Wood is the main energy source in the Sahel. In order to plan for changes in stocks, it is essential to be able to produce a common estimate of the productivity of savannahs in all the countries concerned. This is the aim of the Savafor network, which was founded recently.
Wood and charcoal cover a substantial part of domestic energy requirements in Sahel countries: from 47% of requirements in Senegal to 96% in Chad, according to a 1986 FAO study. Wooded formations, primarily dry savannahs, are thus under substantial logging pressure, particularly around towns. The FAO has put the annual rate of forest shrinkage in Sahelo-Sudanian Africa at 0.72% (2001).
As a result of this loss of resources, traders in Bamako, Mali, are now having to bring in supplies from as far away as 200 km from the city. This reduction in forest cover could be slowed through plans to develop village forests, in the hope of balancing the volumes logged and natural renewal of stocks. However, such an operation means determining wood stock growth rates more precisely.
Nicolas Picard | alfa
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