Alliance in Guatemala for Stakeholder and Government Engagement
The stakeholder consultation and workshop, co-hosted by the Guatemalan Ministry of Energy and Mines (MEM), brought together domestic and international actors engaged in cookstoves, fuels, and related sectors in the country. The primary objectives were to share the findings of the Alliance’s recent market assessment of the cookstove and fuel sectors in Guatemala, to discuss the barriers to the sector’s growth, and to identify priority interventions that would allow the market to reach scale.
The meetings opened with remarks from Juan Carlos Paiz, Guatemalan Presidential Commissioner for Competitiveness and member of the Alliance’s Advisory Council; Arnold A. Chacón, U.S. Ambassador to Guatemala; and Erick Archila, Minister of Energy and Mines. Government officials, non-governmental organizations, and private sector representatives discussed important topics related to the cookstoves and fuels markets in Guatemala and connected over warm tortillas during an outdoor demonstration of improved cooking technologies.
Over the course of the workshop, participant identified key areas of need including: greater awareness among consumers and decision makers of the impacts of traditional cookstoves and benefits of new cooking technologies; improvement of local cookstove technologies to achieve desired health and environmental impacts while addressing the needs of Guatemalan consumers; increased access to financing for both consumers and suppliers to make the purchase and manufacture of clean cooking solutions more accessible for Guatemalans; and enhanced coordination between multi-sector stakeholders and the Guatemalan government. As the Alliance considers what role it could play in Guatemala, local sector stakeholders are already planning to meet later this month to continue the discussions.
After the conclusion of the stakeholder consultation, the Alliance participated in several productive meetings with the Government of Guatemala, which is committed to achieving progress related to household air pollution. Alliance Executive Director Radha Muthiah met with the President of Guatemala, Otto Peréz Molina, and discussed key areas for government intervention, resulting in the President’s commitment to reaching the two million households in need of clean cooking solutions across Guatemala through the development of a government action plan to be completed by September 2013.
Additionally, the Alliance met with an interministerial meeting hosted by the Ministry of Energy and Mines and the National Forest Institute, which included the participation of the Ministries of Health, Environment, Rural Development, Planning, Food Security and Nutrition, among others. The Ministry of Energy and Mines will continue to convene this group to develop an action plan for the cookstoves component of the national Energy Policy, which aims to install 100,000 clean biomass cookstoves and switch 25% of households from firewood to other energy sources by 2027, among other related goals.
The Alliance is encouraged by the outcomes in Guatemala and looks forward to working with sector stakeholders to improve the lives of those currently impacted by household air pollution throughout Guatemala.