Assessing woodfuel supply and demand in displacement settings
A FAO-UNHCR handbook offers a new tool for helping displaced people access fuel for cooking food while reducing environmental damage and conflicts with local communities. At the end of 2015, over 65 million people worldwide were displaced as a result of persecution, conflict, generalised violence or human rights violations, many living in refugee camps or improvised settlements, according to UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency. Fuel for cooking food is a critical resource for displaced people as well as the communities that host them, crucial to their food security and nutrition. But growing numbers of refugees and displaced people often puts pressure on forests, due to rising demand for biomass fuel such as wood and charcoal. Left unmanaged, this increased competition for natural resources can lead to conflicts with local populations. And overexploitation of forest resources for fuel purposes can lead to forest degradation or deforestation in areas surrounding the camps.