Sustainable Rural Life: 2012
Initiated in 2003, the efforts of the Mexican Fund for the Conservation of Nature (FMCN) to address the problems associated with rural poverty culminated in the introduction of an innovative solar oven called the “Hot Pot”. Since then, the Hot Pot has provided rural communities with a clean and renewable device that produces zero emissions as an alternative to burning firewood. FMCN has distributed approximately 20,000 hot pots in 16 states of the Mexican Republic and as a result made significant strides to alleviate the economic, health and environmental consequences that face the 14 million people living in rural communities and burning firewood to cook and heat their homes.
Sustainable Rural Life
Nine years later, this project has evolved into a multi-faceted approach, known as Sustainable Rural Life, which seeks to implement a replicable 3-phase model that facilitates the introduction of eco-technologies to ultimately build communities that lead healthy and environmentally sustainable lifestyles. Among the most popular eco-technologies offered is the Hot Pot, a solar-powered oven that serves as an effective complement to the Clean-Cookstove. As the flagship eco-technology, Clean-Cook stoves have been integrated successfully into communities of all kinds varying based on the local culture and the location and environment of the participating community. As these efforts continue in 2012, FMCN has enlisted the help of several key partners that have invested heavily in Sustainable Rural Life in different capacities.
In September 2011, FMCN partnered with The Canadian Fund and U’yo’olche A.C.to expand the first phase of the Sustainable Rural Life project in 3 Mayan communities in the state of Quintana Roo and install Hot Pots for 100 families. As a result of these Hot Pots and Clean-Cook Stoves, 5,000 individuals reduced emissions by 7,000 tons of CO² in this region. Additionally, in 2012, FMCN has worked directly with Environment Canada to launch projects with the following NGOs: Niparajá in Baja California, Profauna in Coahuila, U’yoo’olche in Quintana Roo, and the cooperative of Mujeres Rurales de la Frontera Sur inTabasco. FMCN received approximately 1.6 million pesos in funding from this project in March.
In seeking to enlist corporate partnerships, FMCN is collaborating with Continental Messaging Services (SCM) to develop their corporate responsibility efforts from a donation-based approach to a holistic plan to distribute and train employees in the usage of eco-technologies. So far, employees have benefitted from the various eco-technologies offered; technologies like Hot Pots, clean cookstoves and solar water heaters among others. In 2012, SCM has furthered its dedication to this project by committing approximately 1.2 million pesos to the development of Sustainable Rural Life.
The Mexican Fund for the Conservation of Nature has been striving consistently to improve and increase the presence of the Sustainable Rural Life program and in 2012, through partnerships with these organizations and others, FMCN hopes to develop a micro-finance system for community members and continue the project’s objective to increase household incomes, conserve the environment and improve the health of families that live in Mexican rural communities.
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 La Jornada: http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2011/09/22/sociedad/040n1soc