Efficient cookstoves for healthier people and the protection of biodiversity

Located in an area renowned for its panda population and subtropical biodiversity, this project in Southwest China provides hundreds of clean, efficient cookstoves to people predominantly of the Yi ethnic minority

The context

Indoor air pollution is a leading cause of premature death in developing countries, responsible for an estimated 2-4 million deaths annually. This pollution is often caused by inefficient traditional indoor wood stoves. These stoves not only emit carbon-intensive smoke, but also require large amounts of wood fuel, increasingly sourced from Panda habitat forests.

The project

This project involves replacing traditional wood stoves in homes with more efficient cooking technology. Firewood saving cookstoves are a rural energy technology that has been used for more than 30 years in China. They have an additional chimney and proper air supply system, which enables fuel to fully burn and extracts the waste gas out of the room. At the same time, the special inner smoke route in the stove body makes good use of the energy of the hot smoke. The improved stove can thus save as much as 50-60% of the firewood needed for daily cooking.

The benefits

By providing a clean, efficient alternative to traditional indoor cooking practices this project significantly improves the wellbeing and life-expectancy of those in the local community - particularly the elderly, women and children. The provision of clean cookstoves leads to less local deforestation as well as improved safety and wellbeing due to 40 - 50% less time and effort spent collecting firewood.

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