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Accueil du site → Doctorat → États-Unis → 1999 → Energy and environment : A political ecology of woodfuels in Senegal

Michigan State University (1999)

Energy and environment : A political ecology of woodfuels in Senegal

Pires, E. Mark

Titre : Energy and environment : A political ecology of woodfuels in Senegal

Auteur : Pires, E. Mark

Université de soutenance : Michigan State University

Grade : Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) 1999

This study examines relationships between energy use and the exploitation of woodland natural resources in the West African nation of Senegal. As in many other countries in the developing world, the majority of the population in Senegal depend on woodfuels, i.e., firewood and charcoal, to satisfy most of their household energy needs. Consequences of this situation include added pressure on the country’s limited natural resource base, and increased socioeconomic hardship, particularly for women, as woodfuel resources become increasingly scarce. Woodfuel energy problems in developing countries are typically described in terms of an imbalance between supply and demand that is driven by rapid population growth. However, recent research suggests that a number of other factors should be explored in order to achieve a more thorough understanding of the relationship between woodfuel energy and forest resource management. This study attempts to determine what some of these factors are, and to explain how they inform the energy-environment situation in the case of Senegal. In addition, I examine the scope for addressing Senegal’s woodfuel problem through greater local community participation in managing energy and natural resources, a current thrust in many international initiatives designed to help the country cope with this persistent problem. A relatively new conceptual framework for the analysis of human-environment relationships---viz. political ecology---is employed in this study. I attempt to show how political ecology can contribute to the resolution of Senegal’s energy-environment dilemma by considering a more inclusive suite of social, economic, political, and environmental variables than has been explored by previous approaches. Findings from the research demonstrate the ability of the political ecology approach to capture many heretofore unexplored factors related to the energy-environment nexus in Senegal. A detailed matrix is generated that illustrates the complexity of issues surrounding the exploitation and management of woodfuel resources. In the context of one local rural community in central Senegal, an effort is made to show how these issues are interrelated and how they affect the possible outcomes of promoting community participation in natural resource management. Results of this study indicate that numerous obstacles stand in the way of implementing effective community-based initiatives designed to alleviate the country’s pressing energy-environment situation.


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