Over the past 9 years, the NGO Instituto Trabajo y Familia (ITYF) has built more than 120,000 clean cookstoves benefitting families living in situations of extreme poverty and isolation in 2,640 Peruvian Andean communities. ITYF constructs clean cookstoves free of charge in rural areas of Peru situated at over 2,500 meters above sea level, who otherwise would not be reached by market mechanisms. The cookstoves have received very high acceptance rates among these users.    

ITYF’s “Sembrando” program (meaning “planting” or “sowing” in Spanish) was born as a civil society initiative with a twofold objective: (i) to improve the population’s overall health and (ii) to reduce CO2 emissions. Sembrando’s integral and holistic vision utilizes a tailored clean cookstove design to achieve several goals: (i) its chimney removes the toxic fumes from the household resulting in a decrease in the occurrence of acute respiratory infections; (ii) its second burner allows boiling water at no extra expense of energy, decreasing acute diarrheal diseases and parasites; and (iii) its efficient combustion chamber enables the reduction in biomass use by 50% ‒ thus saving families time and money as well as wood provision ‒ allowing for a reduction in deforestation and decrease in harmful climate-warming greenhouse gases. These reductions in CO2 emissions are quantifiable and can be converted into carbon credits in the international carbon credit market.

In 2008, ITYF began collaborating with Microsol, a fellow Global Alliance partner and carbon project developer, to create a program of activities (PoA) solely for clean cookstoves in order to obtain Gold Standard certification of emissions reductions. To date, ITYF has delivered over 80,000 clean cookstoves generating 742,514 carbon credits for the first 7 years, with the possibility for the PoA to be renewed for another 7 years. This year, ITYF will begin a new partnership with a donor organization to build 30,000 clean cookstoves, insuring their maintenance and sustainability over the next 14 years. This new venture demonstrates the profitability and appeal for worldwide capital to invest in clean cookstoves.

Both initiatives became possible thanks to the many lessons learned by Sembrando since its inception:

  • The design of the cookstove must take into account the needs of the target population, its customs and traditions;
  • The clean cookstove model should have a verified durability of at least 15 years;
  • The beneficiary population must be approached holistically to guarantee the program’s sustainability at all levels: health, livelihood, savings, and the environment; and
  • The introduction of the clean cookstove must be accompanied by a monitoring system and should be subject to mid-term follow-up.

Another extremely important lesson learned is that ITYF’s approach to the voluntary carbon credit market has always emphasized the social impact aspect, which has proved more appealing to potential investors than the carbon reduction itself.

ITYF is a founding member of the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, which has allowed our organization to share experiences and learn from other large-scale clean cookstove programs being implemented by institutions in Latin America and the rest of the world.

For more information visit www.ityf.org.pe