The main drivers of deforestation have been identified as charcoal and wood fuel production, logging for timber, expansion of small-scale agriculture and unsustainable agricultural practices. Communities typically use wood or charcoal, in large quantities, for cooking purposes. Peace Parks Foundation is distributing fuel efficient cookstoves to various communities throughout southern Africa to reduce this consumption by approximately 30%. The cookstoves also generate 80% less greenhouse gases compared to traditional open fires. As such, these cookstoves are seen as a successful tool to reduce increasing deforestation.
On a more personal level, these compact stoves hold many health and social benefits for the, mostly women, who spend much of their time cooking every day. Firstly, the continuous inhalation of smoke when cooking over open fires, is extremely harmful to general health over the long term. This is often compounded by the fact that the open fires are lit inside their homes, and can even result in premature death. Secondly, the cookstoves save time. As they can now cook using small twigs instead of traditional logs, women and young (female) children spend less time on finding firewood. The stoves also work extremely efficiently, and field observations note that it takes between three to five minutes for water to boil. The overall time-savings allow the women to spend more time tending to their crops and frees the children up to focus additional efforts on education.
Banhine and Zinave national parks are critically important components of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area, as they serve as safe havens within a wildlife corridor that stretches all the way from Zinave southward through Limpopo National Park and across the border into Kruger National Park in South Africa. In both these parks one of the biggest challenges is widespread deforestation, cause to a great extent by organized illegal logging activities, but compounded by ongoing unsustainable use and destruction of forest resources by local communities. As part of a larger plan to address this and support community development, Peace Parks in partnership with Mozambique’s National Administration for Conservation Areas, implemented a fuel-efficient cookstove project that has already distributed 4,000 fuel-efficient cookstoves to 2,200 families in and around both parks.
Your contribution will go towards providing an additional 1,000 cookstoves to reach a further 556 families in the area. Your $50 will provide one cookstove to help improve the life of a family in Africa, while at the same time assist in mitigating climate change.