Fuel Wood: A Conventional Source Of Energy In Mountains Of The Garhwal Himalaya
The use of fuel wood in the Garhwal Himalaya as a primary source of energy for domestic purposes is causing severe deforestation in the Garhwal Himalaya. The fuel wood consumption patterns have been studied in six villages selected two each in tropical (Ganga Bhogpur and Kunow), sub-tropical (Bhainswara and Ghargaon) and temperate (Dhaulana and Chunnikhal) regions under various ecological and socio-economic conditions. The highest value of total fuel wood consumption for various purposes was observed for the village Ganga Bhogpur (907.20 kg capita-1 yr-1) in the tropical region, whereas, it was lowest for the village Ghargoan (586.8 kg capita-1 yr-1) in the sub-tropical region. The labour energy expenditure for fuel wood collection was maximum in the village Dhaulana (53516.30 MJ person-1 yr-1) in temperate region, which was due to the distance from the forest recorded as 1.0 km and was higher compared to others. The terrain which has a steep slope consumed maximum time for fuel wood collection while, minimum was in village Ganga Bhogpur (32412.00 MJ capita-1 yr-1) in the tropical region, which could be due to nearness of the village to the forest (0.40 km) and was also more convenient for villagers to go for fuel wood collection. Fuel wood consumption also fluctuated with the season as reported to be higher in winter>rainy>summer. The tree and shrub species preferred by the inhabitants for fuel wood were Holoptelea integrifolia, Anogeissus latifolia and Lantana camara in tropical region; Anogeissus latifolia, Acacia catechu and Carissa spinarum in sub-tropical region; and Quercus leucotrichophora, Myrica esculenta and Pyracantha crenulata in temperate region.
Keywords: Fuel wood consumption, altitudes, Garhwal Himalaya, season
Journal of Environmental Extension Vol. 7 2008: pp. 16-22