Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 5-2-2013


In the developing world, wood fuels play a major role in supplying energy needs. In sub-Saharan Africa, much of this wood fuel is in the form of charcoal used for cooking. As much as 90% of the cooking performed in these countries use charcoal as the energy source. With this massive quantity being produced and sold, the charcoal sector presents a major area in which sustainable development can be implemented with a large positive impact. At present, deforestation, pollution, and inequitable distribution of profits threaten the long-term viability of this industry. This teaching case study presents the background of the charcoal sector, the sustainability challenges being faced, and proposes courses of action to address these challenges. Also included are teaching notes and discussion questions with answers that make this teaching case study suitable for application in a high school senior classroom or a college undergraduate course focused on sustainability or a related topic.

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