Regan Suzuki from the Center for People and Forests (RECOFTC) thinks focusing on something as small as a stove could make big changes for women in forests. If women were more deliberately considered in REDD+ and development projects, the significant potential of fuel-efficient stoves for improving their lives and reducing deforestation would make it a high priority.
When considering underlying drivers of deforestation, there is an important — and gendered — factor that gets far less attention than it should. Biomass plays an enormously important role in the lives of the rural poor in developing countries, serving as the primary source of energy for cooking and household heating. The collection of fuel wood is done primarily by women and children, with men’s involvement growing only when these activities are commercialized.
As forests reduce or become degraded, women and children need to spend increasing amounts of time collecting firewood, leaving little time for other activities such as study for girls. More