Sustainable Charcoal Sales Development

Commodity
Charcoal
Type of partnership
Forest Partnership
Current status
Implementation

Partnerships for Forests is supporting Miro Forestry to demonstrate how the charcoal industry in West Africa, and Ghana in particular, can transition from current unsustainable production trends to widespread sustainable charcoal production and how forest plantation companies can benefit from utilizing the thinnings, prunings and the waste products from their forest plantations.

Background

Over 90 percent of Ghana’s heating fuel requirement (mainly for cooking) is derived from the burning of charcoal and/or solid timber. This contributes greatly to deforestation and related environmental damage from human encroachment into the forests to source wood fuel. In addition, traditional charcoal production methods via mud piles are extremely inefficient, requiring more than ten tonnes of wood to produce just one tonne of charcoal output. The traditional process produces vast amounts of harmful carbon monoxide and methane greenhouse gases. National forest reserves and privately-owned plantation farms such as Miro Forestry’s plantation are faced with pressure of encroachment from land-use actors using unsustainable practises, leading to deforestation pressures and huge fire risks for private plantation owners within the landscape.

The project

Partnerships for Forests is supporting a partnership between Miro Forestry (Ghana) Limited, the Forestry Commission of Ghana and traditional authorities in Agogo, an illegal charcoal hot spot in Ghana, to research and develop an innovative model for the charcoal industry to transition from current unsustainable charcoal production to widespread sustainable charcoal production.

We are supporting Miro Forestry and partners to conduct Research and Development (R&D) into sustainable charcoal production; to pilot a green sustainable mobile charcoal kiln and develop a commercial strategy for its adoption and; to disseminate knowledge and share lessons by training farmers in sustainable charcoal production.

This technical innovation is being supported to produce sustainable charcoal from waste wood from Miro’s sustainable forest timber sources, with the view to extending the approach to smallholders and additional plantation companies across West Africa and potentially the rest of sub-Saharan Africa.

As a result of Partnerships for Forests’ support, an estimated 15,000 tonnes of unsustainable charcoal will be substituted with the consumption of sustainable charcoal, produced efficiently with less than four tonnes of wood input to one tonne of charcoal output from waste wood grown in sustainably managed Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC) certified plantations. This partnership is expected to leverage an estimated £15,000,000 in private sector investment and bring an area of 10,000ha under sustainable land-use by 2020. 

Lead Organisation: Miro Forestry (Ghana) Limited (Private)

Implementing Organisations:

Public: Forestry Commission of Ghana

Civil Society: Agogo Chiefdom