CASE STUDY DETAIL: Karnataka State (India)

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Karnataka State (India)

Project time

October 2013 - June 2014


Project objective: Carry out a multi-scale pan-tropical modeling of the Non-Renewable Biomass fraction (fNRB) of woodfuels use in order to strengthen GACC action by highlighting priority areas of intervention. The study has a multi-scale geospatial approach : Tier 1 covers tropical countries (see pan-tropical case study), Tier 2 covering Karnataka (here profiled), Kenya and Honduras, and Tier 3 covering select areas.

Institutional settings

GACC Yale-UNAM project "Geospatial Analysis and Modeling of Non-Renewable Biomass: WISDOM and beyond" (see pan-tropical case study); Informal collaboration with Karnataka Forestry Department (KFD).


The Karnataka case study (Tier 2) has a spatial resolution of analysis of 100 m. fNRB rates are produced at Districts level (30 units).

Demand features

Census 2011 population and saturation data were used for population mapping and for fuel saturation in rural/urban households. Total woodfuel demand in the residential, industrial, commercial and public sectors was based on various studies on consumption at state and national levels (mainly Forest Survey of India reports). Two scenarios were considered: Total Demand (all fuelwood types) and Conventional Demand (excluding marginal fuelwood types such as twigs and small branches from prosopis juliflora and annual pruning of farm trees and shrubs)

Supply features

The Supply Module was based on Forest Type Map produced by KFD with KSRSAC assistance, based on 2001 IRS PAN data (5.6m) and IRS LISS data (23m). Forest stock was estimated based on KFD studies and, for productivity, on (i) geo-referenced field plots with stock and MAI from similar ecological conditions and (ii) KFD studies. Legal accessibility map was created using protected areas. Map of Physical accessibility (transport time - return trip loaded) was built ad-hoc based on 90m DTM and land cover data (friction) and detailed road and settlement data (target)

Integration features

The supply/demand balance was estimated and mapped at pixel level and in a local context of 4.5 km. Commercial balance was mapped considering the resources economically viable.

Woodshed/bio-shed analysis

Woodshed analysis was based on weighted interpolation using Dinamica EGO, combining fuelwood demand from major deficit sites and friction parameters. The probable harvesting zones were defined using transport time thresholds.

Integration with other aspects

Non-renewable biomass fraction (fNRB) of woodfuels harvesting. Range of fNRB values were estimated, based on assumptions about Demand scenarios, commercial harvesting feeding rural areas and forest management.


Woodfuel demand in Karnataka in 2011 was 17.2 Mt od (Conventional demand) or 20.6 Mt od (Total demand). Of this, 5.3-13.3% was harvested unsustainably (fNRB), depending on the demand considered. Different assumptions on the fraction of fuelwood gaps in rural areas served by commercial harvesting do not affect overall fNRB rates but modify the areas where unsustainable harvesting takes place.


Drigo R, Bailis R, Ghilardi A, Masera O.2014. WISDOM Karnataka - Analysis of woodfuel supply, demand and sustainability in Karnataka, India. Tier 2 Report. GACC Yale-UNAM Project "Geospatial Analysis and Modeling of Non-Renewable Biomass: WISDOM and beyond".