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Food security, energy equity, and the global commons: a computable village model applied to sub-Saharan Africa

Winter, Etti, Faße, Anja, Frohberg, Klaus
Regional environmental change 2015 v.15 no.7 pp. 1215-1227
deforestation, energy, food security, forest resources, forests, habitat fragmentation, households, income, income distribution, livelihood, models, population growth, renewable energy sources, resource management, rural population, villages, Kenya, Tanzania
The depletion and fragmentation of forest eco-systems represent the serious challenges for countries in sub-Saharan Africa. The living conditions close to forests reflect a typical livelihood situation in Eastern African countries, where the rural population is heavily dependent on forests and their contribution to households’ income, energy and hence food security, such is the case in Tanzania and Kenya for example. It is expected that current trends of deforestation will intensify, caused mainly by above-average population growth and the resultant food pressures combined with a rapid increase in energy demands. A computable village model has been developed to analyse the impact of alternative resource management strategies on the local income distribution and the long term resource use. The analysis uses the example of the Kakamega forest in Kenya and serves as an illustration of how forest resources significantly contribute to income generation in sub-Saharan African countries. Model results validate the assumed importance of forest income for the rural poor. Results further indicate that the sustainable utilization of forest resources will not be feasible unless alternative energy systems are broadly integrated into the village economy.