- CIFOR Videos
- Climate Change
- Forest Management
- Food & Biodiversity
- Forest Policy
- Products & Trade
- All Videos
Firewood for income in a degrading landscape
With soils becoming increasingly infertile in Ghana’s Kassena–Nankana District, many people in farming communities – especially women – rely heavily on income from tree products and off-farm sources such as petty trading. Firewood is one of those tree products. But as forests and other tree cover degrade in the area, firewood is also increasingly difficult to find. Wood from shea trees (Vitellaria paradoxa) is popular in charcoal-making, so traditional taboos that forbade cutting of a live tree or harvesting anything but dead branches are breaking down. This means there is growing competition for this precious resource, creating a conflict-of-use problem for shea trees. There is also increasing pressure on shea and other trees as more and more people are turning to firewood as a source of income. Paradoxically, even as tree resources are declining, as Zizigna Bagambagui tells us, prices for firewood are dropping because of the growing number of people harvesting and selling firewood. Bagambagui recalls how, in the past when there were more trees, soils were more fertile and life was much easier than it is today.
When ancestral lands fall victim to an international border
Voices from West Africa: Judith Afagachie
Pastoralism and agriculture: keeping the peace in a national park buffer zone
Recognizing that surrounding pastoralist communities would be cut off from the land they used for their animals once their access to the Kaboré Tambi National Park in southern Burkina Faso was restricted in 1997, the government decided to set aside a buffer zone outside the park boundary in which the pastoralists could settle, and on which they could graze their livestock. This gave rise to Tamsé, a village community of pastoralists in the buffer zone, benefiting from the land set aside next to the park. However, during the dry season, there is not enough water for the cattle in the buffer zone. The national park, however, overlays much of the watershed of the Nazinon River, which is a rare year-round source of surface water in the area. This means that the pastoralists sometimes have no choice but to take their cattle into the park to find water. For this they are fined, as they are when any of their animals stray into the fields of adjacent agricultural communities. And so, as Arba Sondé tells us, there is a need to clearly delineate pastoralist grazing land and fields of neighbouring farming communities to prevent conflicts in the area.