REDD in Afghanistan: empowering women and increasing access to energy

Prolonged civil war has resulted in very poor governance and a battered economy and environment in Afghanistan. Firewood is the primary source of household energy in Afghanistan. But the increased demand and poor management and the collapse of traditional and formal regulatory mechanism for extracting firewood from trees has led to a situation in which barely 1.5% of land is now covered with trees down from 5%. This has resulted in a severe crisis of meeting household energy needs with women and girl child, traditionally responsible for collecting firewood, being the major sufferer. The REDD agreement arrived at Cancun can help the rural women of Afghanistan to replant the former degraded forest areas and wastelands in their neighborhood with trees planted for the primary purpose of providing household energy.