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‘SLOW LIFE IN MYANMAR’ – the country’s 1st carbon credit project

July 6, 2013 Responsible Tourism No Comments Email Email

The SLOW LIFE Foundation is proud to announce the launch of ‘SLOW LIFE in Myanmar’, a joint initiative with partners Orbis Development Partners and Mercy Corps.

It is the first ever Gold Standard carbon credit project registered in Myanmar, which will provide low income families with access to energy-efficient and clean burning cookstoves.

The ‘SLOW LIFE in Myanmar’ project will allow families to replace traditional three-stone fires and rudimentary stoves with modern, clean burning and highly efficient cookstoves. The efficient cookstoves reduce the amount of firewood consumed by at least 50% when compared with traditional cooking methods. Households make considerable savings in money and time by using these cookstoves – a great incentive for daily use. Cookstoves are being sold at affordable, highly subsidized, prices through a network of local vendors who receive training in sales activities, record keeping and monitoring.

The programme is being registered with the Gold Standard Foundation and has been officially listed on the Gold Standard registry. The Gold Standard is an award winning certification standard for EGT_Artical Banner B 250x250carbon mitigation projects, recognised internationally as the benchmark for quality in both the compliance and voluntary markets.

“A key part of The Gold Standard is to enable and promote the successful implementation of initiatives that deliver verified sustainable and low carbon development to the regions that need it most. This programme marks a milestone not only for the Gold Standard Foundation but for the global carbon market more generally. Orbis has created an initiative that clearly demonstrates the great benefits that carbon finance can bring to vulnerable communities. For the first time ever carbon finance will reach Myanmar providing much needed support in its current development and to its people,” says Adrian Rimmer, CEO of The Gold Standard Foundation.

Worldwide, about 2.7 billion people burn biomass to meet their most basic energy needs including cooking or boiling water. The inefficient burning of solid fuels on an open fire or traditional stove in poorly ventilated homes creates a dangerous cocktail of noxious pollutants. For several hours a day women and small children breathe in amounts of smoke equivalent to consuming two packs of cigarettes per day. As a result, household air pollution kills 4 million people annually according to the global burden of disease study.

Demand for firewood has led to severe deforestation in the country. As local forests disappear, wood is increasingly being imported from across the country, making it expensive to purchase and leaving families trapped in energy poverty.

Sonu Shivdasani, who with his wife Eva, are the benefactors of the SLOW LIFE Foundation said, “I am absolutely delighted that the SLOW LIFE Foundation is able to support the Myanmar Stoves Campaign through ‘SLOW LIFE in Myanmar.’ This project will directly address climate change and environmental challenges in the country while having deep and meaningful impacts on the lives of the families in Myanmar. Energy poverty is a scourge of the poor and this project will intervene to break this socially corrosive cycle in rural Myanmar by reducing the income that families need to spend for their basic energy needs by over 50%, releasing valuable disposable income which can be spent on improved nutrition, child education and family health. The reduction in carbon emissions and the avoided deforestation which will be a direct result of this project are also core goals of the SLOW LIFE Foundation and that these goals can be achieved while having such positive social impacts made supporting this project one of the easiest decisions I have ever had to make.”

The project addresses four Millennium Development Goals: Eradication of extreme poverty Promote gender equality and promote women, Reduce child mortality  and Ensure environmental sustainability. A rigorous monitoring system and regular assessments by independent auditors guarantee the integrity of the project.

“We are excited about the opportunity to bring life changing technology to the people of Myanmar. We have spent one year carefully preparing the programme together with our implementation partner Mercy Corps and the SLOW LIFE Foundation.  The positive feedback from communities we have visited has been overwhelming. We are proud to see our PoA recognised for its sustainable development focus through our successful listing with the Gold Standard Foundation. Preparations for the first project in Pyawbwe are underway and we are looking to add investment partners to expand the programme and reach other communities in the near future,” says Daniel Wülbern, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Orbis Development Partners.

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