Firewood and charcoal are the main energy sources in developing countries, but much fewer quantitative data have been collected for charcoal consumption. This study compared firewood and charcoal consumption rates and patterns in a rural area of Yedashe Township, Myanmar. Household interviews were conducted for randomly selected households, resulting in 147 firewood users and 34 charcoal users. Forest inventory data was used to estimate forest area needed to meet woodfuel demand. Average per capita consumption rates were 780 and 280 kg year−1 for firewood and charcoal, respectively. Distinct differences were found in fuel sources and sizes; only 16% of firewood was collected from living trees in natural forests, of which 72% was from trees <10 cm diameter, whereas 100% of the wood for charcoal was harvested from this source from 10 to 40 cm diameter. The per capita demand for forest-originated green-wood with ≥10 cm diameter was 1190 kg for charcoal, which is 33 times more than that for firewood. The forest area needed to meet the per capita demand for charcoal was 820 m2, which is 23-fold larger than that for firewood. The estimated forest area to meet the current woodfuel demand from the rural population was 3430 ha year−1, being 3.0% of the forest area within the distance <5 km from the villages. This demand of forest area for woodfuel supply can be increased up to 15,440 ha (13%) along with increasing shares of charcoal users, resulting in a high risk of further forest degradation.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
- Agronomy and Crop Science
- Waste Management and Disposal