The urgency of the Latin American countries to aspire to a public policy in clean kitchens was the focal point during the forum, as well as the adoption of sustainable technologies that people value.
Zamorano hosted the Third Regional Forum of the Latin American and Caribbean Clean Kitchen Network (RLCCL) 2019, which exchanged experiences among more than 100 participants from 11 countries, in order to find alternatives that impact on the living conditions of families that depend on the use of firewood.
The event was from March 12 to 14 on the university campus, and included workshops, lectures, and posters presentations. The discussed topics were use, adoption and impacts, technology and innovation, sustainable markets, public policies, alternate fuels, standards in kitchen and improved stoves, and the participants sought to create synergy and collaborations.
During the event, there was an exhibition of equipment and new technologies that regional companies are using on improved stoves to improve their energy performance reducing the impact of toxic gases and polluting emissions on human health, and contributing to the environment by decreasing the use of firewood and biomass.
Victoria Cortes, director of the Improved Stoves Evaluation Center (CEEM), stressed “one of the visions of Zamorano is to identify these types of alternatives and initiatives that allow us to improve the quality of life of people in general.”
In 2017 the university participated in the elaboration of the National Standards for Improved Stoves that made Honduras the third country in Latin America to have this legal instrument. “Currently Zamorano evaluates the performance of these technologies, through clear parameters that categorize stoves that according to their performance” she said.
For his part, Omar Masera, president of the RLCCL, said that there are 160 million people who cook with firewood in Latin America, mostly with open hearths in the fireplace. In the last decade, three million improved stoves have been installed in the region, reaching about 20 million people, which indicates a high gap of families still to be covered.
Thus, the vision is to support aspects of technological innovation, certification in quality standards to identify the best stoves in the region, to test financing and measure the environmental impact.
Richard Grinell, regional director of Market Development for America of the Global Alliance for Clean Stoves, said that Latin America is an emerging market, where government projects give stoves with little post-delivery attention complicating adoption due to ignorance.
He recognizes the need to expand the supply of options, and to work on the adoption of technologies in a sustainable and long-term manner, through user involvement, marketing to show products, accessibility, ability to pay and any mechanism required by the people to adopt gas stove, firewood, ethanol, solar or any energy that is cleaner, healthier and cheaper for families.
In the particular case of Honduras, through the Fundación Vida, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), promoted the Profogones project to promote the strengthening of a market for improved stoves and strengthen the different spaces of the chain in the country.
Julio Cárcamo, director de Fundación Vida, dijo que el proyecto se ha involucrado en la innovación tecnológica, y tiene como propósito volver más eficiente la cocción de alimentos. Actualmente en Honduras el parque es de 250 mil estufas móviles o fijas en uso, lo que indica un reto y oportunidad de mercado, ya que el número de familias que utilizan leña para cocinar alimentos es de 1.2 millones aproximadamente.
El foro fue patrocinado por Zamorano, el Proyecto Profogones del BID-LAB, la Fundación Vida de Honduras, Clúster de Biocombustibles Sólidos BCS), Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo (BID), Sistema de la Integración Centroamericana (SICA), Comisión Centroamericana de Ambiente y Desarrollo (CCAD), Alianza Global para Estufas Limpias, Trees, Water & People (TWP), ETHOS (Engineers in Humanitarian Assistance).