Location: Mandalay, Myanmar
Myanmar is among the world’s largest contributors to deforestation. According to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the country has lost more than half of its dense forest cover between 1990 and 2010, with the area covered by forest falling from 45 percent to around 20 percent. This has largely been caused by household dependence on wood for cooking; 88% of households use wood as their primary source of energy, and 70% still cook on three-stone fires. Forest loss has not only affected the livelihood of smallholder farmers, but it has also threatened the survival of many species, such as wild tigers. Furthermore, smoke from open fires causes severe health problems. Every year, 4 million people in the world, especially women and children, die from the effects of smoke inhalation.
For years, Myanmar was largely isolated from much of the world. Today, much has changed. Launched in January 2014, the Myanmar Stoves Campaign aims to mobilize $10 million of investment to distribute clean cookstoves to over 1 million households in the country’s rural areas. The project is led by Orbis Development Partners in partnership with the Myanmar Ministry of Environmental Conservation and Forestry, Mercy Corps, and the SLOW LIFE Foundation. It is being developed as a Micro Programme with The Gold Standard Foundation, making it Myanmar’s first ever carbon finance project. For each ton of C02 emissions saved, the Gold Standard issues verified carbon credits. These credits can then be sold to subsidize the distribution of stoves, while giving investors an equitable return on investment.
The stoves distributed by the campaign are clean, efficient, robust and portable. They reduce household wood consumption by over 50%, allowing families to save money, avoid deforestation, and spend time on more productive activities. Additionally, the stoves cut C02 emissions by 70% and contribute to smoke-free kitchens, reducing the risk of respiratory diseases. The Myanmar Stoves Campaign has also created local jobs in the distribution and maintenance of the stoves. By February 2014, over 1,000 stoves had been sold.
Newly engaged to the outside world, Myanmar is changing the face of sustainability, one stove at a time.
Environmental Impact: Avoided deforestation, preserved biodiversity, efficient fuel use & avoided use of fossil fuels, including reduced emission of GHGs and harmful substances
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