Congratulations to ebbf member Sandya Abrar (pictured in the bottom left of this image) on winning the #YPGEA15 Young Professional Green Energy Academic Award.
She won this prize after submitting here thesis titled: The impact of bioenergy development on the climate resilience of vulnerable communities in Kenya.
She offers here an interesting summary of her findings: The purpose of this project was to examine whether bioenergy developments has an impact on the climate resilience of vulnerable communities in Kenya. Interviews were conducted with professionals and several projects and programmes were visited on site. The research, based on evidence, shows that traditional use of solid biomass, which is the most popular source of energy in Kenya, is believed to have a negative impact on climate resilience. However, most of the interviews and projects visited have also demonstrated that, in certain conditions and under specific circumstances, bioenergy developments can reveal strong climate resilience characteristics. If they cannot by themselves improve considerably the resilience to climate change, some of them, when combined with measures and initiatives aimed at improving the life of the most vulnerable, do achieve this purpose. This study also demonstrates, once again, how important it is for any project, programme or technology to address the specific needs and tastes of the populations they intend to serve and how engagement, empowerment and ownership by the communities is key to achieve success. A higher consideration and respect for local cultures and ways of living, promoting a grass-‐root approach, encouraging collective actions through capacity building and awareness raising, and finally providing financial and political support, will help generate more suitable and targeted technologies and programmes, including those related to bioenergy, that would improve the climate resilience of vulnerable communities in Kenya and elsewhere.