Fuel Requirements - Deforestation
The increasing demand for fuel wood is one of the major factors leading to the degradation of the forest ecosystem. Fuel wood is of such major importance as a forest produce that about one-half of all the wood cut in the world is used for lighting, cooking or heating purposes. Even today more than one third of humanity still relies on wood for fuel. In the recent years, the oil crisis and the sharp increase in the prices of oil have further escalated the demand for wood as fuel.
The fuel wood consumption has gone up from 86.3 million tonnes in 1953 to about 135 million tonnes in 1980, and it is believed that by the year 2000 A.D., the demand for firewood would be in the range of 300 to 330 million tonnes. The increasing demand for firewood with every passing year means greater pressures on the forests, which also means increased intensity of deforestation.