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Environmental conservation and social benefits of charcoal production in Mozambique

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)100-111
Number of pages12
JournalEcological Economics
Volume144
Early online date8 Aug 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2018

Abstract

Charcoal is an important source of energy and income for millions of people in Africa. Its production often drives forest degradation and deforestation which have impacts on the local people that remain poorly understood. We present a novel methodology for analysing the contribution of woodland ecosystem services (ES) to rural well-being and poverty alleviation, which takes into account access mechanisms to ES, trade-offs between ES, and human response options. Using a participatory approach, a set of land use change scenarios were translated into a probabilistic model that integrates biophysical and social data. Our findings suggest that in highly forested areas woodland degradation does not have a critical impact on the local use of the three ES studied: charcoal, firewood and grass. Social factors show the largest impact on the quantity of charcoal produced, e.g. female-headed households experience the greatest barriers to access charcoal production. Participating in forest associations and diversifying income activities lead to greater charcoal production. Results show that charcoal production increases some aspects of well-being (e.g. household assets), but does not decrease acute multidimensional poverty. Great efforts are required to reach a charcoal production system that alleviates poverty, improves environmental sustainability, and provides a reliable charcoal supply.

    Research areas

  • Bayesian Belief Networks, Land use Land Cover Change, Poverty Alleviation, Well-being, Ecosystem Services, Social-Ecological Systems, BAYESIAN BELIEF NETWORKS, POVERTY ALLEVIATION, ECOSYSTEM SERVICES, RURAL LIVELIHOODS, CONCEPTUAL-FRAMEWORK, RESOURCE-MANAGEMENT, ECOLOGICAL SYSTEMS, SOUTH-AFRICA, TRADE-OFFS, WOODLANDS

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