||Traditionally, wood has been the source from which people have always fulfilled there need for energy. It has been used to prepare food and heat their dwellings. Throughout the years, with the introduction of fossil fuels, the use of wood as a source of energy has declined. The current development trend and the growing global climate change concerns intensify the call to use of biomass as renewable energy.
Biomass is living and dead organic material that is found above and below the ground, originating from plants and animals. It is renewable because it continually grows and regrows. According to the United States Energy Information Administration (IEA) there are currently about 2.4 billion people in the world who depend on traditional biomass, mainly for cooking and heating. An important observation is that a large part of the users of traditional energy live in developing countries, in rural areas, and belong to the low-income group that has no access to alternative, modern forms of energy.
Wood is a clear example of biomass that is found everywhere. Even in these modern times it is one of the most important renewable sources of energy in the world. Annually about 1.8 billion m3 of wood is produced to be used as a form of energy. This is more than 50% of the total wood production in the world. It is a remarkable fact that the global energy wood production is higher than the global industrial roundwood production. The per capita global energy wood consumption is 0.27 m3 and the per capita global industrial roundwood consumption is 0.24 m3.
With 75% of the total production, the Asia & Pacific Region and Africa are the most important producers and consumers of wood as a source of energy. According to the FAO, wood contributes about 9% to
the global total energy consumption.
Also in the current devellopping countries of the world, forests can contribute significantly to the
sustainable development of the global community. The call to develop a green economy to
minimize or to prevent the negative effects of economic activities on the environment is growing
louder. It is a well-known fact that forests can produce a wide range of products and services
that can bring about socio-economic benefits for man. However, these have to be produced
sustainably. In this regard we think of wood and wood products, food (fruit and game), medicinal
plants and various ecological services. To quantify the benefits that forests offer, the availability
of data is very important. A look at the Surinamese wood production statistics, shows that the
availability of data on industrial roundwood production is reasonable. However, these statistics
provide insufficient data on the production of wood for energy supply, energy wood or fuelwood.
This data gap was one of the reasons why the survey research into the status of energy wood
(fuelwood) in Suriname was conducted. This study will also assess the contribution of the forest
sector to the energy supply of Suriname. In this study the use of charcoal for cooking and
barbecueing is not included.