Monthly Archives: September 2010

Fuel Efficient Stove Project in Rural Zambia

 GKI and ACCE are currently helping implement a carbon project that seeks to make available fuel efficient cook stoves throughout Zambia.  The cook stoves are extremely well insulated and enclosed resulting in less smoke and greater efficiency. This will reduce the use of wood and the practice of keeping fires burning throughout the day using huge logs which is common in rural areas.  This is done so that families do not have to keep re-starting a fire which wastes time and fire lighting material and is often the choice for those without braziers, 2-3 logs are simply lit in the morning and then left to burn all day – a terrible waste of wood.  The new stove instead needs a much smaller amount of wood for burning.

The pilot for this project is taking place in Nyimba in Eastern Province. In order to help ensure the project is successful local stakeholders from community groups such as local schools, churches, women and youth groups etc.  Are invited to learn more as well as given some basic training and how to use the stoves, and so far the response has been very encouraging.

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How Non-Profits can use Alternative Commodities

In a start-up company or organisation, money can often be tight.  Maybe you are still looking for investors or donors and it can feel like your plans will be at a halt until you get those dollars rolling in. However there are other ways of building valuable assets that may not be monetary but can be equally valuable.   These alternative commodities can be pretty much anything provided you’re prepared to think laterally. 

In GKI we have been using a number of alternative commodities to help grow the organisation, we outline some of them below:

Training

Since one of GKI’s main aims is to provide training, this has become one of our core services.  However we still have to address the challenge of little understanding of carbon finance  and its relevance to Zambia.  To overcome this hurdle we have been offering select individuals a short training course for free.  In return they have been able to either help build our contact base, or as is the case with one group, we will have a powerful ally in promoting our work. 

Networking

Often in development you may find organisations working in isolation, here in Zambia that is often the case.  ACCE and GKI have seen how detrimental this can be and that networking is crucial to sustainable growth.  It is quite surprising how many contacts we have developed in such a short amount of time, and in some unlikely areas.  All of this is good groundwork for target potential sponsors, manpower or knowledge. 

Social Networking and Online Presence

There is a reluctance for organisations in this area of the world to utilise the web, the response being that Zambians are not really online much.  I believe this is a potentially detrimental assumption.  I have found more people in Zambia online than you would think and this number will only grow as internet services become more competitive.  Wherever you are in the world, social networking is free and an easy way to make your presence felt.  Starting a blog, a website or even a Twitter account is a small step but there is so much more.  In a short space of time, GKI has found possible investors and supportive organisations purely from using social networking tools.

Think about what you can offer – can you conduct a free seminar? What about joining LinkedIn and looking for like-minded people? Is there an NGO or fellow non-profit that could help you source a volunteer or consult with you on a skill you need?  Alternative commodities are of course useful up to a point, but in the beginning they have great power to push your organisation in the right direction.

DNA training in Africa

‘One of the key elements for attracting CDM investments is the host country’s application of quick and transparent procedures for screening, evaluation and approving projects.[i]

The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) gives emission-reduction projects in developing countries certified emission reduction (CER) credits for each ton of CO2e they reduce or absorb. CERs can be bought by industrialized countries to offset their own emissions. The sale of CERs can be a significant source of revenue for Sub-Saharan African countries. But for a project to be considered for CDM registration, it first must be approved by a country’s Designated National Authority (DNA).

 The designation of a national coordinating authority for the CDM is a requirement for a country’s participation in the mechanism. The main task of the DNA is to assess potential CDM projects to determine whether they will help the country in reaching its sustainable development goals. Since the DNA’s approval is a key part of the registration process for potential CDM projects, it is crucial that these focal points stay informed and updated on climate change and carbon market issues.  As African countries have signficant potential to reduce green house gas emissions, it is critical that African DNAs in particular provide more support to project developers to ensure an increase in potential CDM projects and therefore an increase in CERs once the projects have been implemented.[ii]

 GKI understands the importance of effective DNAs and with this in mind is formulating several conferences that will bring together regional DNAs to share knowledge and strategize. The first of these conferences will be in February, targeting those countries in the SADC (Southern Africa Development Community).  Taking place in Livingstone, the conference will run for three days. The next two conferences will be in Eastern and Western Africa. 

 Included in the programme will be a discussion on ways to keep all DNAs up to date and informed on carbon finance issues as well as planning for COP17 which will take place in South Africa next year.

 GKI is still looking for funding though it is pleased to have the support of USAID PROFIT, Afrexim Bank and the Lusaka Stock Exchange.  More will be on the GKI website.


[i] UNEP Risoe’s CDM Information and Guidebook

[ii] Taken from GKI’s SADC DNA brochure