Lighting the Fire of Successful Conservation
One of the greatest threats to our planet for people and wildlife, and largest contributor to climate change, is loss of forest habitat. One of the biggest factors contributing to habitat loss is deforestation as a result of wood cutting for fire fuel. Unfortunately, in almost every culture, and especially in areas with higher levels of poverty, fire is an absolute necessity – for cooking, heating, lighting, and hundreds of other purposes.
Our solution is a rethinking of the traditional stove to require less firewood and burn more effectively than the conventional three-stone cooking stoves. JGI works with communities and teaches people how to build and cook with new stoves that only use half of the wood used by traditional stoves. To date, JGI has supported the installation of more than 15,000 “rocket” stoves in Western Tanzania. The project also provides stoves and training in western Uganda, in villages bordering important areas between the Budongo and Bugoma Forest Reserves which provide a home to more than 1154 chimpanzees and other wildlife.
The stoves also emit less smoke reducing air pollution, thereby reducing frequency of respiratory infections. The time saved, in addition to all of the other benefits of these stoves, allows people to concentrate on various activities like sustainable gardening, instructing others on the creation of “rocket” stoves, or agroforestry – all of which serve as mobility away from poverty and toward a successful coexistence with the natural world.
Photo credits on this page, top to bottom and left to right: JGI/Shawn Sweeney