Since 2015 Cool Earth has worked alongside Fauna & Flora International in the Democratic Republic of Congo to reduce firewood use by installing fuel-efficient stoves. This seemingly small and simple solution is making a measurable difference to the health of the forest. Firewood collection has halved. But the stoves also have the potential to dramatically improve the lives and health of local people, especially women and girls.
The sustainable development goals (SDGs) provide a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future. The fuel-efficient stove project in Lubutu addresses at least six of these goals.
SDG 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
Open cooking fires are deadly. Millions of people around the world die each year from respiratory illnesses linked to smoke from crude stoves
SDG 4: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
Women and children, mainly girls, spend the most time collecting firewood. Time that could be spent in education.
SDG 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
Teaching women how to build, maintain and cook on the fuel-efficient stoves, leads to improvements in health and helps them take control of their daily lives.
SDG 12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
The fuel-efficient stoves are easy and cheap to construct from sustainable materials found nearby. They are easy to maintain and easy to use.
SDG 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
Due to the region’s climate and soils, the Congo Basin forests is extremely diverse and carbon-rich. Reducing firewood consumption prevents emissions.
SDG 15: Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss
Prior to Cool Earth’s work in Lubutu, up to 2,000 tonnes of wood was used every year for cooking. Reducing this by 50% has a direct impact on the forest.