Sim Saran spent years navigating the badly ventilated traditional kitchen of her small family home in Cambodia’s Siem Reap province. Choking on acrid smoke daily, she found it hard to breathe as she cooked for her family of six over a wood fire, just as past generations had done. “I know it’s smoky, but I had no choice,” the 20-year-old said.
Sim’s family was just one of 2.5 million Cambodian families who use traditional cookstoves fueled by forest biomass — mostly charcoal and wood — impacting their health, causing deforestation and contributing to climate change.
But that is fast changing, as Sim and her community learn about cleaner cooking methods that are good for people, forests and the planet.
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