Woodfuel is a renewable energy source with good potential for climate change mitigation. In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the sector employs over 300,000 people for the supply of Kinshasa alone, but the benefits to the poor are often unknown. This paper analyzes the contribution of commercial woodfuel production to livelihoods and poverty reduction in the DRC. Woodfuel revenues, especially those of charcoal, contribute substantially to producers household income, ranging from 12% for fuelwood producers around Kisangani to 75% for charcoal producers around Kinshasa. It supports basic needs and investments in other livelihood activities (for 82% of charcoal producers and 65% of fuelwood producers), which helps to reduce poverty. The contribution of woodfuel commercialization to poverty reduction should be part of energy and forestry policies.
Geographic: Democratic Republic of Congo
Publication Year: 2014
Source: World Development 64: S80-S90