This project delivered efficient cookstoves to communities within the habitat of 50% of the last remaining 880 mountain gorillas worldwide. These cookstoves reduce wood consumption by approximately 70%, thereby reducing deforestation and the destruction of the mountain gorilla habitat. It also increases energy efficiency, meaning less fuel is required for the same purposes, thereby reducing wasted fuel and its subsequent CO2 emissions.
Cookstove projects are incredibly important in the short term, as they are an elegant way to reduce deforestation and carbon emissions while simultaneously preserving endangered habitats, saving local communities an incredible amount of time, and spurring local economic development.
The Virunga Mountain Gorilla Cookstove and Clean Water Project distributes energy efficient cookstoves to approximately 225,000 people throughout communities in Rwanda within the native habitat of the endangered mountain gorilla. These stoves reduce deforestation, reduce the wasted time local populations would spend gathering wood, reduce the smoke and pollution created by burning the wood, and reduces the amount of fuel needed to achieve the same ends.
This helps protect the local habitat and saves community members dozens of people-hours per week that would have been spent gathering wood and water. This subsequently introduces a number of cobenefits to the project in addition to the primary reduction in carbon emissions.
This project’s certified SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) include reducing exposure to air pollution and better cooked food (3), increases energy efficiency significantly (7).