Workshop on “Turning rice straw into cooking fuel for air quality and climate co-benefit in selected GMS countries” was co-organized by Hue University of Sciences (HUSC) and Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) from 24th to 25th October, 2016. The topic of this workshop is also the name of project funded by “The Sustainable Mekong Research Network SUMERNET”.
The goal of the project is to provide alternative solutions in order to reduce and eliminate the open burning of straw, which will bring the effectiveness of environmental and socio-economic. The project has been hosted by AIT and coordinated by the Hue University of Sciences and Royal University of Phnom Penh (RUPP – Cambodia) and King Mongkut University (Thailand). The project has been implemented within 2 years from 2015 to 2016 in three countries, including Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia. In Vietnam, the project site is Thua Thien Hue province namely Huong Phong Commune, Huong Tra District.
Attending the workshop, there were Assoc. Prof Vo Thanh Tung, Vice-Rector of HUSC, various scientists from Thailand, Indonesia, Cambodia, Hue University, as well as the representatives of different Institutions, including Industrial Consultant and Energy Conservation Center of Thua Thien Hue, others from local authorities, Huong Phong Farmers’ Union, Huong Tra town.
At the workshop, 8 reports – results of the project and other institutions were presented by scientists, international experts and other local ones. Contents of these reports addressed the current state of biomass waste in general, and rice straw in particular as well as the current status of using it for different purposes and especially, the open burning of rice straw on the fields in Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam and in Thua Thien Hue province. These reports also focused on the potential of energy recovery from rice straw; on fabrication techniques to turn rice straw into cooking fuel and make alternative cook stoves suited for these fuels. In addition, they showed the benefits of air quality improvement and climate change mitigation when using fuel made from rice straw instead of open burning it or using other normal fuels like firewood and charcoal.
Those who attended the workshop and the local people were aware that open burning rice straw on the field that has been wasted and brought negative impacts on health, environment and climate as well. Therefore, this should be replaced with the use of rice straw into other useful purposes, including cooking fuels made from rice straw.
The remained message of the workshop was "Say No to open burning of rice straw in the field", as the title of a communication video that project produced and disseminated to the community.
Some pictures of the workshop
Workshop presided over by Assoc. Prof. Vo Thanh Tung – Vice Rector of HUSC
Presentation on cooking fuels and stoves at Huong Phong commune
Explanation how to use the cooking stoves for local people