Monthly Archives: November 2009


On Environmental Brink, Haiti Scrambles for a Lifeline

“With any reforestation campaign, you have to find first a solution for energy.” — Antonio Perera, Program Manager, UNEP, Haiti The satellite image compares forest cover along the Haiti-Dominican Republic Border. A recent New York Times article explains what happens when a country’s energy-poor population exhausts its last remaining fuelwood resources. The country is Haiti and the picture painted is not pretty. With much of its forest cover gone, the poorest (and oldest) developing country in the Western Hemisphere’s stands now on the brink of environmental catastrophe. The story, reported by Nathaniel Gronewold of Greenwire, the web-based environmental policy and … Continue reading


FT thinks a crash global program to swap out wood & charcoal burning stoves for energy efficient ones is worth a thought.

Financial Times COMMENT Letters Go for the quick energy-efficient fixes Published: November 20 2009 02:00 | Last updated: November 20 2009 02:00 From Mr Jean Kim Chaix. Sir, The suggestion that climate change negotiators shift their focus from emissions reduction to enhancing global access to energy-related services for the world’s poor is well-intentioned but misguided. Whereas the proposed deployment of energy-efficient technologies to the neediest would take decades to fulfil, mandatory caps on emissions would immediately result in accelerated technological transfers and direct payments to developing countries for forest protection and other offsets. A faster, cheaper and more … Continue reading

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What does woodfuel really cost?

An undated study by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization that sought to discover the real cost of woodfuel concluded that, ultimately,  it’s impossible to know. And rightly so. How do you factor in time spent collecting the wood? The loss of the resource? Decline in value of ecosystem services? Cost of future replacement of extinguished resource with alternative fuel? The authors point out that it’s not a futile excercise altogether. Valuing woodfuel is actually vital to those responsible for managing energy resources because, “…it may provide invaluable warning signals of developing scarcities in a manner that is understandable both … Continue reading

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Uganda will need to import firewood in 2020

A report by Uganda’s Ministry of Water and the Environment says the country will need to import firewood in 2020 if current rates of deforestation and fuelwood consumption are not abated. Quoting the report, Uganda’s Monitor newspaper says that”with 91 per cent of the total energy used being derived from biomass, which includes firewood and charcoal. The Ministry warns that, the pressure on forests and woodlands could easily wipe out the country’s capacity to provide the resource.” “At the present rate of deforestation, it is predicted that Uganda is likely to be importing fuel wood by 2020,” says the report, … Continue reading


Charcoal Project joins Partnership for Clean Indoor Air!

The Charcoal Project is thrilled to join the global Partnership for Clean Indoor Air (PCIA)! The  organization’s 330 partners contribute their resources and expertise to reduce smoke exposure from cooking and heating practices in households around the world. The partnership works on four priority areas: Meeting the needs of local communities for clean, efficient, affordable and safe cooking and heating options; Improving cooking technologies, fuels and practices for reducing indoor air pollution; Developing commercial markets for clean and efficient technologies and fuels; and Monitoring and evaluating the health, social, economic and environmental impact of household energy interventions The among the … Continue reading

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