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FAO/UNEP/UN-Energy Bioenergy Decision Support Tool -
MODULE 7: Deployment and Good Practices
Fire prevention methods should be incorporated into bioenergy
strategies that rely on woody biomass or otherwise incorporate
forested areas into the bioenergy production chain. Fire can be
a major threat to forests, particularly where dry litter builds up or
an infammable shrub layer develops. Damaging forest fres in
most cases are caused by human negligence, conficts or arson.
Natural fres are rare in most parts of the world and only common
in regions with dry lightning. Fire may contribute to the loss of
tree products, nutrients, and vegetative cover; soil is exposed to
erosion and forest functions such as biodiversity and watersheds
deteriorate. The net release of carbon by wildfres contributes to
human-induced climate change. Fire management needs to be
based on an integral and strategic approach that includes actions
such prevention and preparedness programmes, monitoring,
rapid response, community-based fre management, and in some
cases well-planned prescribed burning.
The increased land pressures resulting from the demands of
new bioenergy markets highlights the importance of secure land
tenure. Private investors, regardless of whether they are large or
small, corporate, smallholder or community, require the security
not only of good governance but also of legal tenure to the land
and the crops they own or rent. Duration, assurance, robustness
and excludability have been identifed as being the main legal
elements in secure tenure arrangements. Forest policy reforms
need to not only encourage participation, but must also lead to
clear, formal and long-term recognition of rights and responsibili-
ties. The actual implementation and governance of policies and
laws present major challenges, and decision-making power needs
to be properly devolved for stakeholders to exercise their rights
and take decisions. Consultations, confict resolution and shared
decision-making are crucial in order to meet the needs of the
poor, landless and marginalized. Acknowledgement and recogni-
tion of customary rights and consultation with other land users will
often be necessary.
Forest landscape restoration is grounded in eco-region conser-
vation and is defned as a planned process that aims to regain
ecological integrity and enhance human well-being in deforested
and degraded landscapes. Such an approach helps to achieve
a balance between human needs and those of biodiversity by
restoring a range of forest functions within a landscape and
reducing the vulnerability of that landscape to further damage.
Community-based forest management (CBFM) refers is an
important mechanism for addressing social equity while pursuing
the sustainability of forest resources. Community governance
and participation have become important issues in achieving
sustainable forest management. A number of countries—including
Ghana, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Peru, Philippines and
Togo—have given to indigenous (including women) and peasant
communities the opportunity to manage their own forests Decentralization of forest
administration has been necessary to make CBFM more effective.
Implementation challenges arise due to unclear forest policies
and a lack of technical skills and fnancial means on the part of
the communities and forestry administrations. Improved busi-
ness management skills and micro-fnance are necessary for
the development of rural enterprises.
Two community-based schemes of interest for sustainable use
of wood fuels are Community Based Wood Fuel Production
(CBWP) and Forest Replacement Associations (FRA). Both
strategies address mainly commercial wood fuel production,
which supplies a concentrated market that is more likely to lead to
forest degradation or deforestation. CBWP engages communities
in forest management on community/publicly-owned lands, a
common system of land tenure in Sub-Saharan Africa, whereas
FRA engages private farmers in forest management on privately-
owned lands, a common system of land tenure in Latin America.
After 20 years of experience, CBWP has proven that sustainable
production of wood fuel can be achieved; case studies in Niger
and Senegal showed a considerable annual increase in forest
stock after local communities took over the management of their
forest resources. The results with FRAs in several Latin American
countries have been mixed, although on average positive.
As usual, the models must be adapted to local conditions and
actors (ESMAP, 2010).