Population, biomass and the environment in central Sudan

Type Working Paper - International Journal of Sustainable Development & World Ecology
Title Population, biomass and the environment in central Sudan
Volume 2
Issue 1
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 1995
Page numbers 54-69
URL http://webarchive.iiasa.ac.at/Publications/Documents/WP-94-108.pdf
This paper deals specifically with population-biomass-environment interactions in the semi-arid central region of Sudan. Most of the links and dynamics operate at the local- scale household level. Living arrangements within the household, household size, size of consuming units, location and mode of living (urban-rural-nomadic) are some of the most important link variables. Biomass fuels use (fuelwood, charcoal, crop residues and animal dung) in the central region varies considerably by location of households. Rural households use fuelwood, crop residues and animal dung; nomadic households are primarily fuelwood users; urban households are mainly charcoal users. Nomadic households are very special not only because this manner of living is gradually shrinking but also because with the spread of irrigated and mechanized agriculture, nomads have become concentrated in ecologically limited areas with drastic consequences to their lives, their animal wealth and the environment. Households are not the only users of biomass for fuel purposes; two more sectors use fuelwood and charcoal. These are industries such as brick-making and bakeries, and commercial establishments such as restaurants and tea houses. This paper shows that actual consumption of fuelwood and charcoal exceeds the official supply by about 22,000 and 32,000 metric tons, respectively. This indicates deforestation which is substantially enhanced by unofficial cutting of trees. By contrast the balance for crop residues and animal dung is substantially positive reflecting the availability of these biomass resources for fuel use. Policies should encourage the use of these residues for cooking. Also, the need for better management of biomass resources, energy saving, environmental education and awareness and planting of trees is obvious

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