Deforestation in Cambodia: the effects of the use of wood for energy
In Cambodia, wood provides more than 80% of the energy needs. It is especially used, in both urban and rural areas, for cooking food and to produce palm sugar... Its intensive use threatens forestry resources and is responsible for substantial CO2 emissions into the atmosphere. It also has direct effects on people's health, particularly on women (pulmonary and eye diseases caused by harmful smoke). The WHO estimates that 2 million people die every year, in Asia, from smoke poisoning coming from domestic cooking equipment.
Promotion of wood saving equipment
Since1997, GERES has led a biomass conservation program in Cambodia. This project is based on the production and distribution of improved wood saving stoves and ovens, NLS (New Lao Stove). Designed and hand made in partnership with local associations, these improved cook stoves are progressively replacing traditional ones. They save 30% wood and charcoal (under laboratory conditions) and the investment by Cambodian families pays for itself in less than 3 months.
Since the beginning of this program, more than 1,600,000 improved cook stoves have been distributed. Almost 30 production centres have been established, creating hundreds of jobs, around which an economic sector has developed, providing a living to thousand of artisans, distributors and sales people. Today, there are more than 350,000 households equipped with the New Lao Stove.
Today the project benefits almost 1.4 million Cambodians, that is half of the urban population of Cambodia.
The New Lao Stove and a Household User
A reference development project
With 4 honorary prizes as recognition from the international community, this is a reference project for the large scale distribution of household equipment in developing countries.
- 2006: US Agency for Environment
- 2007: Ashden Award for Sustainable Development
- 2008: National Energy Globe Award
- 2011: Partnership for Clean Indoor Air Award
Firmly established on a long term basis, this project is programmed up to 2012.