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FUEL WOOD: A CONVENTIONAL SOURCE OF ENERGY IN MOUNTAINS OF THE GARHWAL HIMALAYA Munesh Kumar*, C. M. Sharma** and G.S.

Rajwar*** *Department of Forestry, HNB, Garhwal University, Srinagar Garhwal, Uttarakhand India, **Department of Botany, HNB, Garhwal University, Srinagar Garhwal, Uttarakhand, India ***Department of Botany, Govt. Post Graduate College, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, India (E-mail: muneshmzu@yahoo.com) ABSTRACT The use of fuel wood in the Garhwal Himalaya as a primary source of energy for domestic purposes is causing severe deforestation in the Garhwal Himalaya. The fuel wood consumption patterns have been studied in six villages selected two each in tropical (Ganga Bhogpur and Kunow), sub-tropical (Bhainswara and Ghargaon) and temperate (Dhaulana and Chunnikhal) regions under various ecological and socio-economic conditions. The highest value of total fuel wood consumption for various purposes was observed for the village Ganga Bhogpur (907.20 kg capita-1 yr-1) in the tropical region, whereas, it was lowest for the village Ghargoan (586.8 kg capita-1 yr-1) in the sub-tropical region. The labour energy expenditure for fuel wood collection was maximum in the village Dhaulana (53516.30 MJ person-1 yr-1) in temperate region, which was due to the distance from the forest recorded as 1.0 km and was higher compared to others. The terrain which has a steep slope consumed maximum time for fuel wood collection while, minimum was in village Ganga Bhogpur (32412.00 MJ capita-1 yr-1) in the tropical region, which could be due to nearness of the village to the forest (0.40 km) and was also more convenient for villagers to go for fuel wood collection. Fuel wood consumption also fluctuated with the season as reported to be higher in winter>rainy>summer. The tree and shrub species preferred by the inhabitants for fuel wood were Holoptelea integrifolia, Anogeissus latifolia and Lantana camara in tropical region; Anogeissus latifolia, Acacia catechu and Carissa spinarum in sub-tropical region; and Quercus leucotrichophora, Myrica esculenta and Pyracantha crenulata in temperate region. Key words: Fuel wood consumption, altitudes, Garhwal Himalaya, season.

INTRODUCTION In Asia, the forest in the Himalayan region is considered to be among the most depleted (Tucker, 1987; Schickhoff, 1995). Deforestation in the Himalaya region is also often attributed to increasing human population (Eckholm, 1975, Sterling, 1976; Lall and Moddies, 1981; Myers, 1986). Ives and Messerli (1989) called this explanation overly simplistic and have named it the Theory of Himalayan Environment Degradation Fuel wood is one of the important sources of energy in the developing and under developed countries. It constitutes a vital input for all productive economic activities and meeting the basic energy requirement in both domestic and traditional industrial sector in the rural areas (Vimal and Tyagi, 1984). Fuel wood alone accounts for about 60% of the total fuel in the rural areas (Pandey, 2002). In the mountainous regions of the Utarakhand hills of Garhwal Himalaya, people are fully dependent on forest resources especially for food, fodder, fuel, shelter and other daily needs. With increasing altitude, different compositions of forests are found, and so different plant species are used in different altitudes for fuel in the household sector. In the

household sectors of mountain areas fuel wood is required for cooking, lighting, boiling of water, and space heating (Bhatt and Todaria, 1990). Due to daily use of fuel wood for energy from the forests and irrational uses of natural resources; fuel wood has become acutely scarce while there is substantial increase in human and bovine population on the one hand, and decreasing forest areas on the other. This has resulted in all kinds of plant species being used as fuel wood (Badoni and Bhatt, 1980). Although many studies on fuel wood consumption have been carried out in the hills of Utarakhand, but the study in respect of village dependence on different forest types along altitudinal gradient and the rate of fuel wood consumption pattern has not been studied so far in Utarakhand. Therefore, this study assessed the actual fuel wood consumption pattern by the villagers with increasing altitude and availability of different forest composition. Study area The study was carried out in six rural villages, selecting two each in tropical (Ganga Bhogpur and Kunow), sub-tropical (Bhainswara and Ghargoan) and temperate (Dhaulana and

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Chunnikhal) regions to compare the study among the villages in different altitudes, and between the villages in same altitudes of a region. The sites were located at 300 6 N 0 latitude, 78 24 E longitude and 300-400 m asl in tropical region, 300 29 N latitude, 780 24 E longitude and 900 to 1300 m asl in sub-tropical 0 0 region, and at 30 22 N latitude, 78 23 E longitude and 1900-2400 m asl in temperate region of the Garhwal Himalaya. The climate is monsoonic and can be divisible into three different seasons, i.e., rainy (mid JuneSeptember), winter (October-February) and summer (Marchmid June). The forests of the study sites were dominated by Holoptelea integrifolia-mixed forests (tropical regions), Anogeissus latifolia-mixed forests (subtropical) and the temperate forests were dominated by Quercus leucotrichophora-mixed type. The detailed structure of the village is presented in Location map (Plate-1). METHODOLOGY A preliminary reconnaissance was conducted at three study sites to count the number of families and members in each household (Table-1). The interviews were conducted and the information was collected from the older and mature villagers to get actual data of the village. Sometimes the information was also collected in the forests when the villagers were collecting fuel wood, in local dialect (Garhwali) to get proper information. Households in each village were categorized into small, medium and large types for studying the fuel wood consumed by each sample household in each village. The observations were made in each sample household to quantify the fuel wood used by the villagers for various purposes i.e., cooking, heating, boiling of water, and protection of crops from wild animals. To know the daily consumption of fuel wood the weight survey method over a period of 24 hours was adopted. Initially, a wood lot of known weight was given to household and was requested to burn wood only from the given stack. After 24 hours the amount of residual wood of each identified species was deducted from the original weight in order to obtain the actual consumption per day. The time spent for fuel wood collection by each sample household of each village was measured when the number of the households went to the forest for fuel wood collection, and returned back with fuel wood load. The distance traveled from village to forest and back with fuel wood load, and the time spent for the fuel wood collection by villagers was cross checked by repeated visit to the forests personally along with villagers. The time and labour spent by the villager for fuel wood

collection was measured in hours and converted into energy (MJ) method based on Gopalan et al. (1978). Based on the work of Mitchell (1979), 1 kg of fuel wood was assumed -1 to be 16.8 MJ kg oven-dry weight. Total fuel wood energy consumed was subsequently apportioned to each activity as per Leach, (1976). The indices of 0.418 MJ for sedentary, 0.488 for moderate and 0.679 for heavy work were used for an adult male and 0.331 MJ for sedentary and 0.383 MJ and for moderate and 0.523 MJ for heavy work for an adult female. However, for heavy work by children of 9-12 years of age, a standard value of 0.412 MJ was used per hour energy basis (Maikhuri, 1991). Fuel wood consumption per capita per day was calculated on the basis of total fuel wood consumed by a family, divided by the total number of family members as described by Gupta et al. (1997) as: F = TFc / TFm, where, F= Per day per capita fuel wood consumption, TFc= Total fuel consumption by sample household, and TFm= Total number of family members. RESULTS The quantities in kg and energy values expressed in MJ of tree species used for fuel wood in the selected villages of different altitudes are given in Table-2. In the villages of Temperate region (Dhaulana and Chunnikhal), the dominant species used for fuel wood was Quercus leucotrichophora, however, the other tree species used as fuel wood were Myrica esculenta, Rhododendron arboreum and shrubs Pyracantha crenulata, Symplocos chinensis, Berberis asiatica, Cotoneaster bacillaris. Among the species, Symplocos chinensis was not used in the village Chunnikhal. In Bhainswara and Ghargaon villages of sub-tropical region the dominant tree species was Anogeissus latifolia which was used on top priority basis by the villagers, while other tree species taken as fuel wood were Aegle marmelos, Acacia catechu, Lannea coromandelica, Ougeinia oojeinensis, and the shrub species used were Carissa spinarum, Rhus parviflora, Woodfordia fructicosa, Lantana camara (shrubs). Among the villages Aegle marmelos was not used for fuel wood in the village Bhainswara and Ougeinia oojeinensis in Ghargaon. The common fuel wood species of Ganga Bhogpur and Kunow villages of the tropical region were Holoptelea integrifolia (the dominant utilized species), Dalbergia sissoo, Aegle marmelos, Acacia catechu, Anogeissus latifolia, A. pendula, Zizyphus mauritiana and Mallotus philippensis. Similarly, among the villages Murraya koenigii was not reported to be used as fuel wood in Kunow. The wood used for different purposes in various villages is

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exhibited in Fig-1. In each village or altitude cooking comprised the major proportion of fuel wood consumption. Other purposes of fuel wood consumed were room heating (winter), boiling of water (bathing + animals), and in tropical villages only for the protection of agricultural crops because of their location in the vicinity of the Rajaji National Park which is famous for various kinds of wildlife like elephant which cause huge losses to agricultural production during nights. The size of the household in different seasons directly influenced the fuel wood consumption. The fuel wood consumption was observed highest in winter season followed by rainy and summer seasons. Seasonal fuel wood consumption quantities ranged from 1.71 kg to 2.70 kg capita-1 day-1 for the temperate villages, 1.50 kg to 1.84 kg capita-1 day-1 for the sub-tropical villages and 2.30 kg to 2.76 kg capita-1 day-1 for the villages of tropical region (Fig-2). The labour energy expenditure was used for fuel wood collection as shown in Fig-3. The maximum value of total labour energy expended by the villagers of tropical region was 34795.45 MJ capita-1 year-1 for the village Kunow followed by Ganga Bhogpur amounting to 32412.00 capita-1 yr-1. In the sub-tropical region the highest value was for the village Bhainswara (37397.90 MJ capita-1 year-1) and the lowest (36708.05 MJ capita-1 year-1) for Ghargoan. The total labour energy expenditure observed for temperate region ranged between 53516.30 MJ capita-1 yr-1 and 40073.00 MJ capita-1 yr-1 for the villages Dhaulana and Chunnikhal respectively. Among the villages, Dhaulana (temperate region) has shown maximum value of labour energy expenditure for fuel wood collection due to its remote location and inaccessibility of the forest areas, while, the minimum for Ganga Bhogpur (tropical region) due to readily available means of transports and easy accessibility to the forests. DISCUSSION The present study has shown that seasonal fuel wood consumption among six villages of three study regions ranged from 1.50 kg to 2.76 kg capita-1 day-1, which was within the range of values of the consumption rate reported for Garhwal Himalaya (Ralhan et al., 1991). Pandey and Singh (1984) recorded an average fuel consumption value of 1.49 kg capita-1day-1 for Central Himalaya. Reddy (1981) and Hegde (1984) reported fuel wood consumption values between 1.9 kg to 2.2 kg capita-1 day-1 for southern India. However, the values for South and South East Asian countries ranged from 1.7 kg to 2.7 kg capita-1 day-1 as reported by Donoven (1981) and Wijesinghe (1984). The

values of the present study were quite lower than the firewood demand of tribal communities (Maikhuri, 1991) of the north eastern part of Himalaya, (i.e., 3.1 kg to 10.4 kg capita-1 day-1). Many parts of the country where the forest resources have been reduced by the local inhabitants or now not sufficient, people compensate the fuel wood energy requirements by using alternate sources eg., crop residue and dung. In the village sector of the Garhwal Himalaya, fuel wood is used for cooking (every season), lighting (in remote areas) and space heating (in winter season) purposes, while the commercial use has so far not been reported. Negi et al. (1999) reported that fuel wood consumption value for Garhwal Himalaya was 438 kg person-1 year-1 at lower elevation (5001200 m asl) and at higher elevation it was -1 -1 547.5 kg person year . Barthwal (1987) -1 showed that the capita fuel wood consumption of 560 tonnes year-1 for Raath area in Garhwal Himalaya, which is almost similar to the rural areas of District Dehradun as 540 tonnes year1 (Sagar et al., 1985) but these values were lower than the national average of 600 tonnes year-1 (Srivastava, 1981). In Garhwal Himalaya the scarcity of firewood is being felt and as a result of this many families are now burning pine cones, scraped trees bark, and weeds such as Cannabis sativa, Cassia occidentalis, Adhatoda vasica, Colebrookia oppositifolia and Lantana camara as the substitute of fuel wood. However, animal dung is continuously used as fertilizer for agricultural fields, except in minor scale where it is used as mosquito repellent, especially in rainy season when farmers worked in agricultural field. On the basis of fuel wood consumption patterns in the selected villages of the Garhwal Himalaya, it is important to point out that fuel wood consumption is creating serious problem of deforestation, and if the current trends of fuel wood consumption patterns continue unabated, there would be a scarcity of fuel wood supply in near future. Therefore, there is an urgent need to create awareness among the villagers, who should be insisted to use biogas, smokeless chulhas, LPG and other alternative sources of fuel wood, which will reduce the pressure on forests. One important observation from the study sites is that the few households having LPG connection were also using fuel wood equally from the forest as others. Their use of LPG might be due to the competition for fuel wood collection among the villagers which limits available forest resources and threatens nearby areas within few years. Presently, greater rate of felling of trees over the recovery rate is causing massive

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deterioration of forests due to over-exploitation including for fuel wood. The time and effort required to collect fuel wood has increased manifold, labour compares to earlier times to collect fuel wood, resultant less attention is being paid to the production of food crop. Additionally, alterative fuels such as animal dung and crop residues may be utilized in these areas later for fuels. Ultimately, the food production of agricultural crop would be reduced considerably season by season and year by year. The reduction in crop yields per unit area would also force cultivation of more land to meet minimum food requirements, leading to more cleaning of indigenous forests, more potential soil erosion, and a trend towards desertification in this mountain region. CONCLUSION The forests especially in the sub-tropical region are highly degraded due to excessive lopping and cutting of trees for fuel wood and other purposes, because in sub-tropical region, villages are situated within short distances causing more depletion of forests. Similarly in temperate and tropical regions, the density of trees was also reduced due to continuous exploitation of forests over afforestation/plantation. The main emphasis of the villagers to collect fuel wood was for energy which is locally available and free of cost, however, the commercial fuels (LPG, biogass construction, kerosene and others) are either not properly available in the village/town area or if found might be too expensive which are beyond the reach of poor villagers. Therefore, necessary afforestation and plantation programmes should be organized at village level, group of village level, district level, state level and ultimately country level especially on the barren land, panchyat land, common land and other areas of less vegetation which will fulfill the fuel requirement of the villagers. Peoples participation is needed to plan and execute a successful program. It is also urged that this program cannot be successfully run unless an awareness program regarding the losses of species and its impact on human life is taken up. Usually in the sub-tropical and temperate regions during present study it was reported that, the forest areas are shrinking continuously. It was also reported that few forest sites near the villages have been fenced by the villagers for personal use, where the trees were growing with higher girth and height compared to other sites. The higher girth and height of trees was due to the mild cutting of trees for basic requirement. However, the other forests were cut ruthlessly because they were not under holding of the villagers. Therefore,

the good growth was observed due to proper management by the villagers. However, overdamage of forests by villagers is rampant in less forested areas. Thus, it is suggested that the government should take initiative for the development of forests jointly with the villagers by allotting demarcated forest area to each village for ameliorating the conditions of forests by its greening and to use the forest resource by providing equal input in the forest in the form of plantation, protection of seed bearing trees for regeneration and protection of new regeneration. It would be used for sustainable utilization of forest for long term output to the villagers and for alleviating the national economy. REFERENCES Badoni, A.K. and Bhatt, B.P. 1989. Aspects and Prospects of Energy Plantation in Himalayan Wastelands: A case study of Garhwal Himalaya. In: Papers presented in National Workshop of Economics of Energy Plantation on Wastelands 7-8 Aug., 1989. Rajasthan Agricultural University Bikaner, India. Bathwal, P.S. 1987. Development and Alternative Source of Forest Energy in Garhwal Himalaya. Bhatt, B.P. and Todaria, N. P. 1990. Fuel wood characteristics of some mountain trees and shrubs. Biomass 21:233-238. Donovan, D.G. 1981. Fuel wood: How Much Do We Need? Institute of Current World affairs, Hanover, N.H. 23 pp. Eckholm, E. 1975. The deterioration of mountain environments. Science 189:764-770. Gopalan, G.B., Ramasastri, V. and Balasubraminiam, S.C. 1978. Nutritive Value of Indian Foods. National Institute of Nutrition, Hyderabad, India, 204 pp. Gupta, R.K. Pathania, M.S. and Gupta, T. 1997. A study on fuel consumption pattern in Himachal Pradesh: A case study. Range Management & Agroforestry 18(2): 181-188. Hegde, M.S. 1984. Fuel problem in villages: Challenges and opportunities. Bulletin of Science July-August, pp. 8-13. Ives, J.D.and Messerll, B. 1989. The Himalayan Dilemma: Reconciling Development and Conservation. London and New York: Rutledge. Lall, J.S. Moddie, A.D., (Editors.) 1981. The Himalaya: Aspect of Change. Oxford University Press, New Delhi.

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Leach, G. 1976. Energy and Food Production. IPC Science and Technology Press, Guildford, London, 137 pp. Maikhuri, R. K. 1991. Fuel wood consumption pattern of different tribal communities living in North-East India. Bioresources Technology 35: 291-296. Mitchell, R. 1979. An Analysis of India AgroEcosystems. Interprint, New Delhi, India, 180 pp. Myers, N 1986. Environmental repercussions of deforestation in the Himalayas. Journal of World Forest Resource Management 2:63-72 Negi, A.K. Bhatt, B.P. and Todaria, N.P.1999. Local population impacts on the forests of Garhwal Himalaya, India. The Environmentalist 19: 293-303. Pandey, D. 2002. Fuel wood Studies in IndiaMyth and Reality. Centre for International Forestry Research, Indonesia, 94 pp. Pandey, U. and Singh, J.S. 1984. Energy-flow relationship between agro and forest ecosystems in Central Himalaya. Environmental conservation 11(1): 45-53. Ralhan, P.K, Negi, G.C.S. and Singh S.P. 1991. Structure and function of the agroforestry stystem in the Pithoragarh district of Central Himalaya: an ecological viewpoint. Agriculture, Ecosystem and Environment 35: 283-296.

Reddy, A. K. N. 1981. An Indian village agricultural ecosystem: Case study of Ungra village. Part II. Discussion Biomass 1: 77-88. Sagar, S.R. Chandola, L.P. and Ansari, M.V. 1985. Pilot Survey of fuel consumption in rural areas, Indian Forester 111(5): 305-317. Schlckhoff, U. 1995. Himalayan forest covers change in historical perspectives: A case study from the Kaghan Valley, Northern Pakistan. Mountain Research and Development 15(1):318. Srivastava, B. P. 1981. High density short relation forestry for mitigating the energy crisis in India. Indian Forester 107 (12): 769. Sterling, C. 1976. Nepal Atlantic Monthly 238 (4):14-25. Tucker, R. P 1987. Dimensions of deforestation in the Himalayas: The historical settings. Mountain Research and Development 7(3):328-331. Vimal, O.P. and Tyagi, P.D. 1984. Energy from Biomass. Agricole Publishing Academy, New Delhi, 440 pp. Wijesinghe, L.C.A. des 1984. A sample study of biomass fuel consumption in Sri Lanka households. Biomass. 5:261-282.

Table 1: Preliminary survey of villages under investigation Site Village Total Average Population household Family size Human Bovine Tropical Ganga Bhogpur 151 5.93 895 660 Kunow 50 4.90 245 210 Sub-tropical Bhainswara 51 4.75 242 80 Ghargoan 37 4.05 150 108 Temperate Dhaulana 52 5.92 308 203 Chunnikhal 30 5.20 156 94 Mean value 61.83 5.13 332.67 225.83

Literacy rate 15.08 13.08 48.35 46.67 43.18 43.59 44.99

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Table 2: Plant species and quantity of fuel wood consumption (kg capita-1 yr-1) of villages at different altitudes of Garhwal Himalaya (values in parenthesis indicate number of species used) Temperate region Plant species Dhaulana Chunnikhal Quantity Energy Quantity Energy (Kg x 103) (Kg x 103) (Kg x 103) (Kg x 103) Quercus leucotrichophora 62.83 (7) 1038.74 (7) 67.00 (6) 1125.60 (6) 154.33* 2575.94* 143.00* 2402.94* Sub-tropical region Bhainswara Ghargoan 41.33 (8) 694.34 (8) 53.33 (8) 895.94 (8) Anogeissus latifolia 121.00* 2032.80* 140.00* 2352.20* Tropical region Ganga Bhogpur Kunow 54.33 (11) 912.74 13.00 (10) 218.40 Holoptelea integrifolia 208.66* 3505.48* 144.99* 2433.62* *expressed as total values of study village Table 3: Percent fuel wood consumption (kg captita-1 day-1) by family altitudes of Garhwal Himalaya (values in the parenthesis is range members) Family Size Regions/villages Tropical Sub-tropical Temperate Ganga Bhogpur Kunow Bhainswara Ghargoan Dhaulana Large 30.86 27.59 28.71 24.95 23.17 (10-15) (9-11) (7-10) (9-14) (7-8) Medium 32.35 32.29 33.91 33.33 32.76 (6-8) (6-7) (5-6) (6-8) (5-6) Small 36.79 39.11 37.38 41.72 44.07 (1-5) (1-5 ) (1-4) (1-5) (1-4) Total 7.42 7.90 5.19 5.01 7.51 size at different values of family

Chunnikhal 20.03 (8-15) 33.97 (6-7) 45.99 (1-5) 5.75

Fig. 1: Rate of fuel wood consumption (kg captia-1 yr-1) at different altitudes of Garhwal Himalaya (values in parenthesis indicate total consumption)

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Fig. 2 Seasonal fuel wood consumption pattern of villages at different altitudes of Garhwal Himalaya

Fig. 3 Labour energy expenditure (MJ capita-1 yr-1) at different altitudes of Garhwal Himalaya (values in the parenthesis indicate distance (km) of forest from village)

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