The specific effects of a cooking transition on fuelwood extraction from forests versus other sources has been lacking in prior studies.
Researchers fill this gap by identifying household fuelwood consumption behavior change (farm versus forest sources) due to clean cooking solutions implemented in two districts in rural India – Kullu (Himachal Pradesh) in northern India and Koppal (Karnataka) in southern India.
This is the first intervention study known by the researchers that identifies fuelwood collection sources based on the species used by households. The authors conducted in-depth household surveys and physically measured household fuelwood consumption by source (forest or farm).
Results indicate that households in Kullu reduced forest dependence, while households in Koppal reduced farm dependence due to clean cooking solutions. The survey shows that a reduction of forest extraction is depends on a combination of demand (e.g., cooking versus heating), substitutability of forest resources with farm resources (i.e., quality and availability), and the socio-economic characteristics (i.e., caste, wealth) of the household.