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Kunal Bharat

Nov 7, 2017
02:35

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Dear Judges,

Following is a summary of changes made based on comments received during the semi-final stage:

  • Apart from supporting the development of the AFDSS tool, this project would also serve as a pilot to demonstrate readiness for a “Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions” (NAMA) concept for large scale implementation in Assam. This broader NAMA context within which this proposal resides has been elaborated in the "Who will take these actions?" section and other parts of the proposal.
  • Since the submission of this proposal, the team has been able to raise financial support from GIZ India to pilot the deployment of clean technology using the AFDSS. This would serve as a pilot demonstration of India’s Forestry NAMA in Assam under the BMUB IKI Project ‘Development and Management of NAMA in India’. Hence, the project cost related to clean technology deployment for 500 households has been leveraged through this support. This development now reflects in the proposal.
  • GHG emissions reduction calculations have been added. In the pilot demonstration using the AFDSS, 500 households would be provided with wood-saving cooking devices. This would result in annual CO2 emission reduction of 1098.9 tCO2/year

Thank you!


Caroline Liu

Nov 25, 2017
09:10

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Thank you for submitting your contest proposal.

A Climate CoLab Impact Assessment Fellow who specializes in Land Use has conducted an impact assessment of your proposal which you can find under the “IMPACT” tab. Please review the documentation and model parameters. If you have any questions or suggestions, you can contact Marissa Malahayati at marissam.


Regards,
Impact Assessment Fellows


Kunal Bharat

Dec 24, 2017
02:52

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Thank you for conducting the impact assessment of our proposal. We will contact Marissa Malahayati with our follow-up questions.

The emission reduction estimates provided in the proposal are for the pilot study under which we would provide clean cooking technologies to 500 households in 5 tea estates and 5 forest villages across Sonitpur and Nagaon districts in Assam. Since this project serves as a pilot to demonstrate readiness for a “Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions” (NAMA) concept, its successful implementation would result in large scale implementation across Assam. The pilot is in close partnership with the Government of Assam (Dept. of Environment & Forest), Assam Energy Development Agency (AEDA) and Assam Branch Indian Tea Association (ABITA). Post the pilot the government will seek to replicate the process of analysis and deployment state-wide. Thus, the emission reduction potential would stretch far beyond the estimates currently provided for 500 households.


Aditya Roy

Jan 6, 2018
09:51

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What kind of clean technology options have you shortlisted for Assam? How are you ensuring that these technologies get adopted by the communities in the long term?


Kunal Bharat

Jan 7, 2018
04:43

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Dear Mr Roy,

We're following a bottom-up approach as far as shortlisting the clean cooking technologies are concerned. The end-users will decide which clean cooking technology suits them best and large-scale dissemination will take their preference into account. We are facilitating this process by exposing tea estate workers and forest fringe village community members to the different smokeless and highly efficient cookstove options available. 

AEDA (Assam Energy Development Agency) is partnering with us on deployment of their smokeless and fuel efficient fixed chulhas (cookstoves) through awareness generation events and pilot installations. We've already organised quite a few cookstove demonstrations at the 5 pilot tea estates and 5 forest villages. We've also got on board private sector improved cookstove (ICS) manufacturers, such as Greenway and Envirofit, to give demonstrations of their products at labour lines in tea estate and in forest villages. We are also looking into the feasibility of biogas plants. Apart from demonstration events, some of these improved cookstoves have been installed at a few locations as trails in the case of permanent/fixed ICS. For the potable cookstoves, such as the Envirofit and Greenway ICSs, some sample products are being rotated among the community members for a trail period. 

Feedback for each technology from these demonstrations and trails is being recorded through a simple acceptance test. These results will be added as an input into to the AFDSS to model user preference for each technology. 

I hope that answers your question. Attaching a few images from our recent demonstrations in Assam.

Best,

Kunal

 

 


Purvika Sharma

Jan 13, 2018
01:34

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Dear Kunal and team,

In India, tons of money has been pumped into improved cookstove distribution programs but they have very little success to show for the kind of money invested. Not giving adequate attention to key factors such as user preferences is one of the major reasons for the failure of these programs. 


I'm really glad to see how this proposal takes a very holistic systems approach to the problem taking into account user preferences along with GHG emissions, ecological and technology factors. 


Keep up the good work and all the best!


Mihika Harnal

Jan 13, 2018
01:06

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Very well thought out proposal. Both demand and supply side interventions are the key to check deforestation not just in Assam but other Indian states as well.


Martyna Flis

Jan 13, 2018
01:33

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Could you give some more insight on how fuelwood supply is managed within tea estates?


Sriya Mohanti

Jan 14, 2018
04:32

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Dear Ms. Sharma, 

 

Thank you so much for your support! We completely agree with you. In fact, this was a key learning for us when we started working on the issue and interacting with communities to understand their cooking needs and practices. In the last few decades, there have been several initiatives which have attempted to promote clean cooking technologies. While these were successful in meeting their targets for technology distribution, but most of them have been unable to ensure long term technology adoption by the beneficiaries. Hence we decided to adopt a bottom up approach to identify the clean cooking technologies based on the user needs and practices. While this process is intensive but it ensures long term adoption of the technologies being promoted. 

 

Best,

Sriya


Sriya Mohanti

Jan 14, 2018
04:13

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Dear Ms. Harnal, 

 

Thank you for your support. As you have aptly pointed out, unsustainable fuelwood extraction from forests is recognized as a key driver for deforestation and forest degradation in India. To address this issue, a holistic approach covering both supply and demand side interventions is required. The Assam Fuelwood Decision Support System (AFDSS) aims to achieve this through adopting a system dynamics approach. Implementing the interventions recommended by the AFDSS will allow reduction in fuelwood consumption (through adoption of alternative clean technologies) and the remaining fuelwood demand will be met through sustainable supply from dedicated fuelwood plantations. While the AFDSS has been designed based on our intensive field work in Assam but it can be replicated across the country and even internationally given that unsustainable fuelwood consumption is a universal problem. 

 

Best,

Sriya


Kunal Bharat

Jan 14, 2018
05:58

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Dear Ms Flis,

Regarding your question on fuelwood supply management within tea estates. The fuelwood supply arrangements dates back to an agreement from 1979 between the tea labour union and various tea associations. Under this agreement every permanent tea estate worker is entitled to receive 228 cft of fuelwood each year. How each tea estate manages this fuelwood supply is very subjective but common sources are uprooted tea bushes, lopped shade trees, energy plantations or buying from outside.

Uprooting old tea plantation sections is an annual exercise to keep the average age of tea plantations around 25 years. Area uprooted each year depends on several factors such as total area and resource available but generally taking 2% of the total area is normal. When a section is uprooted, the shade trees are cut as well. This entire exercise of uprooting supplies a huge amount of fuelwood in the form of dried uprooted tea bush and chopped shade trees. In an ideal scenario this fuelwood supply matches the total fuelwood requirements of all the permanent workers residing within the tea estate. 

The situation however is quite different in most tea estates. The 228 cft of fuelwood supplied annually is insufficient for most tea estate permanent worker households. There are also a significant number of temporary worker households residing within and around the tea estates with an equally high fuelwood demand. This huge gap between the demand and supply of fuelwood is met through illicit fuelwood extraction from trees within the estate or nearby forests. Hence, a holistic approach covering both supply and demand side interventions is the need to the hour.

Best,

Kunal

P.S. Attaching a few images from our reconnaissance survey to the tea estates in December, 2017. The first 3 photographs show fuelwood being supplied to permanent tea estate worker households from uprooted sections. You can see shade trees as well as tea bushes. The last photograph with the two baskets and the axe (the owner of the axe promptly hid behind the bushed when he saw us approach) shows illicit fuelwood extraction.

 


Shailaja Mani

Jan 15, 2018
02:18

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How does this project help common people, especially women? You have mentioned health etc. But I am keen to know more about how you envisage empowerment of people? From the proposal, it seemed like you are also promoting democratization of decision making, but I was not very clear about that

 


Shailaja Mani

Jan 15, 2018
02:47

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Also, what are the innovative aspects you think are noteworthy?


Kunal Bharat

Jan 15, 2018
06:52

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Dear Ms. Mani,

Rural communities of Nagaon and Sonitpur districts, owing to their economic status, depend on the most primitive of cooking technologies, the polluting chulha that fills their homes and kitchens with toxic smoke, leading to throat ailments, lung ailments and eye diseases. 77% of the 9.5 lakh households in these districts continue to use the age-old traditional and inefficient cook stoves (Chulhas) in their kitchens. These Chulhas consume astoundingly high amounts of fuelwood and release extremely unhealthy amount of smoke, much of which is trapped in their houses leading to severe repercussions on their health, particularly women and children. Instances of respiratory diseases (including tuberculosis), eye and throat ailments are common. Instances of lung cancer have been reported as well. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India has confirmed that indoor air pollution levels in this region are 11 times higher than the acceptable limits recommended by World Health Organisation. It has also confirmed that this is majorly due to emission of toxic gases and smoke from inefficient cooking with fuelwood. Over the past year, we have conducted primary surveys and visited several of these households to confirm this phenomenon ourselves before we started working on the solution.

To add to the problem, the collection of fuelwood itself is a major chore, consuming an average of 137 productive days of labour per household in a year, which could have been spent in many other productive activities to support their family, community and even nation building! Also important to note that the fuelwood is mostly collected from the surrounding moist deciduous forests prevalent in these districts.The smoke free and fuel efficient clean cooking solutions being promoted through this pilot are aimed at empowering women by freeing them from the daily drudgery of collection fuelwood and at the same time reducing indoor air pollution. 

And yes, you're correct when you point out that this proposal also promotes democratization of decision making. The AFDSS is being developed as a  planning tool which can analyse, assess and prioritize the plausible interventions at a sub-regional level. The user interface of this model would be hosted on the cloud allowing anyone with access to the internet to use it. This could be a tea estate manger, divisional forest officer (DFO), district collector, regional NGOs or even panchayats.

The bottom-up approach for shortlisting the clean cooking technologies following a consultative process where the end-users decides which clean cooking technology suits them best is a noteworthy aspect of this proposal. Another innovative aspect would be the fact that the AFDSS works with both demand and supply side interventions.

I hope I've been able to answer your questions and would to love to hear any other feedback or comments from you.

Best,

Kunal


Praveen Dewangan

Jan 15, 2018
11:24

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Sustainability is all we need these days in every sector. I really appreciate this initiative to keep the treasure alive of our north east. 


Geetanjali Manjrekar

Jan 15, 2018
11:36

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Very good initiative. Good to see thoughtful actions...I have seen many projects that are more often than not old wine in a new bottle, but in this case I feel a lot of thought has been given to finding the real issues, and finding meaningful solutions to them.

All the best. 


Swapan Mehra

Jan 16, 2018
03:00

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My deepest gratitude to everyone who has contributed to our unprecedented vote count! Also to the friends still pouring in their support for the proposal even after voting has closed.

The last couple of weeks have been a great experience. This has been a tremendous opportunity for of us to talk to our friends, colleagues and family about the change we’re trying to create and have recieved immense support, inspiration and suggestions. Times like these plant the seeds of thought which spiral into sustainability movements in their own right.  

Regards,

The IORA team


Diksha Srivastava

Jan 16, 2018
05:48

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a helpful project and its appreciable, great work 


Swapan Mehra

Jan 17, 2018
01:41

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Thank you. Also want to acknowledge the GIZ India team, for not only partnering for this project on ground but for stewarding the cause of this proposal and reaching out to national and global stakeholders to spread the idea and garner such an overwhelming support for it. We will continue to work together to take our project forward. Special thanks to Kundal Barnwal and Ashish Chaturvedi!


Olawale Olaniyan

Jan 30, 2018
12:32

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The IORA team,
Congrats to you and your team on this achievement!


Avneesh Panwar

Oct 8, 2018
06:39

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nice post

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