Criteria and Indicators for Sustainable Woodfuels: A Joint Publication of FAO and IEA Bioenergy
(Netzwerk Biotreibstoffe) As a potential substitute for fossil fuels, wood energy can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. FAO’s programme on wood energy promotes sustainable wood energy systems as a contribution to sustainable forest management, livelihoods and food security. To this end, FAO and the International Energy Agency Bioenergy Task 31 developed a project to evaluate principles, criteria and indicators applicable to woodfuel systems to ensure sustainability.
This publication assesses the environmental, social and economic issues as well as the legal and institutional frameworks that can ensure the sustainable production of woodfuels from forests, trees outside forests and other sources. The study continues FAO’s long interest in wood energy issues and complements other FAO reports on wood energy and sustainable forest management.
To ensure that the key issues related to the sustainability of woodfuel production are fully recognized and addressed they need to be analysed and organized within a rational framework. The criteria and indicators presented under four overarching principles provide such a framework. The principles are:
· Policies, laws, institutional frameworks and capacity exist and are clear and consistent.
· Human and labor rights are respected and social and cultural values are maintained or enhanced.
· Economic sustainability is ensured.
· Landscape and site productivity and environmental values are sustained.
Two general recommendations can be drawn from this examination of the issues involved in woodfuel sustainability and the tools available to address these issues. They are that:
· policy-makers and decision-makers involved in decisions on woodfuel systems should recognize more clearly the benefits of sustainable woodfuel production and the range of issues and concerns associated with unsustainable woodfuel production;
· the issues, concerns and benefits associated with woodfuel production should be addressed with the aid of the criteria and indicators for woodfuel sustainability presented in this publication, adapted to suit local conditions. READ MORE Download Study