Forests and trees are the source of a myriad of products, services and
functions (including income) for many people living in urban and peri-urban areas, as well as for rural communities, which earn their living by responding to urban demand.
For many developing countries in Africa there are few accessible or affordable alternatives to biomass energy and even the most ambitious roll-out plans for alternative renewable energy are leaving the vast majority dependent on biomass for cooking and heating for the foreseeable future. One major concern of forestry, energy and agriculture policy makers and urban administrators in Africa is how to mitigate the negative impacts of urban centres on the surrounding environment, while at the same time enabling rural communities to take
advantage of the opportunities available. Therefore, making biomass energy systems sustainable, efficient and pro-poor seems an obvious investment priority.
This rapid deskbased study has identified key areas of need, bilateral donors, multilateral development banks (MDBs), other actors and their local partners currently working on forestry and fuelwood energy issues in eastern and southern Africa. It also highlights programmes in which they are involved, the component of value chains supported, countries of operation, examples of success, key challenges experienced, and opportunities for engagement.