An innovative strategy of ecosystem conservation and climate change mitigation
Protection and conservation of a 10 hectares forest through sustainable eco-charcoal briquettes production and indigenous tree planting
Eco-charcoal Limited, formerly known as Kasigau Tree Farm project, is the story of a common passion for a magnificent environment made up of dryland forest , mostly called bushland located between both Tsavo national parks, at the foothills of Mount Kasigau, in a region identified as a hotspot for biodiversity. This region is particularly under threat from human activity: slash and burn agriculture, unsustainable charcoal production as alternative solution for subsistence local farmers.
Charcoal is a key bioenergy resource and source of energy in Kenya. It forms a major source of household energy that is cheap and affordable both to urban and rural people, providing 82% and 34% of household energy respectively (SEI-UNDP, 2016). With the strong projected population growth and urbanization, the relative use of charcoal as well as the absolute tonnage consumed will grow dramatically. This massive demand for charcoal will lead to severe impacts such as large-scale deforestation, pollution and subsequent health problems, especially for women.
Kenya also loses 5.6 millions trees per day and the forest cover is about 6% (Capital News, 2015)
Kenya has pledged to reduce carbon emissions by 30% by 2030 (The Guardian, 2015).
Eco-charcoal Limited is addressing the energy gap by sustainably producing eco-charcoal briquettes and planting trees in 10 hectares family-owned forest in order to fight poverty, reduce deforestation, land degradation and mitigate climate change.
Rather than cutting down a whole tree, our methodology means trees and shrubs are only pruned to obtain wood stock through clipping. This ensures quick regeneration and the possibility to re-harvest the following year. Our process is fully integrated from the production of renewable raw material in our forest to the final product, the briquette.
By using our eco charcoal briquettes which produce less smoke as compared to bush charcoal or firewood, we help mitigate climate change through reduced greenhouse gas emission that result into global warming.
social and economic: job creation within Kasigau rural community and planning to progressively increase direct and indirect employment, especially for women in Kasigau and offer training to local farmers in the region. Using our eco charcoal briquettes means significantly reducing indoor pollution and time-consuming for women and children instead of collecting the firewood.
environmental: unique, sustainable and innovative procedure to protect our forest and extensively planting indigenous trees. Our methodology ensures quick regeneration of the pruned trees. Protection of the wildlife habitat.
health: our eco-charcoal briquettes produce less smoke than fire wood and bush charcoal, thereby reducing carbon emissions and are not toxic for Humans and for the environment.
note: The World Health Organization estimates that nearly 4 million people worldwide die prematurely each year from illness attributable to household air pollution, including common respiratory diseases like pneumonia.
Crowd Power programme:
Energy 4 Impact and DFID/UK are currently supporting our our 2 months crowdfunding campaign of $ 30,000 in collaboration with M-Changa, via a match-funding contribution amounting to a total of $ 15,000.
Our market segmentation has been identified and tested. The forest raw material supplying is secured. The manufacturing process has been tested and improved. The local workers have been trained. Our experimental Kasigau Tree Farm project has just become a registered limited company under the name of Eco-charcoal Limited.
Our business development will be focused on the distribution and commercial strategy + job opportunities for women + sensitization on climate change workshops for women groups in Kasigau and the region.
We want to progressively scale-up our production capacity from 500 kilos/month up to 15 tons/month in 2020 and create a tree farm business model practice in Kenya and East Africa thanks to our local workers and you.
January 2011 – March 2012: initiative launched and supported by Wildlife Works
Since March 2012: project financed only by the Co-founder
Since 2013: IRD East Africa is our key support
July 2013: joined Bond’innov, French incubator for North South innovative projects (IRD)
January 2015: joined Kenya Climate Innovation Center
June 2016: joined Energy 4 Impact
August 2016: company registration Eco-charcoalLimited
6th October 2016: launch of our crowdfunding campaign