Fuelwood collection and its impacts on a protected tropical mountain forest in Uganda.
This study examined the patterns, effects and potential management of fuelwood extraction on the forest of Mt Elgon, located in the Eastern part of Uganda, Sub- Saharan Africa. Fuelwood is the main source of energy, mainly collected from the forest. 98% of the households use fuelwood and charcoal for cooking and heating. This is a protected area with a history of conflict between surrounding populations and conservation actors. No other forest remains in its direct vicinity.
Research goals and Methods
The study sought to examine the impact of fuel wood collection activities and other activities on dead wood availability in this forest. Data was collected from four contrasting sites using 81 plots in the Park to survey dead wood and interviews conducted on 192 households to know their fuel consumption statuses per year.
Conclusion and Takeaways
The authors conclude that, fuelwood collection has depleted dead wood and impacted forest structure and function. Densely populated areas are more affected, and there is a high depletion rate in preffered species. Higher forest degradation will in turn negatively affect the local beneficiaries. Planted trees reduce pressure on the forest, and fuel wood collection needs to be controlled to reduce the negative impacts. Energy alternatives should be sought and incentives for sustainable forest use be introduced.
Fuelwood collection and its impacts on a protected tropical mountain forest in Uganda. Forest Ecology and Management. 2015;354:56–67. doi:10.1016/j.foreco.2015.06.037..
- Plant Production Systems, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 430, 6700AK Wageningen, The Netherlands
- UNEP-World Conservation Monitoring Centre, 219 Huntingdon Road, CB3 0DL Cambridge, United Kingdom
- Department of Ecology and Natural Resource Management, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, NO-1432 Ås, Norway
- School of Environment, Science and Engineering, Southern Cross University, PO Box 157, Lismore, NSW 2480, Australia
- Institute of Tropical Forest Conservation (ITFC), PO Box 44, Kabale, Uganda
- Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), PO Box 0113 BOCBD, Bogor 16000, Indonesia