The Backstory on my Bangladesh Trip
Bangladesh is also one of the countries most affected by the impact of climate change – prone to frequent flooding, cyclones, soil erosion, and salt intrusion into farmed fields. As with the Alliance workshop in East Africa, the main goals of the workshop were to elicit input from participants on the Alliance Strategic Business Plan and identify concrete actions on how to scale up clean cookstoves and fuels in Bangladesh. Donors such as the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, and the U.S. Agency for International Development, as well as partners like GIZ, Winrock, Grameen Shakti, and SNV, are either already active in the clean cookstove sector and fuels in Bangladesh or eager to scale up efforts. As a result of the priorities identified during the Bangladesh workshop, the Alliance is committed to generating public awareness around the clean cooking issue, supporting testing labs, and providing financing and capacity building assistance, including technology transfers from other countries.
One of our six value propositions is to advance standards and testing, and this past month we welcomed Dr. Ranyee Chiang as the Alliance's new Senior Technical Manager for Standards and Testing. Read more about our newest Secretariat team member.
On June 13th, the Alliance also participated in a roundtable dicussion on development and diplomacy through partnerships, convened by the U.S. Secretary of State's Global Partnership Initiative at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C.
Smoke from inefficient cookstoves is harmful to the health of women and children. The leading cause of death among children under five in developing countries is pneumonia, and cookstove smoke directly contributes to this condition. Alongside USAID's Child Survival: Call to Action Summit, held this week in Washington, D.C. by the governments of the United States, India, and Ethiopia, in collaboration with UNICEF. As part of the Alliance's commitment to addressing child health, the Alliance hosted an evening reception. The event brought together leaders and experts on child survival and clean cooking solutions. See related article on this global summit that took place in Washington, D.C.
On June 16th, I'll be heading to Rio de Janeiro to attend the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, also known as Rio+20. Many of our partners will also attend this historic event that is taking place twenty years after the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio, where countries adopted Agenda 21 — a blueprint to rethink economic growth, advance social equity and ensure environmental protection. Clean cookstoves are part and parcel of the clean energy agenda of the 21st century and a priority issue for developing countries. Read more about how we plan to seize this opportunity and further position the Alliance and its mission at Rio+20.
The UN Conference in Rio also marks 10 years since the Partnership for Clean Indoor Air (PCIA) was launched. During the past decade, PCIA has grown to 590 partner organizations working in 117 countries, with partners reporting manufacturing and sales of more than 9.3 million improved cookstoves — including 3.6 million in 2011. In 2010, a plan was set forth to integrate the Partnership into the Alliance in order to achieve the goal of 100 million homes adopting clean cooking solutions by 2020. The integration is now officially underway. The Alliance will continue to work closely with the Environmental Protection Agency staff to ensure alignment of goals and the establishment of a solid foundation to promote clean cooking solutions.
Lastly, be sure to read up on Clean Energy Week at the Asian Development Bank and to check out the media highlights section, which includes a link to a CNN video clip that features a solar cooker, originally developed by Solar Cooker International for use in the refugee camps in northern Kenya.