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27.02.2012 Sudan

FAO Sudan releases findings of its Darfur wood supply study

By Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
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EL FASHER (DARFUR), Sudan, February 27, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations has presented the findings of its Darfur Woodfuel Supply and Demand assessment at an event in El Fashir, North Darfur.

FAO and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in collaboration with the Forests National Corporation and the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation conducted the Woodfuel Integrated Supply and Demand Overview Mapping (WISDOM) study in 2010.

An international consultant, Dr. Rudi Drigo, was engaged by FAO's SIFSIA programme (Sudan Institutional Food Security Information for Action) to make the presentation in Darfur. SIFSIA is funded by the European Union's executive body, the European Commission (EC). The findings of a similar study covering the rest of Sudan, and also commissioned by FAO's SIFSIA, will be presented on Thursday, 1st March 2012, in Khartoum.

The Darfur study looked at whether the current consumption of wood fuels is sustainable, and what portion of land in Darfur needs to be managed in order to produce a sustainable supply of woody biomass for fuel.

The main finding is that current wood harvesting is causing the degradation and depletion of existing resources, particularly around IDP camps, and that sustainable forest management is essential for Darfur.

In Nyala, for example, the annual accessible supply potential of wood fuel for 2011 was 52,000 tonnes but the demand was 366,000 tonnes.

WISDOM's supply side of the study is partly based on analysis of high-resolution satellite images of Darfur's land cover.

Recommendations from the study include undertaking new planting and agro-forestry programs in Darfur, especially surrounding IDP camps and in urban areas. The study team has also recommended introducing or promoting participatory sustainable forest management and woodfuel production practices as a livelihood source for returnees.

WISDOM is accessible by the Government of Sudan's line ministries to help create a wood energy strategy.

One of WISDOM's applications will also be a new Natural Resource Management project proposed by FAO's Emergency and Rehabilitation Coordination Unit that is currently seeking donor support. The aim of the project is to mitigate conflict by increasing sustainability of Darfur's fragile natural resource base.

You can download the full FAO WISDOM Darfur Report here: http://www.fao.org/fileadmin/user_upload/sifsia/docs/Darfur_WISDOM_Report_Jan2011.pdf

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