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Tackling biomass scarcity—from vicious to virtuous cycles in sub-Saharan Africa
- Karlberg, Louise, Hoff, Holger, Flores-López, Francisco, Goetz, Ariane, Matuschke, Ira
- Current opinion in environmental sustainability 2015 v.15 pp. 1-8
- biofuels, biomass, cropland, energy conversion, forests, land productivity, soil, Sub-Saharan Africa
- Current adaptation strategies to biomass scarcity in sub-Saharan Africa tend to lock communities into vicious cycles of over-exploitation of biomass from forests and croplands, concurrent degradation and consequently even less biomass availability. One option to unlock these vicious cycles is demand side management, for example, substituting traditional biomass fuels with modern ones. At the same time, the supply of biomass and land productivity can be substantially increased, for instance by returning biomass to the soils. To ensure sustainable agricultural transformation and energy transition, there is a need for a greater focus on biomass scarcity, and specifically on the role of soils. National development strategies need to pay attention to the multiple uses of biomass and enable cross-sector collaboration, including more equal access to land and productive resources.