, the unsustainable production and utilization of charcoal are highly linked to environmental degradation. The brochure gives the rationale for the project and outlines the interventions that are being implemented to promote a green charcoal value chain in Uganda. These include restoration of degraded forests on private land, supporting individuals and communities to establish woodlots, subsidizing the acquisition of improved technology for charcoal production, supporting better regulatory frameworks for sustainable forestry and charcoal production as well as promoting clean energy alternatives. If properly managed however, charcoal can provide a low-cost, reliable and locally available energy source, with the potential to become a sustainable transition fuel, significantly increasing energy access.
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    Book (stand-alone)
    Sustainable management of Miombo woodlands
    Food security, nutrition and wood energy
    2018
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    The Miombo woodland is a vast African dryland forest ecosystem covering close to 2.7 million km2 across southern Africa (Angola, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe). The woodlands are characterized by the dominance of Brachystegia species, either alone or in association with Julbernardia and Isoberlinia species. It is estimated that the woodlands – through their numerous goods and services which include various non-wood forest products (NWFPs) (e.g. insects, mushrooms, fruits, tubers, medicine, fodder, honey, seeds) and woodfuels, which, for simplicity, will be referred to as non-timber forest products, or NTFPs, throughout the publication – sustain the livelihoods of more than 100 million rural poor and 50 million urban people. The charcoal sector alone employs vast numbers of rural people and offers additional income to many poor rural families. Communities moreover rely directly on the woodlands for food and nutrition. NWFPs add vital micro- and macronutrients to local diets and contribute to diversified food systems, while woodfuel is essential for cooking and sterilizing, thus ensuring proper nutrient absorption and providing clean water for drinking. Forests and trees, if managed sustainably, are an important source of resilience for rural people in the Miombo woodlands, supporting households to absorb and recover from climatic or economic calamities and contributing to resolving the underlying causes of food insecurity, undernutrition and poverty by providing nutritious edible products and woodfuel for cooking in addition to conserving biodiversity and water resources, buffering extreme weather conditions and preventing land degradation and desertification. Generally speaking, it is now accepted that forests managed for both timber and NTFPs retain more biodiversity and resilience than forests managed solely for one aspect, e.g. timber and exotic timber plantations. However, a growing population in high need of agricultural land and unsustainable use and overharvesting of natural resources in parts of the Miombo woodlands, combined with climate change impacts (e.g. drought, fires), leave insufficient time for many trees and associated species to regenerate naturally, posing a serious threat to the products and services of the woodlands, and to the livelihoods depending on them. Compounding the problem and hindering development of the Miombo ecosystem, are: i) lack of an enabling policy environment; ii) unsustainable management; iii) limited willingness and ability to pay for and access to energy-efficiency technologies; iv) inadequate awareness and information, including technical capacity; v) high poverty levels; and vi) limited access to microcredit facilities. With the Committee on World Food Security’s endorsement of the recommendations presented in the High Level Panel of Experts Report on Sustainable Forestry for Food Security and Nutrition in late 2017 – which include promoting multifunctional landscapes, integrated food-forestry systems, and research on associated linkages, among other things – forests and trees are expected to play a greater role in future land-use decisions and related policies. This paper provides an overview of these linkages in the context of the Miombo woodlands, in the hope that future land use, policy decisions and financial investments are shaped to support the contributions of forests and trees to the health and livelihoods of communities in the ecoregion. The following key messages were formulated: • Forests and trees, if managed sustainably, are an important source of resilience for rural people in the Miombo woodlands, supporting households to absorb and recover from climatic or economic calamities and contributing to resolving the underlying causes of food insecurity, undernutrition and poverty by providing nutritious edible products and woodfuel for cooking in addition to conserving biodiversity and water resources, buffering extreme weather conditions and preventing land degradation and desertification. • Current data bases referring to the value of the Miombo must be analysed and used as evidence to improve policy-making. • Miombo woodlands may be dominant (spatially), but they have not been addressed as a single unit but as part of the region’s forests. They form part of the overall forestry strategies and no specific mention in the conventions does not suggest that their importance is underplayed. • The management of Miombo will require some changes in management structures, especially in providing benefits emerging from trade in forest products to local managers. • Local forest managers should play a greater role in allocating resources for feedstock for charcoal production.
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    Book (stand-alone)
    The charcoal transition 2017
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    Charcoal is widely used for cooking and heating in developing countries. The consumption of charcoal has been at high level and the demand may keep growing over the next decades, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. Some preliminary studies indicate that among commonly used cooking fuels, unsustainably produced charcoal can be the most greenhouse gas intensive fuels and simple measures could deliver high GHG mitigation benefits. Through the Paris Agreement on climate change adopted in 2015, count ries set themselves ambitious targets to curb climate change, and forest-related measures have an important role to play in climate change mitigation and adaptation. Over 70% of the countries who have submitted their (intended) nationally determined contributions (NDCs) mention forestry and land use mitigation measures. Despite the importance of woodfuel in many countries, few have explicitly included measures to reduce emissions from woodfuel production and consumption. Many of the NDCs that in clude forestry do not yet provide detailed information on how mitigation is to be achieved. The overall objective of the publication is to provide data and information to allow for informed decision-making on the contribution sustainable charcoal production and consumption can make to climate change mitigation. More specifically, the publication aims to answer the following questions: - What are the climate change impacts of the current practices on charcoal production and consumption worldwide and across regions? - What is the potential of sustainable charcoal production in GHG emission reductions and how such potential can be achieved? - What are the key barriers to sustainable charcoal production and what actions are required to develop a climate-smart charcoal sector?

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