The World Health Organization estimates that nearly 3 billion people still depend on solid fuels, burned in rudimentary stoves, for cooking. In rural Brazil alone, approximately 10 million families still cook over smoky, open-air fires, causing household air pollution, forest degradation and climate change.
Perene Institute is helping solve these problems by introducing improved cookstoves in rural villages. Since 2008, Perene Institute has substituted over 7,000 open-air stoves with efficient, durable cookstoves across hundreds of villages. Benefits of the new stove include cleaner indoor air, safer kitchens and less time spent on collecting fuel. Less tangible but equally important is that owners of improved cookstoves display a new-found pride in their homes and in themselves. Rural women report improved self-esteem and status, relative to urban folk, as they too become free of the stigma and discomfort of clothes, hair and skin that smell of smoke. Local forests and the global climate benefit too, as our improved cookstoves reduce wood use and greenhouse gas emissions by half.
Close to 30,000 people participate in Perene´s pioneering initiative Efficient Cookstoves in Bahia, which has reached 7,000 homes across 500 remote communities. Through an award-winning monitoring program, Perene continuously tracks user-satisfaction and cookstove performance. Household surveys are carried out by our network of Community Agents. Independent auditing is performed annually by the Gold Standard Foundation.
Funding for building cookstoves has been through up-front sale of carbon credits. To date, 45,000 tons of verified emissions reductions (VERs) have been issued, with a total of 150,000 VERs to be delivered by 2022. Steps of the carbon-finance project include: local stakeholder engagement, non-renewable biomass assessment, cookstove efficiency testing, quantification of emissions reductions and monitoring of social and environmental impacts. Individual carbon-release contracts are signed by each participant, and each stove is uniquely identified by GPS location.