Promoting sustainable local development of rural communities and mitigating climate change: the case of Mexico’s Patsari improved cookstove project
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- Berrueta, V.M., Serrano-Medrano, M., García-Bustamante, C. et al. Climatic Change (2017) 140: 63. doi:10.1007/s10584-015-1523-y
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Improved cookstoves have been identified in Mexico as a key opportunity to advance sustainable local development priorities in disadvantaged regions while mitigating climate change. This paper reviews the Patsari Cookstove Project initiated in 2003 by an NGO, Interdisciplinary Group on Appropriate Rural Technology (GIRA). The project applied an interdisciplinary and participative user-centered approach to disseminate improved cookstoves in rural Mexico, with a special focus on indigenous and poor rural communities. To date, GIRA and the Patsari Network have disseminated thousands of stoves using a “training to trainers” model. Benefits from the project include tangible improvements in users’ health, as well as savings in time and money expended on fuelwood procurement and use. The project has also documented substantive environmental benefits from significant mitigation of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with traditional open fires. To sustain scaling up efforts over the long-term, two networks have been created: The Patsari Network, which includes several organizations promoting Patsari stoves for household users, and the Tsiri Network, which supports local food security and the empowerment of indigenous women through the promotion of institutional cookstoves. Through appropriately designed and implemented local interventions, the project demonstrates that the goals of advancing sustainable local development in rural areas and climate change mitigation may not be contradictory, and may in fact reinforce one another.