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Fuelwood Scarcity, Energy Substitution and Rural Livelihoods in Namibia

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  • Palmer, Charles
  • MacGregor, James

Abstract

In Namibia, as in many parts of Africa, households are highly dependent on fastdegrading forest resources for their livelihoods, including energy needs. Using data originally collected for Namibia's forest resource accounts and insights from a nonseparable household model, this paper empirically estimates household fuelwood demand. In particular, the factors underlying the substitution between fuelwood collected from open access forest resources, cow dung and fuelwood purchased from the market are analysed. Heckman two-step estimates show that households respond to forest scarcity, as measured by the opportunity costs of collecting fuelwood, by increasing labour input to collection more than by reducing energy consumption. There is limited evidence for substitution from fuelwood to other energy sources, particularly with the declining availability of forest stocks. All of the estimated elasticities are low confirming observations made elsewhere, particularly in South Asia. Policy interventions including energy efficiency measures and tree planting schemes are considered in the Namibian context. --

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics in its series Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Zurich 2008 with number 32.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:gdec08:32

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Related research

Keywords: Africa; forests; fuelwood; scarcity; energy; substitution; livelihoods;

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  1. Martin Linde-Rahr, 2003. "Property Rights and Deforestation: The Choice of Fuelwood Source in Rural Viet Nam," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 79(2), pages 217-234.
  2. Monica Fisher & Gerald E. Shively & Steven Buccola, 2005. "Activity Choice, Labor Allocation, and Forest Use in Malawi," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 81(4).
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Cited by:
  1. Damte, Abebe & Koch, Steven F. & Mekonnen, Alemu, 2012. "Coping with Fuelwood Scarcity: Household Responses in Rural Ethiopia," Discussion Papers dp-12-01-efd, Resources For the Future.

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