News (8)

Gold Standard Registration

With income generated from the carbon credits we will be able to continue to provide efficient and longlasting cookstoves to Lao families


SNV Laos is very proud and excited to share the news that our Improved Cookstove Programme has successfully been registered with Gold Standard.


The Improved Cookstoves programme (ICS), implemented by SNV, Oxfam and ARMI, and funded by the European Union (EU) Switch Asia Programme, marked a milestone in the project recently celebrated a huge milestone after selling its 100,000th cookstove. And now there’s more to celebrate with the international organisation, Gold Standard, recognising the work of the project in and its future potential to reducing carbon emissions.


This registration, adding to an increasing list of the programme’s achievements, with the support of Nexus for Development will be able to sell carbon credits to individuals and organisations. The income from these carbon credits will then be put back into the project to ensure its sustainability.


To view our project documents, please click on the link below: 


Should you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact us


1. Association For Rural Mobilisation and Improvement (ARMI)

Latsavongsirk road, House No.046/05,  Sounantha village, Kaysone Phomvihan district, Savannakhet province Lao PDR


Tel/Fax: (856-41) 252717

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


2. SNV Laos

P.O. Box 9781

Ban Nongbone, Vientiane Capital, Lao PDR

Tel: (856-21) 414091

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  


3. Nexus Carbon for Development

Ha Hoang Thanh

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Mobile: +840904009985


4. GS secretariat:

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and +41 22 788 7080

Improved Cook Stove Testing Laboratories Help to Tackle National Smoke Hazards

In Laos, 5,716 people die each year from diseases caused by the smoke from burning wood for cooking; globally this figure is 3.8 million. When using traditional cookstoves, a similar amount of smoke is produced to lighting 400 cigarettes! And all this burning takes place in kitchens, two to three times every day, mainly in front of women and children, who as a result, risk dangerous heart and lung diseases.


A recent piece of research in rural villages in Savannakhet Province showed that the air quality levels are indeed very poor, largely due to smoke from cooking. With an average concentration of 439 μg/m3 of fine particles, this is comparable to alarming peak levels of smog in cities like Beijing. In contrast, the guideline values by the World Health Organisation are set on 10 μg/m3.


However, not all wood stoves are this harmful, and therefore several initiatives are starting up in Laos to introduce advanced clean cookstoves that are safe to use and also fuel and time efficient. By just the looks of the stoves, however, it is not apparent which stove is safe, therefore these need to be verified by following proper testing protocols and by the use of precise air monitoring equipment.


SNV Netherlands Development Organisation, ARMI Association for Rural Mobilisation and Improvement, and the Renewable Energy Institute, REMI, have worked together since 2011 on the establishment of stove testing laboratories, and ever since hundreds of stoves have been assessed (and improved).


Based on this fruitful collaboration so far, this Friday the inauguration took place of the new Laboratory Emission Monitoring System (LEMS).  This high-tech equipment, financed by SNV, allows for standards, regulation of the market, and the ability to provide information to the people on the levels smoke emission. The system also enables Lao authorities to test stoves according to the international (ISO) standards.


“Still, substantial work needs to be done in the field of testing and research and development, to determine stove efficiency and emissions and improve existing stoves.” says Bastiaan Teune of SNV. Invaluable data and results are provided by REMI to the EU-funded Improved Cook Stoves project, and other clean stoves initiatives supported by World Bank, EnDev and the Green Climate Fund.


ICS lucky draw 2015

ມາແລ້ວໆໆໆ ບັນດາຂອງລາງວັນທີ່ຈະມອບໃຫ້ແດ່ຜູ່ໂຊກດີຂອງເຕົາປະຢັດໃນປີ 2015 ນີ້



Mr. Khammai and his wife Ms. Chitsana run a stove-making business out of their home in Champassack Province in Lao PDR. Ms. Chitsana manages the finance and five employees at their home, while Mr. Khammai takes responsibility for delivering stoves, along with his son. The family started their stove business in 2005 and in 2012 joined theEU-funded SWITCH-Asia project "Improved Cook Stoves" (ICS).

"We joined the project because we saw that there is an opportunity to sell ICS in the market," states Ms. Chitsana. "We were told about the project one day through the project staff while delivering stoves. We wanted to join the programme because we wanted to learn how to produce different stoves than we did previously. We thought this would be a way to increase our revenues."

Khammai and Chitsana passed their production accreditation in 2013 and were then certified to produce ICS. In March 2014, they took out a loan to improve their production capacity by purchasing more raw materials and hiring more workers.

"If the market demand continues to be high, we would like to increase production, and increase our workforce," states Mrs. Chitsana. "We have the potential to produce a lot, but sometimes we still have challenges to pay for production costs or find labourers."

The couple's workshop currently produces an average of approximately 300 stoves per month, with a total of 5,811 since joining the project. Word of mouth among producers is a key factor, as with consumers and retailers, and the pair recommended their acquaintance, Mr. Amphone, living in a nearby village, to join as well. As he already knew about the potential benefits and support provided, he was eager to do so.

As with many enterprises in Laos, cook stove production is often run as a family business. Many families who make cook stoves set up small workshops in their compound, with a few staff or family members to help out. Prior to the start of the SWITCH-Asia ICS project, most stove producers made their own ceramic stoves, with no particular consistency in quality or durability.

Currently, the project works with 19 active stove producers in the Vientiane Capital area, Savannakhet Province, and Champassack Province, three of the most populous areas in the country. At the start of the project in 2013, representatives visited existing stove producers who were recommended by retailers or other producers in target areas to introduce the project and stove design and ask if they were interested in participating.

The ICS is designed to use traditional materials and lend itself to traditional cooking methods, to make it more acceptable to both producers and consumers and more easily integrated into the market.

Some producers continue to make traditional stoves alongside ICS, while others have converted their workshops completely to ICS production. Once stove makers are able to meet a series of quality standards, the project signs cooperation agreements and the producer gets an accreditation certificate. The stove accreditation is a process between producers and the NGO ARMI (a local Lao NGO and implementing partner for the project). The stove standards have recently been endorsed by theMinistry of Science and Technology, which is the designated authority to test the stoves and assess if labels can be issued to a certain batch of stoves, based on a laboratory test that determines the efficiency rates according to a specific testing protocol.

The project helps producers create business plans, and take out loans to finance improvements to their workshops, such as better roofing for their kilns, if necessary, providing valuable business management skills to the entrepreneurs along with technical training.

New producers receive training from their peers, to increase skills in proper operation of the tools and moulds that ensure the right dimensions are met and that the production process is done according to standards. Some necessary materials are provided by the project, including moulds, tools, kiln components, clay mixers, and stove display units. Although the design of the stove does not require any difficult or expensive technologies compared to traditional stove-making, it is important that the producers are able to employ the same techniques to ensure a consistent and high-quality product, which users and retailers now expect. Producers who stand out as models are recruited by the project staff to train newcomers to the project.

In the three provinces where the project works with producers, monthly meetings are held with project staff from SNV and ARMI and representatives of each producer. They share challenges they are having with production and network with one another to share knowledge of the market and strengthen ties as fellow businesspeople.

From the start of the project, 50,000 ICS have already been produced.

In each province, the project is beginning to set up both formal and informal business associations for the producers to share ideas about further developing the sector and helping members adhere to quality production standards and fair pricing. In so doing, the interventions of the SWITCH-Asia ICS project not only support technical skills but focus explicitly on the enabling environment of the stoves sector as a whole.

Author: Bastiaan Teune 
Editor: Silvia Sartori


SNV Netherlands Development Organisation in Lao PDR and ARMI, in partnership with Nexus Carbon for Development, are pursuing validation with the Gold Standard Foundation for the "Improved Cook Stoves Programme" in Lao PDR".

We are inviting local stakeholders, including government authorities, NGOs and the general public to provide feedback for the Stakeholder Feedback Round (SFR) of our project, starting from 22 May 2015. 

Please find the project documents at the following links:

Project Design Document PDD
Gold Standard Passport
Local stakeholder consultation report: English language version
Local stakeholder consultation report: Lao language version

If you have any feedback, comments or questions, please contact:

1. Association For Rural Mobilisation and Improvement (ARMI)
Latsavongsirk Road
House No.046/05
Sounantha Village
Kaysone Phomvihan District
Savannakhet Province, Lao PDR
Tel/Fax: (856-41) 252717
Email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

2. Nexus Carbon for Development
Ha Hoang Thanh
Email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Mobile: +840904009985

The Improved Cook Stoves Programme in Lao PDR aims to become financially sustainable by the revenues of carbon credits. The programme develops and promotes stoves that use up to 25% less charcoal or wood than traditional stoves, thus saving fuel and lowering greenhouse gas emissions. 

Such improved cookstove technologies are eligible for carbon financing. Developing the carbon credits under Gold Standard the ICS programme can become a unique and economically sustainable initiative, which significantly improves livelihoods and reduces green house gas emissions and environmental pressure at the same time.

As a first step in the Gold Standard Carbon application, the ICS Programme invited local stakeholders to a consultation meeting on carbon finance, held on November 26, 2014.  Participants of the consultation discussed the positive and negative impacts of the Improved Cookstove Programme and gave stakeholders an opportunity to express their views. No fewer than 40 participants from the government sector, NGOs, the private sector and the general public attended.  A copy of the Local Stakeholder Consultation (LSC) report is available hereSNV LSC Report 20 Mar 2015 LAO


Empowering women with disabilities by offering training in income generating activities is a common vision shared by the Lao Disabled Women’s Development Centre (LDWDC) and the European Union-funded Improved Cook Stove (ICS) programme. The new collaboration under ADB’s Gender and Climate Change project is developed to provide income opportunities for women, while at the same time opening up the market for improved stoves.

On 3rd September, 23 disabled women from LDWDC visited an ICS production workshop in Khokxay Village, Hadxayfong District, to observe the cook stove production process. A lack of reliable and skilled labourers is often a bottleneck for improved cook stove production, however the potential involvement of LDWDC may help address this issue. Mr. Siew, owner of the improved cook stove workshop, was very impressed by the strong spirit and willingness to learn shown by the women when making their first stoves.

Bastiaan Teune, head of the renewable energy sector of SNV Lao PDR commented: “We have made an important first step in what may become one of the largest improved cook stove centers in Laos. This initiative supports the participation of disabled women in a green economy, and for households the stoves save 25% of time and money. Moreover, it reduces pressure on the environment.” Since 2013, 15,000 improved cook stoves have been sold, which are recognizable by their distinct blue label.

IT Equipment Handed over to DST, RENMI and LWU in Vientiane, Savannakhet and Champasak

On 21/05/2014, Representative of ARMI and ICS team in each location were handed over equipment to RENMI, Department of Science and Technology (DST) and Lao Women Union (LWU) in 3 location Vientiane capital, Savannakhet and Champasak province. A set of computers including chairs, tables and printers was given to each of partners in order to user for communication between ARMI and partners particularly report of the programme activities that has been done by the partners. 

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Gold Standard Registration

Gold Standard Registration

With income generated from the carbon credits we will be able to continue to provide efficient and...

Improved Cook Stove Testing Laboratories Help to Tackle National Smoke Hazards

Improved Cook Stove…

In Laos, 5,716 people die each year from diseases caused by the smoke from burning wood for...

SWITCH-Asia builds capacity for production of improved cook-stoves

SWITCH-Asia builds capacity…

Mr. Khammai and his wife Ms. Chitsana run a stove-making business out of their home in Champassack...

This programme is funded by European Union