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The REDD+ compatible wood fuel value chain approach
The Energy Landscape
How biomass-based fuels could contribute to REDD+ and
maintain the integrity of a landscape.
Arend van der Goes, COP 21, Paris, 6 December 2015
In June 2014, SNV Netherlands Development Organisation published its REDD+ Compatible Wood-fuel Value Chain
Approach. In essence it concerns a three-step process to counter the all too familiar setting of deforestation &
degradation of forests where extraction of wood far outstrips the regenerative capacity of forests:
1. Analysing who’s who among the entire energy value chain and what the main factors are that are precluding
biomass energy to become renewable
2. Identifying alternatives to the business as usual scenario
3. Assessing and choosing an intervention befitting of three criteria (3E Principle, developed by CIFOR):
i. The intervention is effective in reducing greenhouse gas emissions
ii. The intervention is cost efficient
iii. The intervention is socially equitable
Wood-fuel approach in practice
The approach was inspired by SNV projects in Ghana (fish smoking in mangrove areas), Burkina Faso (Dolo beer brewing
in savannah areas) and Democratic Republic of Congo (charcoal making in tropical forests, with Hanns Seidel Foundation
and CIRAD). In turn, the approach informed larger scale programs such as Burkina Faso’s Biomass Energy NAMA (funded
by NAMA Facility) and DRC’s Integrated REDD+ program (funded by African Development Bank).
Plantation & tree management
Organising the value chain
Energy efficient consumption
Switching energy sources
Revaluing wood energy
REDD outcomes: Reduced emissions
REDD outcomes: co-benefits
The SNV approach
Efficient trade and transport
Strengths & weaknesses
These experiences highlighted both strengths and weaknesses. Strengths include the extension of the concept to other
biomass based energy sources and the ability to use the approach in various stages of the program cycle: planning,
(monitoring) implementation and evaluation.
The main weakness lay in the analytical section which initially excluded other land uses like agriculture that often go
hand in hand with deforestation for energy needs.
Wood-fuel in the landscape
In 2015 SNV developed its landscape approach allowing for a more coherent and inclusive analysis of emission and
poverty factors. By implication, more creative solutions cutting across sectors become apparent. These aim to reinforce
the integrity of a given landscape.
An example is the integrated REDD+ program in DRC. In the city of Kananga, brick firing is the leading cause of
deforestation (photo 1), ahead of agriculture and domestic cooking. It supplies the construction sector, which in turn is
pushed by school construction and other public buildings, inspiring the domestic housing sector to switch massively to
wood fired bricks as well.
The project solutions are:
1. Switch to stabilised, pressed brick- making not requiring fuel (photo 2), thus decreasing pressure on the forest
2. Switch fuels using rice waste, another biomass based fuel (this depends upon the start of a large rice project
in the area, which so far has been delayed)
3. Promote fuel-wood plantations (currently facing land tenure difficulties and likely to be combined with
The purpose is to offer a menu of choices to people that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, create livelihood
opportunities, and maintain or contribute to the resilience of landscapes.
For further information
Contact SNV Global REDD+ & Climate Smart Agriculture Coordinator, Richard McNally, firstname.lastname@example.org
Or visit www.snv.org/REDD
Photo 1: Brick firing in the DRC Photo 2: Stabilised, pressed brick-making centre not