94.7% of the Timorese population are relying on wood as primary cooking fuel and 83.3% households using open or no vent traditional cooking devices. The use of fuel wood fires for cooking is harmful to health and the environment. It causes indoor air pollution related diseases and contributes to global climate change. A shift from traditional low-efficient stoves to smokeless stove or Improved Cook Stoves (ICS) will make a huge positive difference in Timor-Leste.
UNDP, the Government of Timor-Leste, and Civil Society Organisations gathered at Hotel Timor on 12 May 2016 to discuss the prospects and challenges of promoting ICS in Timor-Leste. The workshop was an open platform where various stakeholders shared their experiences and exchanged innovative ideas on how to promote ICS in Timor-Leste. Several organizations such as MercyCorps, Haburas Foundation, World Vision, Ahisaun, Startec, MDF and Nazareth Foundation have been promoting ICS in Timor-Leste but the penetration level is still in its infancy level.
“Our target is to reduce the use of fuel-wood for cooking by promoting the use of energy-efficient cook stoves.” said Mr. Virgilio F. Guterres, the Director General for Electricity “I am sure that UNDP-GEF supported Biomass project will play a major role in promoting sustainable biomass energy solutions in Timor-Leste, particularly Improved Cook Stoves.”
UNDP-GEF supported Biomass project is working with the Ministry of Public Works, the State Secretary of Electricity to promote technologically proven and environment friendly solutions to reduce greenhouse emissions through utilization of biomass resources in Timor-Leste. The application of biomass energy technologies will also support local economic, environmental and social development.
“The use of improved cook stoves is very important to save people’s lives and the environment. If we globally reach the target of 100 million households using improved cook stoves by 2020, billions of trees and thousands of lives will be saved.” Said Claudio Providas, UNDP Country Director “We are happy to work with the government and other partners to promote the use of improved cook stoves in Timor-Leste.”
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