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UNEP Announces Clean Cook Stove Design Project in Afghanistan

UNEP28 February 2012: The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) has announced a partnership with the Government of Finland and the Conservation Organization of Afghan Mountains on a clean cookstoves and ecological restoration project in Bamyan province, Afghanistan.  

The project aims to improve indoor air quality, provide employment, and reduce rangeland degradation. According to UNEP, metalsmiths, engineers and environmental experts are working with local villagers to design and test prototypes for cleaner cookstoves. UNEP notes that 95% of Afghanistan's population burn wood and other solid fuels in their homes, making the country one of the worst affected by indoor air pollution. The inefficient use of dung and fuelwood is also causing environmental stress. At the current rate of deforestation, UNEP estimates all Afgan forests will disappear within 30 years.

The project is part of the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, which is calling for 100 million homes to adopt clean and efficient stoves and fuels by 2020 to cut the estimated 1.6 million to 1.8 million premature deaths each year linked to indoor emissions from inefficient cook stoves. UNEP estimates that 25% of black carbon emissions are caused by the use of inefficient cooking stoves, clean cookstoves projects aim to reduce black carbon emissions. [UNEP Press Release]