Guinea Mobilizes Around Climate Change and Cookstoves in Advance of Paris Climate Conference
Drought, low rainfall, low agricultural production, and decrease in water and wood supply – these are some of the visible effects of climate change that are having deep impacts on the daily lives of the Guinean people. In response, 90 politicians and representatives of Guinean civil society met on June 10-11 in Conakry, Guinea to discuss how to respond. Their focus: cookstoves.
The national workshop for the promotion of efficient firewood cookstoves was organized by Bolivia Inti – Sud Soleil (BISS) and four other Guinean and French NGOs, with the support of the Guinean Ministry for Energy and Hydraulic Power and the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves. Participants felt compelled to act in response to the damage caused to natural resources and the effects of climate change on Guinean communities, which has led to decreasing arable land, demographic pressure causing excessive use of natural resources, and insufficient use of renewable energy due to its prohibitive cost for people who need it most.
With a number of organizations working to promote efficient firewood cookstoves with the potential to alleviate some of the country’s environmental and social challenges, there was a clear need for the workshop to unite stakeholders around common understandings. In response, participants came up with a series of recommendations to promote the use of cleaner, more efficient cookstoves and renewable energy, which will be shared by BISS at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 21) in Paris in December 2015.
These recommendations include:
- Encourage renewable energy initiatives by, for instance, setting up competitions for innovative projects and inventions followed by awards and ceremonies for the winners
- Develop local networks of cookstove production and sales
- Empower women in the use and maintenance of efficient cookstoves
- Strengthen the skills of craftsmen manufacturing efficient cookstoves
- Stimulate research and innovation in order to improve the design of existing efficient cookstoves
- Increase finance and technical support for improved cookstove projects and programmes
- Include these policies in the National Energy Policy
- Set up a quality label for cookstoves to be used on a national scale in order to standardize across improved cookstove models
- Facilitate access to the carbon finance mechanisms
- Introduce a National Efficient Firewood Cookstove Day
- Develop national promotional campaigns for efficient firewood cookstoves
In addition, participants pointed out how civil society organizations and the media have an extremely important role and can:
- Help with training and awareness campaigns among targeted communities
- Monitor the use of improved cookstoves in these communities
- Set up a framework for meetings between civil society groups and local and national government authorities
The national workshop was a first step to build a Guinean strategy to promote efficient firewood cookstoves. Civil society groups and national government authorities aim to launch public awareness campaigns, promote labelling with assistance from the University of Conakry, and to scale up distribution networks.
We encourage partners of the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves to read more and get involved at: http://www.boliviainti-sudsoleil.org/spip.php?article816. (French)