Calendar » Pilot Introduction of Clean Cooking Systems and Biochar in Burundi

Pilot Introduction of Clean Cooking Systems and Biochar in Burundi

February 19, 2019 | 7:00 AM | Room I 6-056

Burundi has come to the limit of the resource-population balance that would allow a sustainable expansion of its economy, according to the County Environmental Analysis report. Burundi is deforested and suffering from intensive land use and subsequent degradation, partly contributed to by the heavy reliance on biomass for fuel. Biomass fuel dependence is not only a contributor to deforestation is specific hotspots, but is also associated with household air pollution, a leading risk factor for ill health in most developing countries. Improved access to energy efficient technologies for cooking and soil restoration have been recognized as major opportunities for promoting economic and social development.

With funding from ESMAP, Starter, a consulting company in Italy initiated a pilot project in Burundi in 2017 with the goal of simultaneously addressing the energy and environment concerns. The project introduced ELSA improved clean cook stove to rural farming communities in Bujumbura Rural province of Burundi. The ELSA stove improves combustion efficiency by pyrolytic gasification and produces biochar as a byproduct. The stove can utilize different types of feedstock and was tested with palm oil kernels.

The preliminary results show great interest from families using the ELSA stove and biochar and confirm that the ELSA biochar system has cross-sectoral positive impacts.  The biochar application is expected to lead to an improvement in soil fertility and crop yield and enhance food security.

Achievements of the pilot biochar system introduction will be discussed, including the identified opportunities for integrating renewable energy management through agricultural biomass recycling via the clean-burning system that reduces wood use, improves indoor air quality and enhances soil fertility and crop productivity.                  



Mr. Iain G. Shuker, Practice Manager, Environment and Natural Resources Global Practice, The World Bank


Paola Agostini, Lead Natural Resources Management Specialist, The World Bank

Lucia Brusegan, Chief Executive Officer, STARTER

David Bluhm. STARTER

Laura Bano, STARTER


Ms. Karen Bazex, Senior Energy Specialist, Africa Energy & Extractives Global Practice, The World Bank

Ms. Yabei Zhang, Sr. Energy Specialist, ESMAP, Energy & Extractives Global Practice, The World Bank

Speakers’ Bios  

 Ms. Paola Agostini is a Lead Natural Resources Economist at the World Bank. Her focus is on the interface between agriculture and natural resources management, with a strong focus on landscape restoration and on collaborating with the private sector. As Global Lead for Forests, Landscapes and Ecosystems at the World Bank, Paola Agostini has been the focal point for many of the landscape partnership (GLF, TFA2020 GPFLR, UNCCD), covering projects such as the Sahel and West Africa Program in support of the Great Green Wall or the Liberia Forest Program or the Burundi Landscape Restoration Program. Doctor Agostini is now focusing on programs to restore the degraded lands of Central Asia, including the Aral Sea. Paola Agostini holds a PhD in Economics from the University of California San Diego, and a Master of Art in Economic and Social Sciences from University Bocconi, Milan, Italy.             

Ms. Lucia Brusegan is CEO at Starter, an Italian consulting company dealing with sustainable agriculture, environment and energy solutions. Lucia has worked extensively in the strategic design, development and implementation of programs aimed at a balanced and sustainable growth of communities and at territorial development both in Africa and Europe. Her fields of expertise include capacity building and knowledge transfer of good practices and solutions through active involvement of relevant stakeholders and end users. She has been working on biochar systems introduction in African countries since 2008,  and chairs the Steering Committee of the Africa Biochar Partnership, the African continental platform for advancing biochar systems in Africa (ABP). Lucia holds an MA degree in history from the University of Padua (Italy).

Ms. Laura Bano has over 20 years’ experience in the energy sector in consulting, project development and finance with particular emphasis on regulation, support mechanisms and development of renewable energy sources. In the recent years she has been working on technology transfer and consulting for the development and project management of small/medium scale renewable energy facilities.

 Before this Laura was employed as a Manager in the Power and Utilities Group of Barclays Capital in London, in Edison Mission Energy’s Business Development Group in their European office in London and as an Economist with Italian energy consulting firm RIE.

 Laura has a Master’s degree in Economics from Bologna University and a Ph.D in “Energetics” from the University of Padova.

Mr. David Bluhm has over 30 years of international experience in agricultural and natural resource management projects in South East Asia and Africa with CARE, GTZ, SIDA, SDA, and has been working with Starter in implementation of research trials assessing biochar and phosphorous effects on common bean in farmers’ fields in Burundi. David has an MS degree in Forest Sciences and Biogeochemistry from Colorado State University and a BS degree in Natural Resources from Cornell University. David is currently doing a PhD on Soils and Crop Sciences at Cornell University, USA.



Meeting number: 738 916 667|  Meeting password:  upysFre2

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For more information about this event, please contact Caroline Ochieng:  


ABOUT US         

The Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP) is a global knowledge and technical assistance partnership administered by the World Bank and funded by Australia, Austria, Canada, Denmark, the European Commission, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Japan, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, the Rockefeller Foundation, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom, as well as the World Bank. ESMAP's mission is to assist clients--low and middle-income countries--to increase know-how and institutional capacity to achieve environmentally sustainable energy solutions for poverty reduction and economic growth. For more information, visit our website: