Guatemalan Government Launches National Strategy Addressing Need for Clean Cookstoves and Fuels
On November 25th, the government of Guatemala launched the National Strategic Plan for the Sustainable Use of Wood. The strategy is an important first step in Guatemala’s commitment to addressing the over 2 million households across the country in need of clean cooking solutions and represents an inter-ministerial effort with contributions from 10 government ministries, the Clean Cookstoves and Fuels Cluster comprised of private, NGO, academic and other sector stakeholders, and the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves.
In Guatemala, nearly seventy percent of the population uses solid fuels for cooking, primarily wood. Consequently, the sustainable and efficient use of fuelwood is a key objective of the strategy, which also encourages the creation of a market for improved cookstoves, the use of alternative fuels, and the sustainable production of fuelwood. The strategy identifies priority activities in the areas of institutional strengthening; research, education, and information dissemination; sustainable wood production; efficient technologies for wood consumption (improved cookstoves); and use of alternative fuels. With the goal of increasing production capacity to 65,000 improved cookstoves per year over the next 10 years, Guatemala is preparing to strengthen supply to meet the needs of households nationwide.
The launch event in Guatemala City held by the Guatemalan Ministry of Energy and Mines included an exhibition of improved cookstoves available in the Guatemalan market by manufacturers, as well as a panel discussion on the role of the national strategy in advancing Guatemala’s development with speakers from the Ministries of Energy, Agriculture, Health, and Forests and representatives of the Cluster and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Alliance Advisory Council member and Guatemalan Presidential Commissioner for Competitiveness, Juan Carlos Paiz, also made remarks on the importance of clean cookstoves and fuels within the strategy.
The launch of the strategy is an indication of the growing momentum for this issue in Guatemala since the Alliance first presented a market assessment of the clean cookstoves and fuels sector last July to local stakeholders during a workshop held with the Ministry of Energy and Mines. Since then, Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina joined the Leadership Council of the Alliance and has been instrumental in the government’s commitment to developing a strategy around this issue.
The Alliance plans to build upon the work of the government and gather additional input from members of the Clean Cookstoves and Fuels Cluster and other sector stakeholders to develop a comprehensive and action-oriented plan for clean cookstoves and fuels in early 2014.
For a copy of the complete strategy in English or Spanish, or for additional information please contact Chloe Shields, Program Associate, at firstname.lastname@example.org.