Notes to broadcasters: Trees, deforestation, and charcoal

    | November 4, 2013

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    The article on which this story was based can be read through this link:

    Farm Radio Weekly published Notes to broadcasters on fruit trees in February 2013 (FRW #236). You can access the Notes here:

    From temperate forests to tropical rainforests, deforestation continues to be an urgent environmental issue that jeopardizes people’s livelihoods, threatens species, and intensifies global warming. Basic questions about deforestation are answered on the Worldwide Fund for Nature’s (WWF) website, and there are further facts and related links available through this link:

    Further information on deforestation is available here:

    When forests are cut down, when rivers and streams dry up or get polluted, and when soil is so poor that nothing will grow, women suffer. Deforestation and health: a woman’s perspective is an FRI script from May 1999 which highlights how women depend on resources such as wood and water. If they cannot get these things easily, life is difficult. You can read this script here:, and read others on the subjects of climate change, deforestation and air pollution here:

    Many Africans rely on wood and, increasingly in urban areas, charcoal for cooking fuel. Wikipedia has a page dedicated to the subject of charcoal:

    Charcoal is often expensive, and charcoal production can significantly add to deforestation. But rural dwellers can reduce their dependence on this fuel by investing in newer, fuel-efficient stoves. A story from June 2011, Stoves save fuel and forests (FRW #159), highlights the savings that can be made through new technologies. You can revisit that story here: Fuel-efficient stoves bring benefits, from the same issue of the Weekly, is a story from Southern Sudan on the same subject, and can be read through this address: There are also Notes to broadcasters on cookstoves accompanying these stories, which can be read at this link:

    Joseph Msanii is passionate about raising poultry. But keeping his chicks warm was a problem. With the rising price of feed, spending money on charcoal or kerosene meant lower profits. Read Farmers invent combined cooker/brooder and save on fuel costs (FRW #174, October 2011) to find out how he combined cooking with looking after his chicks, and saved money:

    What do your listeners use for fuel? Do they have alternatives to wood or charcoal? Why not broadcast this FRI script, An alternative fuel source: make charcoal briquettes from banana peels (, FRRP #76: Agroforestry Practices in Combating Desertification), and see if you can start a debate in your listening community about whether or not deforestation is taking place. Is there is a need to investigate alternative fuel sources in the listening community?