In Cambodia, biomass-energy represents 70% of the energy mix and woodfuels (wood, charcoal and sawdust) account for more than 90% of the biomass-energy final demand. Domestic cooking itself generates a demand of 4.7 million tonnes of primary wood per year, which represents three times the energy demand of the transportation sector.
Currently, huge forest areas are converted into agricultural lands, which provides very cheap wood resources to be transformed into charcoal and meet the increasing demand from urban areas. However, this situation is not sustainable on the long-run. When the conversion process will come to an end, charcoal producers will have to turn to the last forest resources, which are just about to be registered as Protected Areas. The increasing scarcity of resources and the illegality of wood collection in Protected Areas will automatically translate into an increase in wood and charcoal prices.
In order to tackle these environmental and socioeconomic challenges, GERES has been supporting for twenty years the Royal Government of Cambodia and the private sector to develop sustainable wood-energy value chains, from production to consumption. This translates into the introduction and transfer of energy efficient technologies such as improved domestic cookstoves, the adoption of sustainable forest management practices by community members, the creation of sustainable fuels production centers, and the structuring of the value chain along with its different actors.
From objectives to actions
The general objective of the project is precisely to create the conditions for the emergence of two local inter-professional associations in Cambodia, engaged in the production and distribution of sustainable energy solutions: improved cookstoves and sustainable biomass fuels.
The first business association, ICoProDAC (Improved Cookstoves Producers and Distributors Association of Cambodia), was established in 2004 to ensure price regulation and dialogue between producers and distributors, along with public institutions. The association is now gathering 350 members (50% of them being women) and ICoProDAC is the first and the largest association of its kind in Cambodia and in the world. The objective of this project is to bring the association to a total autonomy and long-term sustainability, serving its members and ensuring long-term growth of the ICS sector in Cambodia.
Besides, since 2008, GERES has been working on the creation of an alternative biomass fuels supply chain in order to displace at least part of the traditional charcoal which is a direct driver of forest degradation, thanks to alternative solutions for end-users: biomass residues valorization (bamboo, agricultural residues, etc.), improvement of carbonization processes, and promotion of sustainable forest management practices. This project aims at structuring this nascent sector and supporting the emergence of sustainable biomass fuels supply chains by gathering relevant stakeholders around common interests.
The project aims to ensure the continued development of these two local associations and to establish favorable conditions for their expansion.
Project name: SEFED ("Soutenir l’Emergence de Filières pour l’Energie Domestique")
Location: Cambodia, nationwide
Duration: 3 years (2016-2019)
- French Agency for Development (AFD)
- Cambodian Institute for Research and Rural Development (CIRD)