How this project is helping
Where we're making a difference
For the past few decades, climate change has impacted many rural communities in Mexico. Particularly, hurricanes and floods have caused significant damages to many small farming communities. These families are especially vulnerable because their crops represent a source of income and livelihood.
As an added pressure, a significant proportion of these same communities still cook on open stoves with solid fuels, such as firewood.
Relying on firewood as fuel for cooking also puts a tremendous strain on forest and biodiversity. Unsustainable timber harvesting can contribute to mudslides, watershed loss, and desertification, putting new pressures on regional food security and agricultural productivity.
About the evaluators
"Gold Standard for the Global Goals sets the standard for climate and development interventions to quantify, certify and maximise their impact, creating value for people around the world and the planet we share."
The details this project
It is estimated that over 5 million people use firewood in Mexico to cook. As a result, families have to cut more trees, use more firewood, and produce more household air pollution every time they need to cook. This has a huge impact on the environment and their health.
The Utsil Naj programme aims at addressing these challenges in an innovative way. Switching to improved cookstoves (ICS) reduces the use of firewood and lowers carbon emissions, all while expelling the toxic fumes outside the users’ homes. This decreases household air pollution dramatically and contributes to forests and biodiversity preservation.
Utsil Naj means “A Healthy Home for All” in Maya, was established in 2012 and covers Mexico, Guatemala, and Honduras. The particular challenge about having projects in different countries is that each location has its own particular characteristics. For this reason, it was especially important to consider the needs and perceptions of each community, as well as the local context and regulations before setting up any solution.
Utsil Naj – Mexico has generated two carbon credits issuances, corresponding to 622 thousand EUR given to the partners for the sustainability of their projects. The project is currently present in six regions: Sonora, Michoacan, San Luis Potosi, Veracruz, Oaxaca, and the State of Mexico.
Having this approach has helped keep Utsil Naj – Mexico sustainable, generating lasting benefits for almost 10 years. In addition to the environmental impacts generated by the project, Utsil Naj is having a profound social and economic impact on each family, lowering the risk of heart and lung diseases and reducing the amount of time spent in cooking-related chores. Utsil Naj also helps create awareness among local authorities and promote the implementation of community-based projects with adequate monitoring over time. Most initiatives by the government have, so far, failed to ensure the sustainability of the project beyond its first year.
With this solution, rural families in Mexico are enjoying a better quality of life while tackling climate change.
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