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Newsletter, April 2010

Countdown to the climate summit: Let´s reduce black carbon emissions right now

Thousands of grass root organisations, politicians, intellectuals, scientists and individuals will debate about climate change next week in Cochabamba, Bolivia. CEDESOL´s message in The World People´s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth highlights black carbon (soot) emissions and the practical solutions that are available to tackle them.

”The world can do something immediately, without treaties or round-table discussions, massive employment of ecological cookers can reduce the advancement of global warming now”, says CEDESOL´s director David Whitfield.

Carbon neutral cooking. Black carbon contributes approximately twenty percent of the global warming. It warms the planet by absorbing heat in the atmosphere and when it lands on snow, ice caps and glaciers it absorbs the sun's heat, reduces reflectivity and causes widespread and faster melting and sea level rise.

Whereas CO2 has an atmospheric lifetime of more than 100 years, black carbon stays in the atmosphere for only a few days. This means that reducing black carbon emissions can be an effective rapid response to slow global warming.

Black carbon emissions result mainly from four sources - diesel engines, residential solid fuel use, open forest and savanna burning and industrial processes. Technologies such as solar cookers and efficient biomass stoves can either completely do away with or severely restrict the residential black carbon. We can immediately slow global warming - with existing, cheap and effective technology.

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From the countryside to the cities – Solar cookers conquer new territories

When it comes to cooking, fifty families in the Colquiri neighborhood, located in the city of Cochabamba, are not dependent on gas anymore.  In October of 2009, these families were introduced to the benefits of solar cooking technology by CEDESOL, Sobre La Roca, and the Kyoto Twist Solar Cooking Society.

Project participants proudly displaying their certificates and cooking pots.“Now, money goes farther, the food is always hot and I don´t need to reheat it, I save time and money, and I am happy. I thank the project for having changed my life”, says Carmen Achá Nova de Velasquez, one of the beneficiaries.

After having demonstrated the benefits of solar ovens in urban communities in an earlier project with Kyoto Twist, this project sought to increase the quality of life among citizens in another neighborhood. The project also raised awareness about solar technology in the broader community, increased education about environmental issues, and demonstrated the benefits solar ovens provided in urban neighborhoods for fuel savings, economic savings, environmental benefits, health and time-use.

ImageCEDESOL began the project by holding meetings with neighborhood groups and organizations to identify appropriate communities for the project.  After several communities came forward, CEDESOL selected the Colquiri neighborhood to execute the project. Fifty families received solar ovens at reduced prices in exchange for active participation with training workshops and agreeing to allow data to be collected throughout the project.

Over the next three months, CEDESOL interacted closely with the project’s participants and monitored their cooking habits. CEDESOL implemented a training program about the use of solar ovens, provided consistent support through their transition to solar cooking, and collected data about the new technology’s use. After project completion, all participants reported favorable results with their solar cookers, as well as significant fuel savings. The results show that solar cookers do reduce gas consumption and carbon emissions when used in urban communities.


Families received safe and ecological stoves thanks to volunteer fundraising

Black soot covers the kitchen because of cooking on an open fire.Communities in Beni, Bolivian amazones, can now cook their meals in a more ecological, economic and healthier way with their new rocket stoves. CEDESOL´s two volunteers, Jenny Ilias from Australia and Andy Dinnendahl from Canada, raised funds to help families that live in very basic conditions.

People in remote villages located in Ibiato County often have to spend hours every day collecting firewood. The traditional stoves that they use expose them to poisonous fumes that cause many health problems such as lung cancer and tuberculosis. On the other hand, using wood as fuel emits green house gases and creates deforestation.

Jenny and Andy planned and implemented a project that helps both the local communities and the environment. When selecting families from the communities, they wanted to give preference to the families with the greatest need, such as single mothers and people with disabilities.

After weeks of fundraising, the volunteers reached their project budget of $ 1200 USD that was enough to install 14 ecological stoves. Andy travelled with CEDESOL to Ibiato to help with the implementation and demonstration of the stoves in three different villages.

Andy with the village leader and members of the village cooking with a rocket stove.”The wonderful response we received, coupled with the need for the stoves which was evident from seeing the villagers’ kitchens made me feel good…these stoves were going to be put to good use and benefit these people. Success!”

Rockets stoves that were installed in the villages burn 70% less fuel than traditional ones. The stoves also have chimneys which reduces indoor air pollution significantly. In addition, 1 out of the 3 ecological stoves that were donated to local schools was a solar cooker that doesn´t need fuel at all.

See how the stoves are introduced to the villages, video by Andy Dinnendahl on Youtube.


CEDESOL nominated for Global Leadership Award

NGOs, academic institutions, private companies and politicians gathered together in March 2009, to discuss clean and efficient cooking technologies. 262 partners of PCIA, Partnership for Clean Indoor Air, united in Kampala, Uganda, making it the largest meeting of its kind so far.

The participants, CEDESOL among them, shared best practices of meeting community needs, improving stove design and performance, commercializing cooking technologies and fuels, and assessing impacts of interventions. PCIA´s partners disseminated a total of 500,000 improved stoves in 2007 and 700,000 in 2008, impacting the lives of 12 million people during the last two years. Partners set new, ambitious targets for the years to come.

CEDESOL was one of the organizations nominated for the Global leadership award because of its commitment to improving health and quality of life, especially of women and children, by reducing the exposure to indoor contamination.

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