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Record number 427101
Title Formalisation of charcoal value chains and livelihood outcomes in Central- and West Africa
Author(s) Schure, J.M.; Ingram, V.J.; Sakho-Jimbira, M.S.; Levang, P.; Wiersum, K.F.
Source Energy for Sustainable Development 17 (2013)2. - ISSN 0973-0826 - p. 95 - 105.
Department(s) Forest and Nature Conservation Policy
LEI MARKT & K - Duurzame Handel en Ketenvorming
LEI Markt en Ketens
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2013
Keyword(s) senegal - forests - biomass - policy
Abstract This paper examines the link between formalisation of charcoal institutions and livelihoodoutcomes in Central- and WestAfrica. The woodfuel trade generally commenced informally, little controlled by legal or bureaucratic means. Developing formal institutions is often considered as a way of managing charcoal production more sustainably. However, formalisation can have adverse effects for charcoal producers and traders when this hinders their capacity to access the resource or markets. In order to assess the relations between the formalisation of charcoal institutions and socio-economic outcomes for those involved, this study combines a valuechain and livelihoods perspective. A review of case studies and empirical data show that (1) West African countries, with a longer history of dealing with woodfuel issues, have more formal mechanisms in place to deal with charcoal management and these are more embedded into cross-sectorial energy and environmental policies; (2) Despite regulatory mechanisms dealing with woodfuel in all countries, institutions are mainly embedded in informal institutions and based upon customary rules, which allows large numbers of actors to be involved, but also leads to substantial unsustainable and unofficial production, corrupt practises and loss of tax revenues; (3) Formal mechanisms can have negative consequences, such as: conflicts of interests over tax revenues, difficulties in avoiding ‘free riders’ from sustainable management initiatives, and disproportional benefits reaped by more powerful urban-based actors. Comparing the West African countries with Central African countries where attention is relatively new, indicates that conditions for successful charcoal institutions are: devolving power and responsibilities for woodfuel management to a local level, monitoring woodfuel trade, (tax) incentives for sustainably produced charcoal and reinvesting taxes in social and environmental aims
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