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FAO RWEDP Wood Energy India 1995

FAO RWEDP Wood Energy India 1995

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Field Document No.49
REGIONAL WOOD ENERGY DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME IN ASIAGCP/RAS/154/NET
FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION OF THE UNITED NATIONSBangkok, April 1997
THE WOODFUEL SCENARIO ANDPOLICY ISSUES IN INDIA
N.C. SAXENACentre for Sustainable DevelopmentLBS National Academy of Administration, Mussoorie
 
This publication is printed bythe FAO Regional Wood Energy Development Programme in Asia,Bangkok, ThailandFor copies write to:Regional Wood Energy DevelopmentProgramme in AsiaTel: 66-2-280 2760c/o FAO Regional Offcie for Asia and the PacificFax: 66-2-280 0760Maliwan Mansion, Phra Atit Road,E-mail: rwedp@fao.orgBangkok, ThailandInternet: http://www.rwedp.org
The designations employed and the presentation of material in this publication do not implythe expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Food and Agriculture Organiza-tion of the United nations concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitations of its frontiers or boundaries.The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) alone and do not implyany opinion on the part of the FAO.
 
i
F
OREWORD
Woodfuels play an important role in India as they do in many other parts of Asia. Annualconsumption in the country as a whole is estimated at 220–300 million tonnes, worth some ninebillion US dollars, and this amount is increasing. At present, woodfuels account for 20–30 per centof all energy used in India, and more than 90 per cent of this is in the domestic sector. However,woodfuel is more than just a commodity being consumed: it is being supplied, processed andtraded. This has many implications, economically, socially, environmentally and otherwise.Furthermore, India is a vast sub-continent with widely varying geographical, agro-ecological andsocio-economic conditions, and therefore aggregate data can tell us little. The complexity andheterogeneity of woodfuel-related issues in India present policy-makers with major challengesbecause they are associated with a range of intricate problems, particularly involving smallfarmers and the landless poor. At the same time, however, the potential of wood energy extendsbeyond subsistence, providing sound and viable options for modern development andapplications. The central questions are then: to what extent and in what manner can woodfuel besubject to policy making? who should make the policies? and on whose priorities should they bebased?It is not an easy matter to address these issues. However, the FAO-RWEDP is fortunate in havinga long-standing cooperation with Dr N C Saxena, an eminent social scientist and administratorwith a good deal of experience in social forestry programmes, who takes a deep interest in thesocial and human problems at stake. Dr Saxena was in a position to give an independentoverview and critical analysis of the many aspects of fuelwood, ranging from sources of supply tothe people involved to end-uses. The present document gives an account of his findings.The subject is of far more than academic importance. Initially, this material was prepared as acomprehensive briefing for the Foundation Course for All India Service Officers at the Lal BahadurSastri National Academy of Administration in Mussoorie, India, in which Mr Tara N Bhattarai,Wood Energy Resources Specialist at the RWEDP, has provided invaluable assistance. However,as the RWEDP believes that the same material will be of great help to other institutes andorganizations in India and beyond, it is published as a field document for wider distribution.Dr W S Hulscher,Chief Technical Adviser,FAO-RWEDP

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