Association GERES

Production of improved and sustainable charcoal

Technical sheet

technical sheet


Location: Cambodia
Dates: 2007 – 2015
Technical partners:
  • Cambodian Ministry of Mines and Energy (MME)
  • Forestry Administration (FA)
  • United Nations Development Programme
  • Energy and Environment Partnership Mekong (EEP)
  • Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Nordic Development Fund
  • VITRI - Department of Forest Science - University of Helsinki
  • Arbonaut

Project description

Project description


Providing high quality charcoal at limited environmental cost

  • The demand for wood fuels in Cambodia is huge, and likely to increase in the coming years. Despite production of charcoal lacking control and legal enforcement, this fuel is extensively used both at the household and industrial levels.
  • With a standard quality, long burn time, and official recognition by national authorities as being environmentally friendly, improved charcoal offers consumers an alternative to traditional charcoal. Indeed, the improved charcoal comes at no environmental cost, thanks to a carefully designed combination of sustainable wood harvesting practices, efficient kiln technology, and the involvement of local communities and authorities. Characterized by a higher calorific value and less sparks, this product also represents an improvement for the end-users.

From objectives to actions

  • The Forestry Administration of Cambodia (FA) and the Ministry of Mines and Energy (MME) identify suitable charcoal kiln locations according to strict national regulations, facilitate and supervise kiln construction, and monitor community activities.
  • GERES technicians and community facilitators introduce improved charcoal production facilities and train community members in kiln construction and operation.
  • GERES business experts ensure marketability of the product, design sustainable business models and appropriate marketing strategies.
  • Rural communities build and operate their kilns following GERES technical specifications, and sell their improved charcoal at market price.

From actions to impacts

  • 1000kg of improved charcoal produced per kiln each month saving 40% wood per energy unit
  • 400 community members and local gouvernment officials trained on kiln construction and operation by the end of 2013