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United States Environmental Protection Agency
Indoor Air Quality
Begin Hierarchical Links EPA Home > Air > Indoor Air > Partnership for Clean Indoor Air

Partnership for Clean Indoor Air (PCIA)

The Partnership for Clean Indoor Air was launched at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg to address the increased environmental health risk faced by more than 2 billion people in the developing world who burn traditional biomass fuels indoors for cooking and heating.  According to the World Health Organization, their increased exposure results in an estimated 1.6 million premature deaths each year, largely among women and children.  The mission of the Partnership is to improve health, livelihood, and quality of life by reducing exposure to air pollution, primarily among women and children, from household energy use.

For more information, and to become a partner, please visit www.PCIAonline.org exiting epa

To learn more about the U.S. Government's Sustainable Development Partnerships go to www.sdp.gov exiting epa

EPA Awards Pilot Project Grants to Demonstrate Effective Approaches

In support of the Partnership for Clean Indoor Air, EPA has awarded pilot project grants to eleven non-profit organizations to implement innovative, community-based programs to reduce indoor air pollution from household energy use.  The pilot projects will demonstrate effective approaches for addressing social and cultural barriers to adopting improved cooking and heating practices, developing local markets for improved technology, meeting design and performance guidance for improved technology, and monitoring reduced exposure.  The $1.3 million in funding is being provided by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the EPA.

These two-year grants will increase the use of clean, reliable, affordable, efficient, and safe home cooking and heating practices that reduce people’s exposure to indoor air pollution.  Collectively, they will:

  • Improve health, livelihood, and quality of life by reducing exposure to indoor air pollution in more than 30,000 households (approximately 160,000 people);
  • Improve awareness of the dangers of indoor air pollution and the benefits of improved cooking/heating alternatives to more than approximately 1 million people via advertising and public service campaigns, stove demonstrations at markets and in schools, social marketing campaigns, and working with other NGOs and women’s groups;
  • Result in more than 200 local entrepreneurs starting their own clean cook stove production/distribution business; and a sustainable model for stove dissemination that ensures local empowerment and self-sufficiency;
  • Reduce exposure to indoor air pollution in home adopting new clean technologies by a minimum of 50% - 80%; and
  • Test, improve, and market a number of clean household energy technologies, including:  improved biomass stoves, retained heat cookers, biogas digester systems, solar cookers, and methanol stoves.

These grants were competitively selected by an international panel of experts from the World Health Organization, Shell Foundation, Italian Ministry of Environment and Forests, EPA and USAID from over 90 concept proposals and 30 full proposals.  Three of these projects are in Latin America – Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras; four are in Africa – Nigeria, Mauritania, South Africa and Uganda; and two each will be implemented in India and China.

EPA will assess the need to solicit proposals to fill any potential geographical, technological, or strategic gaps in 2005.  More information on each of the pilot projects is presented below.

Trees, Water & People will promote the Rocket Stove, Super Rocket, and EcoStove wood burning stoves in an urban area of Honduras.  In the previous five years, TWP has installed 7,500 improved stoves in Central America which reduced emissions by more than 50%, burned 67% less wood, and saved families $5/week.  Goals of the PCIA pilot project include:  1) improve awareness of the dangers of indoor air pollution and cooking alternatives among a minimum of 480 women participating in stove demonstrations, 720 families who purchase the stoves, and 200,000 individuals via advertising and public service campaigns; 2) disseminate widely accepted and field tested cook stove technology to at least 720 families (with the potential to reach as many as 2,000 families) by providing intensive stove training and technical assistance to at least 30 local entrepreneurs interested in starting their own clean cook stove production/distribution businesses; 3) ensure high standards of fuel-efficiency (20% economic savings), social acceptance, low-emissions (50 - 90% less exposure), affordability, and safety (decreased risk of burns and injury); and 4) reduce exposure to IAP by a minimum of 50% - 90% for 720 customers.

HELPS, International will promote the retained heat cooker (“hay box”) in rural areas of Guatemala.  With support from the Shell Foundation, HELPS has established a stove factory in Guatemala, producing and distributing 2,800 improved cook stoves.  They anticipate an additional 15% saving in firewood in homes already using improved cook stove with 70% reduction in firewood use.  Goals of the PCIA pilot project include:  1) maximize education and training efforts by training other NGOs who will then promote retained heat cookers (RHC) in local communities using women promoters; 2) design a low RHC that uses local and applicable materials and can be mass-produced; 3) establish a distribution method working through established NGOs to distribute 1500 RHC units; and 4) monitor exposure to indoor air pollution.

Venture Strategies, in collaboration with Center for Entrepreneurship in International Health and Development, will promote local technology and the Rocket Stove in urban areas of Uganda.  Goals of the PCIA pilot project include:  1) build awareness about benefits of improved stoves in 5,000 households and explore ways community women can become more involved in disseminating improved household energy technologies; 2) start successful wood stove production in a low-income urban neighborhood and sell at least 1,000 rocket stoves during the pilot selling period of 15 months; 3) bring a high-quality product to market that offers urban families the opportunity to burn wood easily and efficiently (e.g., with wood savings of 50% or greater); and 4) measure the effect on indoor air pollution of the common cooking methods and devices in use in Makindye, with special focus on the effect of indoor air pollution of using a chimney-less rocket stove (anticipated reduction of harmful emissions by more than 40%).

Development Alternatives will promote improved wood burning stoves (and other technologies) in rural areas of Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, India.  Goals of the PCIA pilot project include:  1) involve multi-disciplinary stakeholders in implementing a social marketing campaign to raise awareness of 50,000 households of the health benefits of clean indoor air and the advantages of improved cooking solutions; 2) 15,000 households, 30% of the target population, will adopt clean energy solutions; 3) provide easy access of retail credit to approximately 3,000 families, using Self-Help Group savings, and other credit to approximately 20 micro-enterprises using institutional schemes; 4) 60 micro-enterprises engaged in decentralized production and delivery of improved technologies, and linkages between 2-3 industrial manufacturers of commercialized technology options and about 15 local distributors; and 5) significant improvement in environmental conditions and positive impact on health and quality of life.

Appropriate Rural Technology Institute (ARTI) will introduce and promote biogas technology in rural areas of Maharashtra, India.  Goals of the PCIA pilot project include:  1) field-test ARTI’s compact biogas system in 200 rural and semi-urban households using locally available feedstock material; 2) standardize its design and mode of operation in order to facilitate commercial production; 3) standardize feedstock production protocols for different regions of Maharashtra; 4) quantify improvement in IAQ and health due to replacement of existing fuel-stove combinations by the compact biogas system; 5) conduct statewide awareness generation campaigns for cleaner indoor air, through use of the new biogas system; and 6) create at least 10 entrepreneurs (manufacturers, sales, and service providers) serving at least 2,000 households, and 10 self-help groups marketing the biogas plant and feedstock.

Institute for Environmental Health & Related Product Safety of the Center for Disease Control will promote improved coal and biomass technology in rural Guizhou and Gansu Provinces of China.  Goals of the PCIA pilot project include:  1) increase awareness and knowledge of IAP and health effects in 80% of households in target population, and up to 3,000 households (50%) adopt new practices; 2) reduce IAP emission by 80% for new stove/heating device compared with traditional practice; 3) initiate the chains of production of stove/parts, construction/maintenance, and distribution; 4) provide standardized blueprint, technical parameters and user manual of improved stove/heating sets; and 5) determine health improvements.

The Nature Conservancy China Program will promote solar water heaters, biogas units, and biomass stoves in northwest Yunnan Province, China.  The Nature Conservancy is engaged in protecting sensitive ecological areas throughout the world – many threatened by consumption of forests for cooking and heating.  TNC will use alternative energy to meet the rural communities’ energy needs to achieve dual biodiversity and health benefits through the reduction of fuel wood consumption.  They will develop and deliver alternative energy units to 5,000 households (representing 25,000 people), and raise the awareness of the increased environmental health risks from indoor air pollution resulting from burning biomass in 20,000 households (representing 100,000 people).  Additionally, 20 schools will use alternative energy for cooking and heating – these demonstration projects will reach approximately 4,000 teachers, staff and students in the target area.

Solar Household Energy, Inc. (SHE) will promote solar cooking in rural Mexico.  SHE will manufacture and sell 2,000 “HotPot” solar panel ovens.  They will raise awareness of targeted communities of solar cooking techniques and train small-scale local distributors to market the ovens.

Centre for Household Energy and Environment (CEHEEN) will introduce methanol stove-fuel cooking system in Nigeria.  CEHEEN will raise awareness of 63,000 households of methanol stove-fuel cooking system and improved IAQ, with an initial 300 families adopting the methanol stove-fuel cooking system.  They will develop a new market for 63,000 methanol stove-fuel systems, including development of micro-finance options.  Improve indoor air quality (CO and PM) by 80% in pilot houses.

Information on the pilot projects in Mauritania and South Africa will be available in November 2004.

Guatemala -- HELPS International
Honduras -- Trees, Water & People
Mexico -- Solar Household Energy
China -- The Nature Conservancy
China -- Institute for Environmental Health and Related Product Safety
India -- Development Alternatives
India -- Alternative Rural Technology Institute
Nigeria -- Centre for Household Energy and Environment
Uganda -- Venture Strategies

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