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Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 1949; doi:10.3390/su9111949

Forest Maintenance Practices and Wood Energy Alternatives to Increase Uses of Forest Resources in a Local Initiative in Nishiwaga, Iwate, Japan

1
Policy Research Institute, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, 3-1-1, Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-0013, Japan
2
Research Faculty of Agriculture, Hokkaido University, Kita 9, Nishi 9, Kita-ku, Sapporo, Hokkaido 060-0809, Japan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 1 September 2017 / Revised: 4 October 2017 / Accepted: 25 October 2017 / Published: 26 October 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Ecology and Forest Management)
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Abstract

This study assesses the impact of wood energy use under underutilized conditions of wood resources: the impact on promotion of forest maintenance practices (FMPs), user costs, and local economies, using the case of a local initiative in Nishiwaga, Iwate, Japan. We conducted two main analyses: resource and economic assessment. For resource assessment, we investigate whether wood supply from FMP residue is sufficient to sustainably satisfy new demand created by a local initiative in Nishiwaga, and in how much forest area can FMPs be performed to satisfy the demand. These questions are analyzed by linear programming. Regarding economic assessment, we investigate whether replacement of fossil fuel by wood energy brings economic benefit to a user and local economy using input–output analysis. Our overall findings demonstrated that the use of wood energy under underutilized situations can lead to an increase of implementations of FMPs and of domestic wood resource supplies from a short-term perspective that comes from residues of the FMPs. We also found that wood energy consumption introduces co-benefits in terms of reduced heating costs for users and a larger economic impact on the local economy than fossil fuel. View Full-Text
Keywords: forest maintenance practice; wood energy; underutilization; thinned trees; sustainable wood resource; Japan forest maintenance practice; wood energy; underutilization; thinned trees; sustainable wood resource; Japan
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Hayashi, T.; Sawauchi, D.; Kunii, D. Forest Maintenance Practices and Wood Energy Alternatives to Increase Uses of Forest Resources in a Local Initiative in Nishiwaga, Iwate, Japan. Sustainability 2017, 9, 1949.

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