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MCHF Overview of work on sustainable and fuel-efficient cooking

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Issues brief

Modern Cooking for Healthy Forests (MCHF) promotes sustainable forest management and energy options to maintain forest cover and to reduce land-based emissions in Malawi. MCHF is a five-year activity funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the United Kingdom Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO).

Tetra Tech implements MCHF in partnership with five subcontractors: Winrock International (WI), the Centre for Environmental Policy and Advocacy (CEPA), the Lilongwe Wildlife Trust (LWT), World Resources Institute (WRI), and mHub. MCHF’s objectives include:

1. Promoting adoption of alternative energy sources and efficient cooking technologies to reduce unsustainable wood fuel cooking demand, and most importantly urban demand for illegal and unsustainable charcoal.

2. Improving local delivery of forestry services, and promoting forest-friendly enterprises, including sustainable charcoal and other biomass energies.

3. Strengthening regulation and enforcement to support sustainable wood fuel production and use.

4. Increasing the Government of Malawi’s implementation capacity of low emissions development in REDD+, Forest Landscape Restoration and/or other land use; and

5. Leveraging interventions with partners, including USAID, FCDO, other development partners, Government of Malawi, and the private sector.

Approaches to promoting alternative energy sources and efficient cooking technologies

MCHF’s Objective 1 takes a market systems approach to scale up demand and supply for alternative cooking energies and fuel-efficient cooking technologies, in order to catalyse widespread adoption.

Together, these efforts are designed to directly support key national government policies and strategies to reduce unsustainable wood fuel demand, increase wood fuel supply and to improve the enabling environment for adopting more sustainable fuels.

Objective 1 work focuses especially on reducing urban household demand for illegal and unsustainable charcoal. To achieve this objective, MCHF prioritises three main strategies:
•Increase adoption of improved charcoal cookstoves by urban households as the most immediate way to address forest cover loss in Malawi;
•Increase production and market penetration of sustainable charcoal and alternative sources of biomass energy; and
•Increase adoption of liquified petroleum gas (LPG) as the best available and most promising alternative to charcoal in the medium term.

Take a deeper dive into the work undertaken by the MCHF consortium in the factsheet: download it, below.