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In Tanzania, the majority of the rural population still relies on fuelwood as their major source of cooking energy. The adaptation measures of small-scale farmers in response to increasing fuelwood scarcity play a key role in altering the course of nutrition insecurity, environmental degradation, and economic instability. This study delivers a classification of coping strategies that does not exist in the literature. Furthermore, it analyses the adaptation measures applied by small-scale farmers in the semi-arid region of Dodoma district in response to fuelwood scarcity. A comparison between two case study sites provides information on the choice of adaptation measures by households. Overall, 28 coping strategies from 24 studies are identified, then differentiated into preventive and acute measures that are arranged into eight clusters. The classification is then used as a codebook to identify applied coping strategies at two case study sites. In total, 23 adaptation measures, including two strategies not cited in the literature, were identified through 39 household interviews. This suggests that the majority of coping strategies applied are independently from regional and social conditions. The majority of the strategies applied at the case study sites and described in the literature are acute measures that do not tackle the underlying problem triggering forest degradation. It is observed that the adaptation measures across the case study sites are widely congruent, thus showing that acute strategies are not replaced by preventive strategies but rather co-exist.
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Environ. Res. Lett. 13 (2018)095004
Fuelwood scarcity and its adaptation measures: an assessment of
coping strategies applied by small-scale farmers in Dodoma region,
A Scheid
, J Hafner
, H Hoffmann
, H Kächele
, S Sieber
and C Rybak
Eberswalde University for Sustainable Development (HNEE), Schicklerstraße 5, D-16225 Eberswalde, Germany
Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF), Eberswalder Street 84, D-15374 Müncheberg, Germany
Author to whom any correspondence should be addressed.
Keywords: Tanzania, semi-arid region, fuelwood scarcity, coping strategy, adaptation measure, improved cooking stoves, classication
In Tanzania, the majority of the rural population still relies on fuelwood as their major source of
cooking energy. The adaptation measures of small-scale farmers in response to increasing fuelwood
scarcity play a key role in altering the course of nutrition insecurity, environmental degradation, and
economic instability. This study delivers a classication of coping strategies that does not exist in the
literature. Furthermore, it analyses the adaptation measures applied by small-scale farmers in the
semi-arid region of Dodoma district in response to fuelwood scarcity. A comparison between two
case study sites provides information on the choice of adaptation measures by households. Overall,
28 coping strategies from 24 studies are identied, then differentiated into preventive and acute
measures that are arranged into eight clusters. The classication is then used as a codebook to identify
applied coping strategies at two case study sites. In total, 23 adaptation measures, including two
strategies not cited in the literature, were identied through 39 household interviews. This suggests
that the majority of coping strategies applied are independently from regional and social conditions.
The majority of the strategies applied at the case study sites and described in the literature are acute
measures that do not tackle the underlying problem triggering forest degradation. It is observed that
the adaptation measures across the case study sites are widely congruent, thus showing that acute
strategies are not replaced by preventive strategies but rather co-exist.
Globally, around 2.7 billion people rely on solid
biomass as primary cooking fuel (IEA 2016). In order
to supply this demand, nearly half of globally harvested
wood is used for energy production (Bruinsma 2003).
In sum, traditional bioenergy represents approxi-
mately 15% of total global energy use (Creutzig
et al 2015)and is responsible for 1.9%2.3% of global
emissions annually (Bailis et al 2015).Itis
predicted that, through the next decade, the number
of people dependent on it will remain unchanged at
approximately 2.3 billion people (IEA 2017), with the
population of Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA)remaining
reliant on woodfuels also for the coming decades
(Iiyama et al 2014). Around 78% of the population in
SSA still relies on solid biomassespecially fuelwood
and charcoalfor cooking (IEA 2017). Nearly three-
quarters of those dependent on fuelwood for cooking
live in rural areas (IEA 2014), while those in urban
areas are more likely to use charcoal (Arnold and
Persson 2003).
With a population of more than 50 million, only 2%
of the Tanzanian population has access to clean cooking
energy, while in rural areas, fuelwood dependency is 89%
(NBS 2014,GTF2017). At the same time, mainland Tan-
zania is affected by deforestation, losing approximately
13 April 2018
31 July 2018
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Wood in the rough (such as chips, sawdust and pellets)used for
energy generation. It can also be termed as rewood (FAO 2008).
© 2018 The Author(s). Published by IOP Publishing Ltd
370 000 ha per year (FAO 2015),withaforestcoverof
roughly 48 million ha (NAFORMA 2015). The country is
among the top ten countries reporting the greatest annual
loss of forest area between 2010 and 2015 (FAO 2015).
Fuelwood utilization covering domestic fuelwood
demand for cooking could be a major driver of forest
degradation, depending on the geographic context (Bailis
et al 2015,Creutziget al 2015,Maseraet al 2015,
IEA 2017). In this paper, we understand fuelwood scarcity
as something that can be observed when behavioral
changes, such as coping strategies, become necessary.
In particular, due to continued fuelwood scarcity,
rural households are developing strategies to cope with
the added stress, such as increasing labor for fuelwood
collection, collecting fuelwood from non-forest areas, or
using crop residues (Brouwer et al 1997, Jagger and
Shively 2014). In this context, women in SSA generally
carry the majority of this burden, as they are traditionally
responsible for collecting fuelwood and for developing
strategies to respond to its increasing scarcity (Köhlin
et al 2011). There are a wide variety of coping strategies
strategies are dened as adaptation measures applied by
rural households due to a fuelwood shortage occurring.
Studies show that these coping strategies negatively affect
the nutritional and environmental situations of the peo-
ple (Heltberg et al 2000), such as omitting or substituting
dishes with high nutritious value (e.g. dry beans)
(Makungwa et al 2013). According to Heltberg et al
(2000), fuelwood collection and forest degradation are
closely related. An increase in fuelwood collection can
lead to the degradation of forests and forested areas
while, in turn, this degradation can lead to physical fuel-
wood scarcity. Brouwer et al (1997, p 256)attributes a
chronic characterto this self-reinforcing process, which
worsens over time, while Matsika et al (2013)refers to the
energy poverty cycle that links high usage of fuelwood to
localized environmental degradation. Although coping
strategies seek to alter or manage the cause of the pro-
blem, often it is beyond the reach of households to
address the root of the problem (Brouwer et al 1989,
p352). From a more theoretical viewpoint, Foeken and
Hoorweg (1988)suggest differentiating coping strategies
between preventive responses and those reecting an
acute scarcity. For example: planting trees or using alter-
native cooking technologies with higher efciency can be
understood as preventive responses because they hold
includes different technologies, such as using improved
cooking stoves (ICS). As an alternative to the traditional
fuelwood based three-stone-re stoves (TSF),ICSredu-
ces fuelwood consumption through its higher thermal
efciency rates (Zein-Elabdin 1997,Ochienget al 2013).
However, acute strategies are more common: these are
short-term adjustments that do not affect the underlying
cause of the problem. Specically in the context of fuel-
wood scarcity and food security, several authors high-
light that energy-demanding dishes with high nutritional
value, such as dry beans, are omitted or substituted
(FAO 1990,Brouweret al 1996b,Makungwaet al 2013).
To mitigate fuelwood scarcity, Akther et al (2010)identi-
es several substitutes for fuelwood, including leaves,
twigs, cow dung, and crop residues.
As coping strategies play an intermediary role
between scarcity, societal impact, and environmental
conservation, they must be considered as a leverage
point that can alter the course of nutrition insecurity,
environmental degradation, and economic instability.
However, there is neither a review of coping strategies
from different thematic areas nor a suitable classica-
tion scheme available. Particularly important are cop-
ing strategies with regard to fuelwood scarcity in
regions that are classied as semi-arid. In Tanzania,
these areas are in the center of the country, with
Dodoma region being one of them. This region is also
characterized by unimodal precipitation (WFP 2013).
Although fuelwood scarcity in Dodoma can be
observed, the role and the potential of coping strate-
gies are not yet evaluated. Scientic data for the inter-
play between preventive and acute strategies is
In order to close these research gaps and to provide
more detailed insights into general strategies from the
literature and strategies applied on the ground, this
research paper provides: (1)a literature review of cop-
ing strategies and their classication; (2)an assessment
of coping strategies at two case study sites (CSS); and
(3)a quantitative comparison of the coping strategies
applied by households at the two CSS.
Review of coping strategies from literature
In a rst step, we identify coping strategies that
households in rural areas apply to cope with fuelwood
scarcity in the literature. The review articles by
Brouwer et al (1989)and Sola et al (2016)on energy
access, food security, and nutritional impacts provide
the baseline for this review. Additional literature is
identied using the bibliographic databases Web of
Science, ScienceDirect and Google Scholar. In addi-
tion, relevant reports were searched for on websites of
the FAO, the WFP, and the World Bank. The following
broad search terms and their synonyms were used:
(i)fuelwood and nutrition security; (ii)fuelwood and
food security; (iii)fuelwood and alternative energy;
and (iv)fuelwood and environment. Original and
review articles were both included in the review
In total, we found 46 articles that were preselected
based on their title and abstract. Subsequently, the
articles were screened on the eligibility criteria, coping
strategies due to fuelwood scarcity. Out of this,
24 articles were identied as eligible for a full review
process (table 1).
In a second step, we classify the identied coping stra-
tegies from the literature. In particular, we differentiate
Environ. Res. Lett. 13 (2018)095004
between preventive and acute measures (Foeken and
Hoorweg 1988). The former potentially reduces defor-
estation, while acute measures are used ad hoc in order to
cope with immediate fuelwood scarcity.
Study area
The study was conducted at the two case study sites
Idifu and Mzulaboth located in the Chamwino district
of Dodoma region, Tanzania (gure 1). Dodoma region
is semi-arid, consisting mainly of savannas and grasslands
(Mutabazi 2016)and is part of the unimodal zone with
one long rainy season that lasts from December to April
(WFP 2013). There is a growing perception by the farmers
of a decrease in rainfall that is leading to drought. At the
same time, farms steadily move into new areas, accelerat-
ing the clearing of forest land (Goulden et al 2009),leading
to dilapidated forest and woodland areas (Mutabazi 2016).
Idifu has approximately 1200 households (Hafner 2016),
while Mzula has around 750 households (Mutabazi 2016).
Most of the households are subsistence farmers. Fuel-
wood is the main energy source for cooking and boiling
water in both villages. At the case study sites, two different
cooking technologies are used. In Idifu, ICS have been
introduced and adopted by several households, replacing
TSF. Mzula households rely solely on TSF.
Assessment of coping strategies in the Dodoma
Within our assessment, 39 household interviews were
conducted in the two villages of Mzula (n=20)and Idifu
(n=19). The interviews included a mix of unstructured
and semi-structured questions in order to identify a full
range of coping strategies. In the rst part, households
were asked about their livelihood, routines, responsibil-
ities, and changes in their daily routine. In the structured
part, direct questions about fuelwood availability and
applied coping strategies were asked.
In Idifu, we only interviewed households using
ICS, while in Mzula only households using TSF were
sampled in order to assess differences in the choice of
coping strategies. In Idifu, households were purposive
sampled; in Mzula households were randomly sam-
pled. In both villages, we only interviewed women,
because women are mainly responsible for fuelwood
collection and food preparation (Lim et al 2012,
Kahimba et al 2015). The interview questions were
professionally translated from English to Kiswahili.
The interviews were transcribed and analyzed using
structured qualitative content analysis, based on the pro-
cedure described by (Mayring 2016, p 115).Threemea-
sures were taken to indicate and rank the coping
strategies that households apply in Mzula and Idifu vil-
lages. First, the classication of the coping strategies from
the literature was used as the codebook. In the second
step, the codebook was used to systemize the applied
coping strategies and to identify additional strategies that
are not yet cited within the existing literature. Multiple
coping strategy responses per household were possible.
In a third step, the extracted strategies underwent a
quantied ranking. The ranking is based on how often
the strategies are mentioned by the households.
In order to identify differences in the choices of cop-
ing strategies by the households if preventive measures
are applied, a quantitative comparison of the identied
Table 1. 24 articles identied for the full review process on coping strategies applied due to fuelwood scarcity.
Author (Date)Topic
Howes (1985)Rural energy
Shanahan (1986)Woodfuel and rural households
Cecelski (1987)Energy and women
Brouwer et al (1989)Fuelwood shortage and nutritional impacts in developing countries
Dewees (1989)Woodfuel crisis
FAO (1990)Fuelwood scarcity and its impacts
Bradley and Kenya Woodfuel Development Programme (1991)Woodfuel, women and woodlots
Brouwer et al (1996b)Fuelwood and food security
Brouwer et al (1996a)Wood quality and food security
Brouwer et al (1997)Fuelwood availability and its impacts
Madubansi and Shackleton (2006)Energy proles and consumption
vant Veld et al (2006)Firewood crisis in India
Akther et al (2010)Fuelwood scarcity and adaptation measures
World Bank (2010)Household cookstoves
Bandyopadhyay et al (2011)Forest, biomass use and poverty
Köhlin et al (2011)Energy, gender and development
Cardoso et al (2012)Use of fuelwood in a semi-arid region
Damte et al (2012)Fuelwood scarcity and adaptation measures
WFP (2012)Firewood and alternative energy
FAO (2013)Firewood and alternative energy
Makungwa et al (2013)Fuelwood and food security
Guta (2014)Fuelwood scarcity and socio-economic factors
Boafo et al (2016)Ecosystem service-sharing
Baudron et al (2017)Forests and dietary diversity
Environ. Res. Lett. 13 (2018)095004
strategies between the CSS was completed. Therefore,
both the strategies and the number of applied strategies
are compared.
Classication of coping strategies based on existing
In total, the 24 studies identify 28 coping strategies that
address the problem of fuelwood scarcity. Three
preventive strategies in two clusters and 25 acute
strategies in six clusters are identied (table 2).
Household responses to fuelwood scarcity and
comparison between the CSS
The analysis of data collected in Mzula and Idifu show
that a total of 23 strategies are applied in the villages, 21 of
which are already identied in the codebook. We nd
two strategies used to cope with existing fuelwood
scarcity that are not cited in literature:
Use of improved collection means
Farmers use transportation means, such as wheel-
barrows, oxcarts, or bicycles, to carry the collected
wood. This facilitates the transportation of larger
amounts of wood.
Figure 1. Map of Tanzania (top left corner)and Chamwino district, Dodoma region, including the case study villages of Idifu and Mzula.
Environ. Res. Lett. 13 (2018)095004
Table 2. Classication of coping strategies from existing literature including the respective sources.
Clusters Coping strategies Authors
Increased fuelwood
On-farm tree planting Dewees (1989), Köhlin et al (2011)
Improved forest management Köhlin et al (2011)
Decreased fuelwood
Use of improved cooking
World Bank (2010)
Acute strategies Alternative fuelwood
Use of private trees instead of trees
from communal land
vant Veld et al (2006)
Cut down a tree as a fuelwood
Shanahan (1986)
Shift to lesser quality of fuelwood Brouwer et al (1989,1997)
Use of trees that produce food and
fodder (fruit, spice or foliage
Shanahan (1986)
Decrease of stock building in
Bradley and Kenya Woodfuel Development
Programme (1991)
Increased use of substitutes
for fuelwood
Use of crop residues instead of fuel-
wood (rice husks and straw,
maize cobs, etc)
Brouwer et al (1996a), Akther et al (2010)
Use of animal dung instead of
Akther et al (2010), Köhlin et al (2011),
Cardoso et al (2012), Damte et al (2012),
Baudron et al (2017)
Use of twigs and leaves instead of
Howes (1985), Brouwer et al (1989,1997),
Akther et al (2010)
Increased input of time and
Increase in walking distance to col-
lect fuelwood
Howes (1985), Brouwer et al (1989), FAO
(1990), Köhlin et al (2011), Cardoso et al
(2012), WFP (2012), Guta (2014)
Increase in frequency of fuelwood
Brouwer et al (1989,1997), FAO (1990),
Guta (2014)
Increase in time spent to collect
Howes (1985), Brouwer et al (1989), FAO
(1990), Bandyopadhyay et al (2011), Köhlin
et al (2011), Guta (2014)
Change in weight of bundle
Cecelski (1987)
Market-based measures Sell or barter food to procure
Brouwer et al (1996b,1997), WFP (2012),
FAO (2013)
Purchase fuelwood Brouwer et al (1997), Madubansi and
Shackleton (2006)
Decrease in sales and exchange of
Brouwer et al (1997)
Utilization of human
resources and social
Change in who collects (children,
older people, men)
Howes (1985), FAO (1990), Köhlin et al (2011)
Borrowing fuelwood from friends Brouwer et al (1996a), Boafo et al (2016)
Sex in exchange for fuelwood FAO (2013)
Decreased food and health Switch to food of lower nutritional
Brouwer et al (1989,1996b), WFP (2012),
FAO (2013)
Undercook food to save fuelwood FAO (1990,2013), WFP (2012)
Eat fewer meals FAO (1990,2013)Brouwer et al (1996a),
WFP (2012)
Replacement of long-time cooking
dishes with high nutritional
value (esp. beans)
FAO (1990), Brouwer et al (1996b),
Makungwa et al (2013)
Omit snacks (maize kernels or
Brouwer et al (1996a)
Reduced food for vulnerable peo-
ple (infants, toddlers and sick
FAO (1990)
Boiling water insufciently or not
at all to save fuelwood
Brouwer et al (1989), WFP (2012)
Environ. Res. Lett. 13 (2018)095004
Gathering remains of charcoal production
Farmers report that they produce charcoal as a
business in order to earn money. In most cases,
charcoal production takes place outside of the
villages, near the mountains due to the proximity of
the forest. Two women mentioned that they some-
times go to the charcoal production sites of other
people to collect the remains of the charcoal.
The acute strategies applied to cope with fuelwood
scarcity show the direct negative impact on livelihoods
in the villages. Fuelwood scarcity reduces the number
of daily meals cooked (Mzula 55%; Idifu 37%). Cut-
ting off branches of intact trees or shrubs instead of
collecting dry fuelwood (Mzula 75%)demonstrates
that the scarcity situation leads to further destruction
of forests. The increase of workload to collect fuel-
wood due to extended walking distances (Mzula 70%;
Idifu 79%), leads to a lack of time for domestic work,
including agricultural activities. In addition, the qual-
ity of fuelwood is reduced as villagers cite collecting
twigs instead of proper fuelwood (Mzula 60%;
Idifu 47%).
Our analysis shows that two strategies are used by
more than 50% of the households in both villages:
Increase in walking distances to collect fuelwood and to
ask a neighbor for fuelwood. The identied coping stra-
tegies of both CSS and their respective quantied
rankings are presented in table 3.
Regarding the two villages, 17 different strategies
(including one preventive strategy)are identied for
Mzula and 16 different strategies (including two pre-
ventive strategies)for Idifu (table 3). The preventive
strategies applied are:
use of ICS; and
on-farm tree planting.
Comparing the coping strategies between the two
CSS, it can be noted that many of the applied strategies
and the number of used strategies are congruent.
Despite the fact that preventive measures are applied
in Idifu, ten out of the 23 strategies are identical in
both CSS. On average 4.7 strategies are applied per
household in Mzula (N=20)and 4.1 strategies
(excluding ICS)in Idifu (N=19). Our ndings show
that acute strategies to cope with fuelwood scarcity are
not simply replaced by preventive strategies, but pre-
ventive strategies are an additional strategy used by
households to manage the scarcity situation.
Methodological approach
The applied research design for data collection is based
on two different sampling methods in order to identify
differences in coping strategies if preventive measures,
in this case ICS, are applied. Only female farmers are
interviewed, including female household heads and
wives of male household heads. We select female
interviewees as several studies indicate that women in
SSA, including, specically, the Dodoma region, are
mainly responsible for fuelwood collection and the
preparation of food. Hence, women are responsible
for developing strategies to respond to fuelwood
scarcity (Brouwer et al 1989, Köhlin et al 2011, Lim
et al 2012, Kahimba et al 2015).
Qualitative social research offers several approa-
ches to analyze the content of interviews (Barton and
Lazarsfeld 1979, Mayring 2016). Thereby, the develop-
ment of classication schemes based on the literature,
own data, and the revision of previously developed
categories is a common process for empirical-qualita-
tive research (Barton and Lazarsfeld 1979). Addition-
ally, Mayring (2016, p 115)describes structured
qualitative content analysis, which seeks to identify
specic aspects in interview material based on classi-
cation criteria that were developed beforehand. Both
analytical approaches provide the stringent methodo-
logical framework applied in this study.
Classication of coping strategies
The systematic literature review of 24 articles and the
identication of 28 coping strategies provide a com-
prehensive overview of adaptation measures to fuel-
wood scarcity. Nevertheless, a full systematic review
would enhance our understanding of how farmers
make their choices. Overall, we differentiate between
preventive and acute measures in order to outline the
different characteristics of applied strategies. Measures
are grouped into two and six clusters, respectively,
offering a holistic classication of coping strategies
across the thematic areas. However, other authors use
different clusters. Köhlin et al (2011), Damte et al
(2012), and Schuenemann et al (2018)mainly differ-
entiate between supply side and demand side strate-
gies, while Egeru et al (2014)distinguishes between
short-term and long-term coping mechanisms.
Brouwer et al (1997)divides coping strategies into fuel
collection, type of fuel used, and fuel use. In contrast,
our approach offers practitioners direct strategic path-
ways to select appropriate strategies, depending on the
cluster from which a strategy is needed.
Applied coping strategies at the CSS
Context-dependency of coping strategies
Literature reveals a wide variety of coping strategies
when fuelwood is scarce. The fact that more than 90%
of the identied strategies at the CSS are similar to
those mentioned in the literature underlines the
context-independence of coping strategies. This
means they are applied autonomously from regional
and social conditions. However, exceptions must be
carefully considered. For example, the use of animal
Environ. Res. Lett. 13 (2018)095004
Table 3. Coping strategies derived from the household interviews of both CSS including a quantied ranking. The ranking is based on how frequently they were mentioned by the households. Multiple responses are possible.
Clusters Coping strategies
Coping strategies applied in
Mzula (N=20)
Coping strategies applied in
Idifu (N=19)
Preventive strategies Increased fuelwood provision On-farm tree planting 15 % 58 %
Decreased fuelwood demand Use of improved cooking stoves (prerequisite)0 % 100 %
Acute strategies Alternative fuelwood consumption Cut wet fuelwood instead of collecting dry fuelwood 75 % 0 %
Cut down a tree as a fuelwood source 5% 5%
Use of private trees instead of trees from communal land 5% 5%
Use of wet fuelwood instead of dry fuelwood 0% 3%
Use of fuelwood with less quality 0% 5%
Increased use of substitutes for fuelwood Use of twigs instead of fuelwood 60% 47%
Use of crop residues instead of fuelwood (esp. maize residues)15% 21%
Use of cow dung instead of fuelwood 0% 11%
Increased input of time and effort Increase in walking distance to collect fuelwood 70% 79%
Increase in frequency of fuelwood collection 25% 32%
Increase in time spent to collect fuelwood 10% 0%
Change in weight of bundle collected 5% 0%
Market-based measures Use of improved collection means (wheelbarrow, oxcart,
0% 37%
Purchase fuelwood 5% 11%
Purchase charcoal 5% 0%
Hire someone to collect fuelwood 5% 0%
Utilization of human resources and social relationships Ask a neighbor for fuelwood 85% 53%
Involve children in fuelwood collection 10% 0%
Gathering remains of charcoal production
10% 0%
Ask relatives for fuelwood 0% 5%
Decreased food and health Eat fewer meals 55% 37%
Newly identied coping strategies.
Environ. Res. Lett. 13 (2018)095004
dung as a source of fuel for cooking is described and
evaluated by several authors (Akther et al 2010, Köhlin
et al 2011, Damte et al 2012). Its use has strong cultural
and taste connotations (Köhlin et al 2011), but can
only be applied if livestock farming is practiced. The
two newly identied strategies, use of improved collec-
tion means and gathering remains of charcoal produc-
tion, can also be considered as context-dependent
strategies, since they are not yet mentioned in the
Identication process of applied coping strategies
In total, 23 coping strategies are identied at the CSS.
One major difculty in identifying coping strategies is
the fact that farmers themselves do not necessarily
dene their adaptation measures as coping strategies.
Therefore, the methodology of structured interviews
and questionnaires are not suitable for directly identi-
fying coping strategies from different thematic areas.
For example, the strategy increase in walking distances
to collect fuelwood, described by several authors
(Howes 1985, Brouwer et al 1989, Köhlin et al 2011,
WFP 2012)and applied by more than 70% of the
farmers at the CSS, is a strategy that is not considered
as an adaptation measure by farmers but rather as a
necessity due to the situation. This corresponds with
the ndings of Schindler et al (2016,p42)that farmers
consider indirect linkages taking their complex liveli-
hoods into account while scientists rather focus on
direct casual impact chains. On the other hand, not
every adaptation measure described in the scientic
literature can be identied as such on the ground.
Damte et al (2012)proves that Ethiopian households
use dung and crop residues as a source of energy for
cooking, however these are not considered as substi-
tutes for fuelwood. Hence, an open and participatory
process is needed to identify and understand the
adaptation measures applied by the farmers when
fuelwood is scarce.
Using coping strategies from the scientic litera-
ture as a codebook to identify similar strategies on the
ground in a specic social and cultural context is an
approach that must be implemented carefully. Some
authors use generic terms to describe strategies, whilst
others describe specic and context-dependent strate-
gies. In their articles, Brouwer et al (1989,1997)
describe the generic strategy shift to lesser quality of
fuelwood. Typically, twigs, leaves, crop residues, and
animal dung are considered to be inferior energy
forms. Our study identies that the strategy to cut and
use wet fuelwood instead of dry fuelwood can also be
considered as using inferior energy forms. However,
to cut branches off intact trees or shrubs as well as the
use of wet fuelwood as a change in fuelwood supply is
not mentioned in the reviewed literature. One reason
could be that in many cultures the cutting and drying
of wet fuelwood is a common process. However,
households at the CSS dene collecting fuelwood as a
process of collecting dry wood from the ground or
cutting off dead branches without any drying proce-
dure. Cutting and drying wet fuelwood instead of col-
lecting dry fuelwood was described as a very recent
development due to the degradation of the forests.
Hence, it is important to assess and clearly dene cop-
ing strategies within their contextual dependencies.
Preventive versus acute strategies
The ndings of this research show the multidimen-
sional impact of fuelwood availability on rural liveli-
hoods. The scarcity of fuelwood negatively affects food
and nutrition security, soil fertility, and labor avail-
ability (Sola et al 2016). Only 9% of the identied
coping strategies at the CSS can be considered as
preventive. The same holds true for the literature
review with preventive measures making up around
10% of the options. Our ndings show that the
statement by Brouwer et al (1989, p 352),in most
cases, because of lack of access to resources such as
land, labor and cash, it is beyond the reach of
households to alter the cause of the problem,is still
valid. Identied coping strategies due to a fuelwood
shortage are mainly short to mid-term adjustments
that do not offer a sustainable solution for a positive
feedback loop of fuelwood collection, degradation of
forests and forested areas, and physical fuelwood
scarcity. Although strategies such as improved collec-
tion means (e.g. wheelbarrows)(Idifu 37%)might have
a short-term impact on reduced workload and time to
collect fuelwood, these do not solve the situation of an
imminent fuelwood scarcity. We base our results
solely on the perception of local farmers due to the
fact, that no historical data for the region is available.
Comparison of coping strategies between the CSS
Our assessment shows that preventive and acute
measures to cope with fuelwood scarcity are applied at
the CSS. In both villages, households use an average of
about four strategies to cope with fuelwood scarcity
(excluding ICS). Although ICS were introduced in
Idifu village in 2015, the average number of coping
strategies was only slightly lower than in Mzula, where
TSF are used. This indicates that the number of applied
adaptation measures was not at all, or only insignif-
icantly, reduced due to ICS usage in Idifu. Hafner et al
(2018)show that the fuelwood savings of ICS in Idifu
is between 15.6% and 37.1% compared to TSF. Hence,
we would expect that the overall number of coping
strategies in Idifu to be lower than in Mzula due to the
reduced demand for fuelwood in Idifu. The ndings
suggest that the reduction of fuelwood demand for
cooking purposes does not automatically lead to a
reduction in the number of applied coping strategies.
Around 43% of the applied coping strategies
between the two CSS are congruent, even if preventive
measures are applied in Idifu. This shows that small-scale
famers do not cope with fuelwood scarcity by simply
replacing acute strategies with preventive strategies. Pre-
ventive strategies are applied as an additional strategy by
Environ. Res. Lett. 13 (2018)095004
households in order to manage and adapt to the scarcity
situation. Preventive strategies, such as planting on-farm
trees or using ICS, might have a greater potential to
reduce fuelwood scarcity than acute measures. The usage
of ICS and local tree plantations might improve the fuel-
wood situation in deforested areas of Mzula and Idifu in
the mid- to long-term. However, measures such as tree
plantations need several years before fuelwood is pro-
duced; thus deforestation is not reduced in the short
term (Egeru et al 2014).Uckertet al (2017)indicate that
limited nancial capacities and a lack of awareness are
bottlenecks for adopting energy-efcient fuelwood con-
sumption solutions. Our ndings, regarding the com-
parison of coping strategies between the CSS, suggest
that if the aim is to reduce forest degradation, then
decreasing fuelwood demand alone may not be effective.
This corresponds with the ndings of Damte et al (2012)
that supply side strategies alone may not be effective at
addressing the problem of forest degradation. Further
research analyzing the interplay of preventive and acute
measures is needed in order to understand the choice
behavior of households with regards to coping strategies.
Identifying and disseminating additional local strate-
gies to cope with fuelwood scarcity is not enough to solve
the problems of degraded and deforested areas in Tanza-
nia. Likewise, leap-frogging from fuelwood based forms
of cooking toward non-fuelwood based energy forms
cannot be expected in the near future (Grimsby
et al 2016). In this context, Maes and Verbist (2012)sug-
gest focusing on enhancing the efciency of traditional
energy systems instead.
The adaptation measures of small-scale farmers to
fuelwood scarcity play a key role in altering the course
of nutrition insecurity, environmental degradation,
and economic instability. In this study, a classication
of coping strategies in line with existing literature was
completed. A total of 28 coping strategies from 24
studies are identied, differentiated into preventive
and acute measures, and then grouped into eight
clusters. This classication scheme is then used as a
codebook to identify applied coping strategies in
Mzula and Idifu villages, Dodoma region, Tanzania.
During this process, we identify 23 strategies, includ-
ing two measures not cited in the literature. This
suggests that the majority of coping strategies have a
context-independent character. Both the majority of
the applied strategies in the CSS as well as those
described in the literature are acute measures that do
not tackle the underlying problem of deforestation
and forest degradation. We observed that the type, as
well as the number, of coping strategies between the
CSS are widely congruent, suggesting that acute
measures are not replaced with preventive strategies,
but rather these co-exist. Therefore, decreasing
fuelwood demand alone may not effectively address
the problem of forest degradation.
In order to enhance the understanding of the
choice behavior of households with regards to coping
strategies, not only does further research need to ana-
lyze the interplay between preventive and acute mea-
sures, but it must provide a full systematic literature
review for different thematic and regional areas.
This work was nancially supported by the German
Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL),
based on the decision of the Parliament of the Federal
Republic of Germany through the Federal Ofce for
Agriculture and Food (BLE). It is embedded in the
Scale-N project ( Special thanks
go to the Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape
Research (ZALF)in Müncheberg, Germany, for their
logistical support in conducting the research in
Dodoma region, Tanzania. Our gratitude extends to
the many scholars in Tanzania and Germany who
supported the collection and processing of the data.
Finally, this paper would not have been possible
without the friendly residents of Mzula and Idifu, who
helped us to understand their world.
A Scheid
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Food and nutrition security is still one of the most pressing challenges to constantly growing populations in Sub-Saharan Africa. The nutritional situation in Tanzania has only slightly improved in the last decade despite high rates of economic growth. The share of the population with insufficient available calories for consumption was found to be higher than 20 % and stunting prevalence of 40 % in children <5 years are reported. To improve the nutritional status of Tanzania's local poor, the Scale-N project funded by the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture aims to safeguard food and nutrition security by supporting the development of diversified and sustainable agriculture. Scale-N will perform in regions with highest need: the semi-humid Morogoro and the semi-arid Dodoma region. The participatory research design of Scale-N targets the above problems by applying a holistic integrated approach while using and linking to the existing analytical research framework Trans-SEC. The project aims at ameliorating the critical food security situation and nutritional status of the rural poor in Tanzania. Following the core principles of participatory and collaborative research, a network of scientists, stakeholders and policy makers endeavours to develop integrated solutions and upgrading strategies along local and regional food value chains after thoroughly analysing nutritional gaps and drivers for food insecurity. Scale-N is designed to empower women and build the capacity of vulnerable rural communities to shape a sustainable future. Scale-N will establish participatory mechanisms for local stakeholder feedback and involvement as well as an inter-and transdisciplinary German-Tanzanian research & development network. Following in-depth analysis of the nutritional/ health status of the local population as well as key value chain components, nutrient-dense plant-derived foods, their growth and production requirements and processing techniques will be identified. Specific target groups will receive education on improved nutrition and sustainable agricultural practices. After successfully testing innovations, they will be communicated broadly and up-scaled in a wider spatial context.
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We assess whether forests contribute indirectly to the dietary diversity of rural households by supporting diverse agricultural production systems. We applied our study in a landscape mosaic in Southern Ethiopia that was divided into three zones of increasing distance to Munesa Forest—“near,” “intermediate,” and “distant.” A variety of research tools and methods, including remote sensing, participatory methods, farm survey, and yield assessment, were employed. Diets of households were more diverse in the near zone than in the other two zones (6.58 ± 1.21, 5.38 ± 1.02, and 4.41 ± 0.77 food groups consumed daily in the near, intermediate, and distant zones, respectively). This difference was not explained by food items collected from Munesa Forest but by biomass flows from the forest to farmlands. Munesa Forest contributed an average of 6.13 ± 2.90 tons of biomass per farm and per year to the farms in the near zone, in the form of feed and fuelwood. Feed from the forest allowed for larger livestock herds in the near zone compared with the other two zones, and fuelwood from the forest reduced the need to use cattle dung as fuel in the near zone compared with the two other zones. These two biomass flows contributed to the availability of more manure to farmers closer to the forest (908 ± 853 kg farm ⁻¹, 771 ± 717 kg farm ⁻¹, and 261 ± 487 kg farm ⁻¹ in the near, intermediate, and distant zones, respectively). In turn, increased manure enabled a larger percentage of farms to cultivate a diversified homegarden (87, 64, and 39% of farms in the near, intermediate, and distant zones, respectively). Homegardens and livestock products provided the greater contribution to household dietary diversity closer to the forest.
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The current definition of food security neglects to explicitly account for the fact that most staple foods in many developing countries need to be cooked before they are edible. Because of this deficiency, household access and availability to cooking energy is not considered in many food security projects and programmes. In this paper we synthesize existing documents to promote explicit inclusion of cooking energy as a fundamental component in a food security equation. The synthesis showed that as fuelwood becomes scarce households adapt their cooking styles by omitting or substituting some essential energy-demanding dishes (e.g. dry beans) in order to save cooking energy. As a consequence, household members are denied essential nutrients supplied by the ingestion of such dishes, thereby compromising their nutritional well-being. We argue that when food is sufficiently available, fuelwood shortage may prevent households in poor countries from bringing about important improvements in their nutritional well-being. We therefore recommend to explicitly add cooking energy as a fundamental component of any food security project or programme.
Adapting to climate change is a critical problem facing humanity. This involves reconsidering our lifestyles, and is linked to our actions as individuals, societies and governments. This book presents top science and social science research on whether the world can adapt to climate change. Written by experts, both academics and practitioners, it examines the risks to ecosystems, demonstrating how values, culture and the constraining forces of governance act as barriers to action. As a review of science and a holistic assessment of adaptation options, it is essential reading for those concerned with responses to climate change, especially researchers, policymakers, practitioners, and graduate students. Significant features include historical, contemporary, and future insights into adaptation to climate change; coverage of adaptation issues from different perspectives: climate science, hydrology, engineering, ecology, economics, human geography, anthropology and political science; and contributions from leading researchers and practitioners from around the world.
Biomass energy still dominates the energy sector in Sub-Saharan Africa, in particular as the main cooking energy source in rural and urban areas. The strong linkages to food security and the environment place biomass energy at the heart of sustainable development, a fact that is largely ignored by policy makers in favor of modern energy. At the same time, population and GDP growth are exacerbating already existing supply–demand imbalances in highly populated countries such as Malawi. These trends make it imperative to identify policy interventions that promote sustainable biomass energy while simultaneously considering linkages with other sectors. We use new data on demand and supply for biomass energy in Malawi and develop a model that estimates fuelwood demand based on actual diets and project demand in future years. We simulate how demand side interventions in the form of improved cookstoves affect biomass demand and built a behavioral model to analyze the potential of agroforestry for promoting a sustainable biomass energy sector in Malawi. Our findings show that policy measures aimed at increasing cooking efficiency are not enough to decrease demand for cooking energy due to high population growth. Supply side interventions like agroforestry on the other hand will not only increase sustainable supply, but can also enhance food security and protect the environment. We find that biomass energy can be inherently sustainable and should be an integral part of every energy sector strategy in developing countries as well as of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Food security is a major challenge for smallholders in Sub-Saharan Africa. Many development initiatives have attempted to enhance food security by improving agricultural production and productivity. An ex-ante impact assessment is a critical step for identifying positive and negative impacts before implementation of these agricultural innovations and it is therefore a critical component during project-/programplanning.While many theoretical discourses have highlighted a strong need for active involvement of local stakeholders during project-/ program planning to develop suitable solutions, in practice, local communities are still not mandatorily involved in the ex-ante impact assessment before the implementation of development initiatives. The purpose of this research is to highlight how stakeholders' and researchers' knowledge can enhance the quality of impact assessments if they are used in a complementary way. We applied two methodological impact assessment approaches (Framework for participatory impact assessment [FoPIA] and ScaIA-Food Security [ScaIA-FS]) to assess the impacts of five agricultural upgrading strategies (UPS) from a researcher's perspective as well as from a farmer's point of view in two case study villages in rural Dodoma, Tanzania. We observed that farmers and scientists had considerably different views on the impacts of the proposed agricultural UPS. While scientists focused on direct causal impact chains of the UPS, farmers considered more the indirect linkages, taking into account their complex livelihoods. Ex-ante impact assessment is a valuable tool to anticipate possible effects, and the process facilitates insights into complex socio-environmental contexts of local communities as well as structured thinking and knowledge exchange. We therefore see bi-lateral ex-ante impact assessments as a corrective step before UPS implementation, which would help to adapt solutions that will benefit local communities.
As complex challenges linked to changing socio-economic, environmental, political, and cultural conditions continually hamper the delivery of ecosystem services to natural resource dependent communities, local level adaptation needs attention. This paper presents the findings of an empirical survey in rural semi-arid Ghana investigating how households are employing communal sharing as a strategy to enhance access and management of nine provisioning ecosystem services (provisioning ES) namely crops and vegetables, livestock and poultry, bushmeat, freshwater, wildplants, fodder and forage, traditional medicine, fuelwood, and building materials. The results indicate that the variations in the sharing patterns of the nine provisioning ES can be linked to a mix of closely-linked socioeconomic, cultural, and environmental factors. Traditional medicine is the most commonly shared, whilst building materials are the least commonly shared. Sharing intensifies during the long dry season for majority of the provisioning ES. Logistic regression modeling indicates annual household income to be the most significant socio-demographic variable influencing participation in sharing. A greater proportion of interviewed household heads (64%) perceive sharing to be on the decline. These findings provide important baseline data for further quantitative and qualitative research exploring sharing's potential contribution to rural households’ livelihoods sustenance and ecosystem sustainability under changing conditions.