National Biodigester Programme wins first Energy for Life award

National Biodigester Programme wins first Energy for Life award

The award was announced on 23 December by Energy for Life, a three-year awareness raising campaign developed with the objective of promoting renewable energy as a tool towards poverty alleviation and sustainable development as to improve the quality of life in Europe and in developing countries.

Started in mid-2011, the competition allowed governmental, local non‐governmental, and international not-for-profit organisations from the European Union or developing countries with activities in the five target countries including Lao PDR, Cambodia, Tanzania, Brazil and Bolivia to join. Sixteen qualified projects were evaluated and three winners were finally chosen.

Based on various criteria including the feasibility, sustainability and replicability (social, ecological, economical), number of beneficiaries, amount of savings (dollars, fossil fuel), amount of CO2 reduction, social and financial impacts, the Energy for Life Best Practice Award was granted to the best practice that stands out from others. It also considers added value which are environmental issues, gender equality, rights of minorities, indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, equal opportunities…

All three prize winners will be officially announced at the Energy for Life International Conference “Bridge to the Future: The Power and Promise of Renewables to bridge the gap between rich and poor” to be held in Madrid on 15th– 16thMarch 2012.

The National Biodigester Programme (NBP) is a joint programme between the Cambodia Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) and SNV Netherlands Development Organisation. This pilot phase runs from 2005 till December 2009 and the programme  extended till 2012 and upscaled to 12 provinces.

MAFF has nominated the Department of Animal Health and Production as the advisory and coordinating agency for the programme while SNV provides technical assistance to the programme. As of October 2011, nearly 14,400 plants have been installed and 95% of them are in operation. Over 15 thousands families with 71,000 people are directly benefited by biodigester plants.