Agent-based modeling of "cleaner" cookstove adoption and woodfuel use: An integrative empirical approach

Authored by Arundhati Jagadish, Puneet Dwivedi, Kira D McEntire, Mamta Chandar

Date Published: 2019

DOI: 10.1016/j.forpol.2019.101972

Sponsors: United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Platforms: NetLogo

Model Documentation: ODD

Model Code URLs: Model code not found


Heavy reliance on biomass for cooking and heating raises concerns of deforestation and forest degradation in rural India. We developed an agent-based model to spatially and temporally understand woodfuel consumption from local forests, and the role of adoption of cleaner cookstoves in alleviating woodfuel pressure from nearby forests. First, we calculated the aboveground woody biomass present in forests accessed for woodfuel using randomized forest sampling. Second, we quantified household woodfuel consumption for cooking and heating from the household surveys. Third, we developed four different scenarios over 20 years varying the adoption of ``cleaner{''} cookstoves (LPG and Induction). Finally, we synthesized information in an agent-based model to estimate the spatial patterns and temporal trends of woodfuel collection from nearby forests in a watershed located in Himachal Pradesh, India. The total annual woodfuel consumption was 2200 t across eight villages located in the selected watershed. Households with at least one non-biomass-based cookstove consumed on average 0.38 t less woodfuel than households with only biomass-based cookstoves. The total aboveground woody biomass for 235.8 ha of forest area accessed for woodfuel collection was 95,505 t. From the model, we found that the total aboveground woody biomass increased from 95,505.2 to 110,352.5 t over 20 years. The aboveground woody biomass increased in larger forest areas at the end of 20 years, whereas in smaller forest areas it decreased considerably. We postulate that instead of focusing on measures to reduce consumption at the household level, policies may be more effective by focusing on supply side reforms such as promoting alternative sources for woodfuel, along with alternatives to not just ``cleaner{''} cooking but heating as well.
Wisdom forests Transition Consumption Productivity India biomass patterns Fuelwood use Garhwal himalaya