How cookstoves help protect the rainforest

Nyungwe Forest National Park in the southwestern corner of Rwanda is the largest mountain rainforest on this side of the African continent and the country's most important site for biodiversity. However, the growing population in areas around the park and their increasing use of firewood for cooking is putting more and more pressure on the unique rainforest ecosystem.

This project enables households to reduce their wood consumption. Traditionally, families here cook over an open three-stone fire. This is inefficient and also a serious threat to health due to the heavy smoke pollution. The project introduces efficient cooking stoves made of local clay and sand. The so-called Canarumwe model is produced by a local cooperative and consumes two thirds less fuel than the three-stone fire. The stoves are offered at a subsidized price so that low-income households can afford them.

How improved cookstoves contribute to climate action

According to a statistic from the World Health Organization (WHO, 2022) around a third of the global population still relies on un­safe and environmentally harmful cooking methods. This includes, for example, cooking over open fires or using polluting cooking fuels, such as coal or kerosene. Improved cookstoves tackle this problem by using thermal energy more efficiently. Depending on the model, an improved cookstove can reduce fuel consumption by up to 70 percent, which significantly saves CO2 emissions and can lower the pressure on local forests as less firewood needs to be harvested.

Improved cookstove projects allow the distribution of the - often simple - devices made from metal or clay to households, small enterprises or community facilities. Especially for households, this has an impact beyond the CO2 reduction: better indoor air quality decreases respiratory diseases and families can save time and money as less fuel is needed. Improved cookstoves projects in the ClimatePartner portfolio are registered with international standards.

Contribution to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
Good Health and Well-BeingThe efficient cookstoves significantly reduce indoor air pollution during cooking which helps prevent respiratory and other diseases.
Affordable and Clean EnergyThe project creates access to clean and economic cooking for households in the project area.
Climate ActionThe project consists of several sub-projects, all of which contribute to the distribution of improved cookstoves in Ruanda and thereby demonstrably reduce CO2 emissions.
Project standardGold Standard VER (GS VER)TechnologyImproved cookstovesRegionNyungwe, RwandaVerified bySustainCERT