Promoting Alternative Technologies and Fuels to Reduce Deforestation

Tetra Tech is promoting alternative technology and fuel (ATF) solutions for clean cooking to reduce deforestation and greenhouse gas emissions attributed to charcoal production in Zambia.

More than 75 percent of Zambian peri-urban and urban households use charcoal as their primary cooking fuel source due to affordability, accessibility, and cultural preferences. As charcoal demand continues to rise, Zambia’s forests—including the highly biodiverse Miombo woodlands—face an increasing threat of deforestation from charcoal production. Zambians have access to ATF options, including liquid petroleum gas, biogas, biomass/pellets, electricity, and improved cookstoves. However, ATF markets remain nascent due to a weak business enabling environment, limited consumer acceptability, and lack of awareness.

Through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Alternatives to Charcoal (A2C) Activity, Tetra Tech is helping reduce deforestation and charcoal demand by catalyzing a social, technological, and market shift towards innovative cooking technologies and alternative energy sources. Tetra Tech uses a market systems approach to implement complementary interventions that will:

  • Strengthen the business enabling environment for ATF enterprises to create opportunities that advance Zambian households’ adoption and use of ATFs
  • Improve monitoring and enforcement of charcoal regulatory frameworks
  • Increase awareness of ATFs and shift consumer preferences away from charcoal
  • Support sustainable alternative livelihoods for former charcoal-producing households

A2C is guided by an understanding of local market systems, a strong focus on private sector engagement, a commitment to empowering women and youth, and an emphasis on collaborating, learning, and adapting. Tetra Tech is working closely with the Government of the Republic of Zambia, the private sector, civil society, and communities to achieve project targets and advance ATF use.