Closing plenary (l to r): Betty Ikalany, & Chief Executive Director, Appropriate Energy Saving Technologies (AEST); Victoria Cortes Matamoros, Center for Renewable Energy; Improved Stoves Evaluation Center, Zamorano University, Honduras; Asna Towfiq, Market Manager, Bangladesh, Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves; John Mitchell, Program Director, US EPA; Andy Wehkamp, Managing Director for Renewable Energy of SNV Netherlands Development Organization; Eric Naivasha, BOP Venture Manager, Philips East Africa; Leslie Cordes, Senior Director of Strategic Partnerships, Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves.
The Clean Cooking Forum 2015 concluded on Day Four with a full roster of morning sessions capped off by an engaging plenary session packed with attendees. The spirit of partnership, collaboration and commitment was evident by the high level of interaction among the participants each day, and all the way through to the very last moment.
Closing Plenary: Wrap Up and Reflections
A diverse group of speakers offered their perspectives on the week’s activities and offered ideas and insights on how to take what was learned and put it into action. Speakers were also joined by audience members who were invited to ask questions and offer their own insights and feedback.
Betty Ikalany, Founder and Chief Executive Director, Appropriate Energy Saving Technologies
Victoria Cortes Matamoros, Center for Renewable Energy, Improved Stoves Evaluation Center, Zamorano University, Honduras
John Mitchell, Program Director, US Environmental Protection Agency
Eric Naivasha, BOP Venture Manager, Philips East Africa
Andy Wehkamp, Managing Director for Renewable Energy of SNV Netherlands Development Organization
Asna Towfiq, Market Manager, Bangladesh, Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves
Leslie Cordes, Senior Director of Strategic Partnerships, Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves
Brian Smith, Chief Operating Officer, Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves
Victoria Cortes Matamoros, Zamorano University, Honduras: “When you’re trying to get a harmony, you want to be with many different musicians that are playing different instruments. They’re playing in the same musical note and in the same time. And when you can get them together, along with the voices, then you will have a harmony. A beautiful sound – that will engage the rest of the community. And that’s what I saw in this forum. I can see many players that are playing a different instrument. It’s a harmony that we’re making with all of our efforts together.”
John Mitchell, Program Director, US Environmental Protection Agency: “Now we have 1300 partners and it’s really about partnership. It’s about all of us, together, achieving our goals that provides the strength of this Alliance. You know, our mission is really too big to fail: It’s livelihoods, and it’s gender, and it’s climate change, and that is too big to fail. To paraphrase Rocky – together we have the power to change the world.”
Brian Smith, COO, Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves: “I put my observations from this week into three categories: Diversity: What we set out to do was to create a forum, an environment, in which different voices could be heard, different points of view presented and debated, not because we think there’s any right answer, but because we think it will take different approaches, working at different speeds, to achieve the 100 million target that we want to achieve. Pragmatism – there aren’t any perfect answers, so we need to move forward with what we’ve got now, with the best we have now, even while we look for things that are even better. Let’s be ambitious – I think our target was doubled during the second day of the conference, from 100 million to 200 million. If we can blow through the 100 million target before 2020, let’s do that and let’s keep moving on.”
HIGHLIGHTS FROM TODAY’S PANEL DISCUSSIONS
What grants are available, who is getting them, how do I get them?
The Alliance has a suite of financing mechanisms to develop and grow the clean cooking sector. The Alliance is using investment-like grant funding to catalyze the growth of cookstoves and fuels businesses to develop a pipeline of investment-ready businesses. Attendees asked questions about how to qualify and what they could do to prepare for the application process, reflecting on success stories from past grantees for lessons learned.
Selecting Technologies & Fuels for Bulk Procurement by Humanitarian Agencies, Governments, & Donors
Governments, donors, NGOs, and humanitarian agencies are working together with the Alliance to improve the bulk procurement process for cookstoves and fuels in development and humanitarian contexts. UN World Food Programme, Berkeley Air Monitoring Group, and the Government of Nepal’s Alternative Energy Promotion Center all highlighted the need for transparent, competitive, locally-appropriate procurement processes that ensure high levels of product performance.
Women’s Entrepreneurship & Economic Empowerment
The clean cookstove and fuel value chain offers new and viable pathways for women’s economic empowerment by engaging women as entrepreneurs. Panelists shared evidence from research and implementation demonstrating that women’s entrepreneurship strengthens their business models, attracts investment, and achieves women’s empowerment goals. The session also highlighted the role of women-led businesses and how strengthening women’s entrepreneurship has the potential to scale adoption and offers added social impact benefits.
Youth as Agents of Change
Youth Activists from throughout Africa gathered to discuss how youth can play a role in driving adoption of clean cookstoves and fuels in their households and communities.
Sustainable Scale-Up of Fuel Production
The key themes emphasized in this session were effective production, distribution and sales arrangements that would lead to scale, methods to overcome distribution challenges, and the role of government as partner, promoter and supporter of clean and sustainable cooking fuel enterprises. The opportunities and barriers was a common theme among all presenters. They talked about experiences and research across different fuel types, each with unique barriers and challenges, but there were strong commonalities that can open up channels to create and scale a sector.
Standards and Labeling – Country Strategies
Countries are developing strategies to implement standards – which includes stakeholder engagement, developing a regulatory and enforcement system, setting goals based on state of market and consumers.
Stove Research and Design: (1) Focus on Research & (2) Focus on Design
Panelists highlighted innovative research and design to balance the often competing priorities of performance, affordability, and usability, with a focus on recent R&D developments.
And two final photos to help remember the week: