By Markus Spiske on Unsplash
Invest in or project financing for Sustainable Fuelwood Plantation (SFP) with a range of plantation schemes (Fuelwood, Timber, Inter cropping with Plantations, Cash crops, Agro-forestry) and multiple fuelwood species (Gliricidia, Acacia, Calliandra, Eucalyptus, Falcataria, Casuarina, Leucaena.
Multi-stakeholder partnerships among government (Forest Department - FD, Rubber Research Institute of Sri Lanka - RRISL, Coconut Cultivation Board - CCB), Private sector plantation companies, Local communities and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) with resource mobilization and cost/profit sharing.
There are 24 private sector-owned Regional Plantation Companies (RPC) in the country, having fuelwood plantations for own use. Further, Forest Department involves with pilot fuelwood plantations, and other innovative fuelwood plantation schemes involving communities, private sector and NGOs. Limited number of community/farmer-based fuelwood plantations are also available. Examples of Companies active in the IOA Space:
Talawakelle Tea Estates PLC was established in 1992 and has 17 tea estates, spread out over about 6,500 ha. Over 85% of energy requirement is supplied by biomass with annual consumption of over 10,000 metric tonnes or 166,000 GJ (Fuelwood 83% and Briquettes - 2%). On average 25% of fuelwood needed is grown within the estates. Nearly 950 ha is used for timber and fuelwood plantation (36).
Elpitiya Plantations PLC, established in 1997, has 13 estates in 8,800 hectares. Its core business includes the cultivation and manufacturing of Tea, Rubber, Oil Palm, Coconut and Cinnamon. About 87.5% of energy requirement is supplied by biomass, of which 23% of fuelwood needs are catered through in-house production. It expects to become self-sufficient in thermal energy generation, through its sustainable forestry by 2030 (8).
Watawala Plantations PLC was established in 1990 and it engages in the cultivation and harvesting of palm oil, tea, rubber, and other export crops in 19 estates and 12,440 ha. About 11% of the land is kept aside for the purpose of fuelwood plantations. Over 166 ha of bamboo and fuelwood plantations have been established for 25% of thermal energy demand (9).
Forest Department (FD) was established in 1899. About 55% of the forest lands fall under the purview of the FD. In one of its initiatives, FD has partnered with the Talawakelle Tea Estate PLC to establish fuelwood plantations with the participation of the community. After the final harvest, the community gets 50%, Company 30% and FD 20%. The entire thinning is shared amongst the community (10).
SFPs to generate woody biomass for improved biofuel production as a source of indigenous, renewable, clean fuel to replace imported fossil fuels.