Taken fron http://www.carbonpositive.net

Some forestry projects are attempting to wean rural peoples off wood and charcoal because unsustainable forest use has led to degradation and total loss forests and their ecosystems. In Kenya, the Kasigau REDD project aimed at halting deforestation in the Rukinga Sanctuary is paying locals to stop cutting down and burning trees for charcoal, and instead grow tree seedlings.

The IIED report “Bundles of energy: The case for renewable biomass energy” argues, however, that poor nations already dependent on biomass fuels should embrace these energy sources. What’s needed is practices to ensure biomass is utilised in ways that ensure it becomes a sustainable source of green energy. Sustainable biomass production has the ability to fight poverty, create jobs, secure energy needs and tackle climate change, it says.

Already in Europe, there is a big switch to wood-based fuels as an alternative to fossil fuels. The International Energy Agency predicts that the biomass will provide 30 per cent of global energy by 2050, up from 10 per cent currently. New technologies can convert wood to both liquid and gaseous fuel, or into pellets used to fuel electricity generation.

The report says sustainable biomass production requires forest management to ensure replanting of harvested trees, and more efficient stoves to prevent the adverse health effects often associated with wood energy use in the developing world.

“Developing nations that get serious about biomass energy and end any historic prejudices against such fuels will greatly serve their national interests,” says report co-author Sibel Korhaliller. “This will need a new approach that legalises and secures sustainable production by and for the millions of poor people who both produce and depend on biomass for energy.”

Read IIED: Bundles of energy: the case for renewable biomass energy here