Charcoal is the primary energy source for urban Africa, but its production is widely informal and unregulated. Consequently, charcoal is entwined with violence against nature through rampant deforestation and violence against vulnerable rural communities, fuelling violent political economies of conflict and extraction. As they are violently dispossessed of forests and land, communities living in production areas face destruction of their cultural heritage, embodied in nature, and the conditions for economic and political dignity. This undermines possibilities for sustainable peace. This transdisciplinary research project explores how charcoal’s incorporation into violent political economies produces this violence against landscapes and communities, focusing on two case studies: Juba in South Sudan and the Acholi region in Uganda.
Research Team: Dr Adam Branch, University of Cambridge; Dr Mary Mbura Njenga, World Agroforestry Centre, Kenya; Dr Tuyeni Heita Mwampamba, National Autonomous University of Mexico; Dr Patrick Byakagaba, Makerere University, Uganda; Dr Florence Ebila, Makerere University, Uganda; Dr Jon Phillips, University of Cambridge