Perene Institute is a Brazilian non-governmental organization, founded in 2006 and headquartered in Salvador, Bahia state, Brazil. Our mission is to develop environmental conservation mechanisms that generate social and economic benefits for our local rural communities.
Perene began working with efficient stoves in 2006 as a way to reduce forest degradation of the Atlantic Rainforest, one of the world's biodiversity hotspots, and at the same time address one of the biggest issues for rural households in the region: the predominance of rudimentary, inefficient stoves.
Together, Instituto Perene and Aprovecho Research Center developed an efficient stove model that is well-adapted to the needs of the local cooks, and appropriate in terms of available materials and masonry skills. This model is now being disseminated in 1000 homes through a carbon-financed project funded by a private Brazilian company.
Instituto Perene's largest initiative underway is the Reconcavo Efficient Stoves project located in Bahia, Brazil. We are building 1000 stoves in low-income, rural homes in approximately 20 communities. The project is funded by the Brazilian company Natura through its Carbon Neutral program, through which Natura voluntarily offsets the annual emissions generated by production and distribution of its products. Perene's project was one of five projects selected throughout Brazil by Natura and the first carbon-financed stove project in Brazil. The project is being developed in accordance with the Gold Standard. Perene will deliver 18,800 tons of VERs by 2018 from this project. Local masons were hired and trained, and local women (those who received the first stoves) act as community agents, helping in disseminating the project, engaging new families and showing cooks how to best use and maintain their new stove.
Perene is seeking funding for expanding its stove program in the region, including a 5000-stove proposal currently under review.
TARGET POPULATION - Throughout rural communities of Northeastern Brazil, wood is still the predominant cooking fuel used in poor households, burned in rudimentary stoves. As a result, women and children suffer from daily exposure to smoke and frequent burns; blackened walls, ceilings and pots are seen in every home; collecting fuelwood is a time-consuming activity. An estimated 50,000 families in Instituto Perene's geographic target - the Recôncavo region of Bahia - use these inefficient stoves, often no more than a precarious assembly of a few stones or bricks. The counties in which we work have an average Human Development Index of 0.668, which reflects the overall poverty and lack of infrastructure in the area.
Our Experience And Interest In The Four PCIA Central Focus Areas
Since the current stove technology is so inefficient and the results of its use are so negative, there have been little social or cultural barriers to overcome with regards to the technology - on the contrary, there is widespread acceptance and enthusiasm for the new stove model. The barrier that we DID encounter was a general skepticism about rural development programs because in the past, people or entities (usually political ones) had made promises that were not upheld. To overcome this, we have a very practical approach to community engagement. First we install a stove in the home of a local resident who is eager to participate and is well-known and respected by her community. After several weeks of the stove operating to satisfaction, by which time the news has spread and curiosity is high, we hold a local meeting and invite everyone to see the stove, ask questions and hear what their neighbor has to say about the stove. Those interested sign up to participate in the project, and within the next month we start construction. In this way, we have been successful in building trust with the local communities.
The financing mechanism that we have applied is the sale of credits through the voluntary carbon market to finance stove installation.
The stove model that we are disseminating was developed in cooperation with the Aprovecho Research Center. An important part of the design process was taking into consideration how to help ensure that the different stove components and the construction process were standardized. Training was a fundamental part of achieving consistent good quality, as is the identification of reliable suppliers.
Perene is monitoring health-related issues by applying a Kitchen Survey, based on the the KPT by Bailis, Smith and Edwards, to 10% of the total stove-user population, according to the authors' recommendations.
However, we do not have funding for quantitatively monitoring indoor air pollution and health impacts of the technology switch. We look forward to exploring opportunities with PCIA members to study these issues in more depth.
Relevant Publications or Studies
Our Contribution to the Partnership
At Perene Institute we look forward to partnering with other members to explore funding opportunties and sharing experience on technical issues.