Shift to biogas helps revive forests
Forests in south India that had become degraded due to excessive fuelwood extraction recovered after villagers living nearby switched to biogas for their cooking fuel needs, says a study.
Published last month (July) in Global Ecology and Conservation, the study reports notable increase in biomass and regeneration of forests close to villages that use biogas for cooking, as compared to forests near villages without biogas provision.
“This study shows that if you reliably provide a viable and affordable alternative, people will reduce their fuelwood use,” Meghna Agarwala, lead author of the study and postdoctoral research fellow at Columbia University, tells SciDev.Net.
Fuelwood is a major source of carbon dioxide emissions in South Asia and East Africa.