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NAPECA Project

Protecting the Environment and Health in Indigenous Communities in the Huasteca Region by using Ecological Stoves

Organization: Servicio Desarrollo y Paz Huasteca Potosina, A.C.

Country: Mexico
Other Organizations Involved:

  • Coordinadora de Organizaciones Campesinas e Indígenas de la Huasteca Potosina (COCIHP),
  • La Unión de Mujeres Campesinas e Indígenas de Xilitla (UMCX),
  • La Sociedad Cooperativa Agropecuaria La Igualdad (SCAIX),
  • Grupo de Técnicos de la Parcela Escuela Tonantlal,

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Completed Indigenous Communities in the Huasteca Region - Ecological Stoves

Background

There are high rates of respiratory illnesses, primarily pneumonia and bronchitis, in the Huasteca communities. By building ecological stoves, the use of cooking wood can be reduced by 40%, with the resulting decrease in burns and illnesses caused by smoke, and a reduction in the time required for the domestic task of collecting wood that especially affects women and girls.

The project is having a positive impact in relation to the previous neglect of the environment in this area, which is characterized by great biodiversity, and the risks to social well-being generated by damages to ecosystems that have led to the indigenous population’s marginalization. The improved stoves create an appropriate, effective solution to be replicated widely.

Goals

Protect and conserve the environment, and generate sustainable management of natural resources in the Huasteca Region of the Sierra Madre Oriental mountains of Mexico, through the organizing of communty projects. Improve living and health conditions through the implementation of appropriate technologies, strengthening indigenous autonomy and the traditional customs of the Nahua and Tenek communities.

Main activities

  • Conduct 47 workshops to train 723 persons of Nahua and Tenek families in the use of improved ecological stoves that use less wood for cooking and on the importance of environmental protection and forest resource management in the Huasteca Region.
  • Strengthen 11 community and regional organizations by giving leadership and training, learning and and exchanging techniques, and consolidating social acceptance and training in replicating the project, increasing the project’s scale to the regional level.
  • Install 380 ecological stoves, improving health in these indigenous, rural communities, eliminating illnesses caused by inhaling smoke in homes.

Results

  • The stoves built will directly reduce cooking wood use by 1,431 kilos per family per year, or a total of 543,780 kilos, preserving forests and significantly reducing the amount of carbon released into the atmosphere, with a positive impact on global warming.
  • The project will develop responsible management of natural resources, fostering active participation by communities in implementing conservation services, and encouraging direct co-responsibility in protecting nature.