Are we the (lost and special) “YUPIES” generation in the world?

Today I woke up with this question while i was listening to Zeca Afonso “venham mais cinco!” a Portuguese revolutionary singer who inspired so many to wake up, to fight fo?r liberty during “Estado novo” a long-run dictatorship that lasted for 40 years isolating Portugal and its former colonies from the world…
Zeca was from Aveiro and during his time he was part of students movements that dialogued with the people through music and poetry like when he sings, “come five more and come to the street to claim against the fascist regime…” or “what is missing is to awake people, it is to tell people what is going on and is to make people alive…” So, much to do at that time, so much to say and so much content in a so simple and beautiful song!!

Now, i asked me, why our generation called the generation of “GYPSYS = special YUPIES” seems to be unhappy? We had (easily) access to education and all we needed from our parents “the baby boomers” who worked so hard to make us happy!!?
Well, according to a recent article about the “Yupies and why they are unhappy”, the author Tim Urban – http://waitbutwhy.com/2013/09/why-generation-y-yuppies-are-unhappy.html – describes that the generation born between 1970 and 1990 have too much expectations regarding their future, thinking more about themselves while they do not seek only for economic prosperity like the Baby Boomers, but for personal achievements…

Zeca as a baby boomer sang for freedom for standing his Portuguese family together for their rights to be free and they had a collective goal, a community goal – wherever!
Today, we do not live in a local community but in a global society where the flows of information are so fast, sometimes aggressive and diverse. Today, when I opened the facebook timeline, I have seen pictures from so many lives at the same time in a minute? Actually i was seeing what people want to show to the others – an image of hapiness that most of the time is not possible to feel, like when we were whatching a moon and the starts with a glass of red wine with friends! It seems, my friends, we are not tasting reality but living a projection of ourselves? We are under pressure with technology, but could not we use it in a smarter way where we can be part of a global community of happy youths?
Actually, I do not completely agree with the definition of Yupies, yes, that is right we had much more than our parents (specially materialistically speaking) and they did what they could to make us special – that is human nature – however, i feel we are actually being controlled towards a profitable economy!

We are not any more on the time we could plan and work hard for a sucessful carrer, but yes, we are in the era of opportunities and we should not think we are special (like the author mentioned)… like, if you think you are special becaurse you went to study abroad and you have a phd or so over, we can not expect that life will be easier!! Nowadays, we are only like many others from our age trying to find space and motivation in a globalized setting…

Actually, 30 years, if you do had a phd in something you could be special – you were sure you would have an academic career – you would teach as a Baby Boomer and work hard for a more democratic society…
Nowadays, things became complex and we as the “so called YUPIES” have to think conscientiously about what we are = i would say, part of a local and at the same time global multi-cultural society! For instance in Europe, some of us do not have any nationalistic feelings, not feeling part of a single nation, but part of a regional cosmopolitan environment with different cultures (we want to learn more and more about them!)… Maybe, some of us can feel we are part a global community of environmentalist that want to help the world in some way, by defending global environmental interests, others are more motivated to work on the edge of new technologies to improve our quality of life in the day by day!

There are a lots of people trying to do things even being facing a contemporary conflict of generations where the old and young have difficulty to talk and build something together!! We should be proud we can be part of a global and more holistic world and we have skills to do many things, locally within the global… :)

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Diving in Oregon with “(a)provecho”

After our last talk in Macau, I have been writing scientific papers on experiences of household wood burning for cooking and heating I have seen around the places i visited, trying to elaborate a review of what has been being done across this millennium.

Today, I would like to write my experience in a remote part of the United States where the hippies went to create grassroots movements and environmentalists work on development around the world! The state of Oregon is still green receiving 8 months of rain per year, a relaxing, enjoyable and beautiful place to raise children and live in touch with nature…

Last week, I had the chance to visit a tiny little town called Cottage Grove with about 10,000 people, situated near Eugene. In Cottage Grove there is a remaining hippie movement where the local community knows each other, where there is a local radio playing folk music and where there is a research center that produces knowledge about clean cookstoves for the developing world!

According to the WHO more than 40% of the world population might exposed to harmful wood smoke, namely women and children living in developing countries…
By the 70s Dr. Larry Winiarski met people from an non-profit organization in Guatemala working on the Lorena stoves and then he was inspired to use his engineering skills to help communities around the world!

rocket vortex

rocket vortex

Last week I had the unique opportunity to meet wonderful and inspiring people with an immense desire to contribute to change something in the world by using their talents to design cookstoves with communities… Dean Still from Aprovecho has dedicated a part of his life to develop new stoves that can be adopted by people, based on proper scienfic methods developed by people at “Apro”…

rocket stoves

In a small town in Oregon there is motion and people from around the world is coming to experience a research center in the woods, surrounded by tiny rivers where the light crosses the leafs of the tall trees that embrace them, reproducing different colors on the local forest that still resists to the invaders – the lambering industry who have been exploring such a region for many decades…

Last week, I had the pleasure to meet this place and nice people with similar interests on contributing to sustainability and development, some of them with a vast experience in working in remote developing communities by the adoption of rocket stoves and other types of stoves…

mass rocket

mass rocket

To understand the stove performance and impacts of burning solid-fuels for cooking and heating in a scientific way, aprovecho developed testing methods that are now becoming part of international guidelines for cookstove design, indoor air quality and health. The traditional cookstoves are still popular in many countries and this fact has enormous consequences for people´s health!

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A group of young researchers have been working on new methods to measure efficiency and emissions from cookstoves, such as Sam has been doing by creating a low cost gravimetric sampling method, Alex has been developing new measurements instruments and Mike developing and applying field measurements through a bunch of testing methods designed by them…

On the start of my experience in Oregon, Lee picked me up at the Eugene airport on a Sunday bringing me to join the camp located in a old school some miles way from Cottage Grouve. It was great I could get a lift after a long trip from the other side of the Atlantic… The first participants to arrive on that Sunday to “Apro” had the first dinner together with some of the “Apro” family where had the chance to have a first talk about where we were coming from and our specific goals for the week… I was more feeling like an observer, since i did not bring any stoves to test, feeling more in a mood to share facts about my region and learn about cookstoves and testing methods (a part of my research interests in Europe)… For someone coming from Portugal, this was a remarkable experience in the US, something we only see in certain kind of country or folk music movies in remote parts the country…

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The stove camp was an amazing opportunity to learn and share ideas about different stove technologies, cooking practices and development in general. There was people at the camp from different parts, there was even fellows from Bhutan, France, Myanmar and (me) Portugal! As an holistic human experience, around the stove designing experiences in the at Aprovecho center there was interesting chats about “pinot noir” wine making  on the margins of the Columbia Georges river, travelling experiences on the desert in Arizona, field studies in Congo, super clean stoves, Permaculture and the work with farmers from Bruma and improvements for mud mass heaters in Bhutan!

bhutanese mud stove

bhutanese mud stove

At the end of the camp there was a “cat pee award” for the cleanest invention where different types of cookstoves were built by some of the participants who had the opportunity to use the lab facilities to construct and test their stoves for a week. Among them were the double air-intake “canary rocket” who won the competition!

“building cannary”

After such a week of learning experiences I leave Cottage Grove with positive vibes and new ideas on how to improve the performance of heating stoves in Europe using low cost materials with an increasing desire to contribute to work in developing regions of northeast Brazil where a part of family is coming from :)

I would like to thank (through this channel) everyone for the nice week, hoping to see you in the future!

Warm regards from the author of this blog

Ricardo

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The meeting: east and west, Macau e Hong Kong

It was more than 400 years ago when the Portuguese navigators reaches the Macau bay seeking for new adventures and possibilities to exchange artifacts, such as tea, silk and porcelain… The church of Saint Paul is a remaining example of the western construction made by the Juzuits during the 17th century in the historical center of the city. This evidence of the catholic presence in Asia integrates eastern simbolism with its Chinese flowers and Japanese Chrysanthemums on the facade where we can see the image of virgin Maria in the center. The remaining facade of the curch is the only thing we can see today, since the other part was destroyed during a fire in the more than 100 years ago.

Igreja de São Paulo (Julho 2014)

Igreja de São Paulo (Julho 2014)

it was with the motivation of exploring the history of the meeting point of cultures from east and west that me and janaina wanted to explore macau and the near territories in the hong kong irelands. To go to Macau it takes less than 1 hour of you catch a ferry directly from the HK airport. This was what we have actually done when we were back from Beijing and did not even left the transit area of the airport by buying the Turbojet tycket to the peninsula… the check in of the luggage was automaticaly done by that company…

Temple do Largo de Macau (Julho 2014)

Temple do Largo de Macau (Julho 2014)

Macau changed to the new administration in 1999 when the Portuguese and Chinese government agreed that the language of Camões would be kept for 50 more years as an official language in this peninsula. Today, it is estimated that most of the Macanese population is Chinese with a small Portuguese population of around 100,000 people with the Portuguese passport.

Jardim Vasco da Gama (Julho 2014)

Jardim Vasco da Gama (Julho 2014)

From 1999 to the current days, it seems that Macau changed so much that it is very difficult to find a single person speaking Portuguese. When you hang out you can sometimes see some western faces and some Portuguese in Macau say that the number of immigrants has been increasing again since 2008…

Pasteis de bacalhau (Julho 2014)

Pasteis de bacalhau (Julho 2014)

Macau is definitely a dense tiny place with around 500,000 inhabitants that you should experience if you pass in Hong Kong and want to visit unique and charming historical sites, contrasting in the modern city full of casinos, the Las Vegas of Asia that receives more than 50,000 everyday!

Historical and modern Macau (Julho 2014)

Historical and modern Macau (Julho 2014)

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The mistical relashionship of Macau with the west is only present in the peculiar colonial architecture and also in the tasty macanese food, where Portuguese flavours are mixed with the african gastronomy from Mozambique and other regions where the diaspora of cultures was expanding towards the east…

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a world of of exotic experiences in one of the cosmopolitan lands of China!

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Viagem à descoberta da China

Esta viagem ao oriente que passamos a relatar neste blog de viagens falará um pouco da nossa relacão com as culturas milenares do oriente e novas transformacões e relacionamentos,

estes momentos peculiares simbolizaram para nós viajantes o (re)conhecimento do encontro do oriente com o ocidente, da pimenta com o limão, do mandarim e latin, dos cheiros dos incensos doces e amargos, da tranquilidade e agitacão calorosa incansável,

uma descoberta sobretudo de nós mesmos, do nosso posicionamento no mundo, da nossa percepcão integrada das culturas e das pessoas…

o encontro entre o oriente e ocidente (julho 2014)

o encontro entre o oriente e ocidente (julho 2014)

No regresso da nossa expedicão e inesquecível experiência na China, deixo aqui as palavras, fotos e redaccão da primeira parte da nossa experiência pela voz da viajante amiga, companheira, meu amor, Janaina,

Luzes de pequim (junho 2014)

Luzes de pequim (junho 2014)

Estamos terminando nossa viagem a China. Passamos por Pequim, Macau e Hong Kong. Apesar destas cidades serem consideradas chinesas, elas tem perfis e organizações bem diferentes. Hong Kong é uma cidade de negócios regida por leis próprias. Macau é conhecida pelas Las Vegas asiática e até pouco tempo era de administração portuguesa, e também apresenta leis próprias. Pequim é a segunda cidade mais populosa da China, depois de Shangai.

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Pequim é uma cidade que cheira a especiarias, incenso e CO2. Uma cidade que se dividi entre o ritmo acelerado da modernidade, com seus iphones pensantes 24 horas ligados, e a calmaria de pessoas que sentam na calçada para conversarem ou simplesmente observarem a velocidade de seus transeuntes.

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Nos sentimos bem pequenos em meio a construções gigantescas, feitas para muita gente, e você é só mais um no meio daquela multidão. Os pontos turísticos são amarrotados de turistas, 99% chineses, e todos parecem bem ansiosos para verem coisas nos intervalos ou através de seus iphones.

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Para ir a Pequim você precisa saber algumas palavrinhas em chinês, pelo contrário você vai demorar muito a achar o caminho certo quando se perder pela cidade. Também para pedir alguma comida você vai gastar muito tempo escolhendo e tem uma grande probabilidade de errar no pedido. As comidas Chinesas que experimentadas em Pequim têm um sabor distinto do que conhecemos no Ocidente, pelo uso de pimenta mais intenso e outras especiarias que tornam a experiência do paladar única, contudo, é importante ir degostando gradualmente, sem exceder excessivamente nossos hábitos alimentares, pois como dizia o artista luso António Variacões: “Quando a cabeca não tem juízo, o corpo é que paga”… Numa noite de verão em Pequim conseguimos o apoio dum viajante estrangeiro que traduziu o menu de mais um dos muitos que restaurante que continha o menu unicamente em Mandarim… Por vezes esses menus têm fotos das comidas, no entanto, é difícil de adivinhar os condimentos de cada prato e que seleccionar… Desta vez experiênciámos um tofu cozido com cogumelos e feijão verde num fervedor de mesa que foi colocado num pequeno fogão a carvão mesmo em cima da nossa mesa, um modo de cozinhar que nunca havíamos visto!

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O Pato de Pequim é algo imperdível, pelo seu modo de confeccão e tempero, derrete-se na boca dos grandes apreciadores dos sabores exóticos do oriente… Este prato é cozinhado no forno, através duma técnica que deixa passar o ar entre a pele do pato, deixando esta bem crocante e corada… No restaurante mais famoso de Pequim para comer este prato, o bife de pato é colocado dentro dum crepe com uma espécie de alho francês e molho de soyo… não percam este experiência, sempre a dois pauzinhos! :)

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Mímicas ajudam muito em muitas situações. Mas não chegue ao desespero, não vale a pena, são situações muito engraçadas e os chineses estão sempre dispostos a ajudarem com um sorriso no rosto.

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Conhecemos o templo budista Lama no districto de Dongzechen. Perdidos entre muitas cores e cheiros, observarmos os turistas chineses fazendo oferendas para seus deuses. Uma linda experiência. A muralha da China é a representação do grande poderio imperial desses povos, uma construção que nos deixam extasiados em relação a capacidade humana.

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Estávamos ansiosos para conhecer a cidade proibida, um grande conjunto de palácios onde viviam os imperadores da China desde cerca de 1600. O imperador não podia sair da cidade, vivia ali com suas concubinas e seus súditos castrados.

Sala imperial da cidade proibida (Pequiim, junho 2014)

Sala imperial da cidade proibida (Pequiim, junho 2014)

Ele governava por meio de seus ministros que faziam o canal com o mundo exterior. Ali também viveu o famoso e adorado pelos chineses, o ditador Mao Tze Tung, que representa a história mais moderna da China, em que ocorreram transformações radicais.

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Pequim é assim, inexplicável, típico de uma cidade em desenvolvimento, com contradições difíceis de compreender. A cidade é coberta por um véu branco quase constante. O azul do céu é bem difícil de ver. O verão em Pequim é quente e o ar é geralmente seco, sendo recomendável e popular o uso duma boa sombrinha para proteccão contra a forte radiacão que se faz sentir nas longas filas de acesso à praca Tianemen…

Praca Tianemen num dia quente de verão ( junho 2014)

Praca Tianemen num dia quente de verão ( junho 2014)

Por outro lado a bicicleta é utilizada como transporte em massa. Os transportes públicos são impecáveis. Uma peculiaridade para não dizer preciosidade foi a ausência de violência na cidade, nós não nos sentimos nenhuma vez ameaçados. Acreditamos que existe pobreza mas deve está bem escondida.

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Chegamos de Pequim e já no aeroporto pegamos o ferry para Macau…

CONTINUA AMOR… VAMOS FAZER EM CONJUNTO…. BJ

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Two years diving without writting… a reflection about travelling across different cultures…

It has been a long time that i did not talk to you, my dear blog. During the past 2 years many dives happened but i have not write this to you. My reflections today will be a share of general thoughts about what is actually to travel, what do i have as a meaning of traveling…

Starting from the point that travelling is a great challenge not only because you leave your comfort zone, but also because you need to talk and express your self, your culture, even though you are a cosmopolitan being… Travelling is to add and enrich your self being, travelling is the act of opening your heart that does not want to abdicate friendship, that does not want to loose the physical affection with who and what you like, what you love, the characters of your life!

To be more specific, i want to tell you that i fell in love with a women that changed my life and fortunately we did not stop travelling, because we are impassioned by doing that as a way of living! What we are trying to do today is somehow to work and travel across different parts of the world where we can find motives for our research as environmental scientists.

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We would like to be part of a global community that wants to work with environmental and social issues and we consider that travelling is the best way to know more about people and their communities… Travelling as a nomad researcher is a way to map humans and transitions from different perspectives, being in touch with an enormous diversity of daily habits and ways of thinking. Travelling is to leave the limitations of daily routines and incorporate and intersect knowledge from “new forms of living”, what actually makes you motivated to change habits…

But beyond the current mobility landscapes in the new generation of couples, we might say that travelling is a flexible discipline to learn new things since you can travel by your self, in any pleasant company and is the place where you can actually meet new people with similar interests… it is the most exciting exercise you can do actually, but why travelling is so much viewed as an empty way of luxurious relaxation or so called tour-ism? I think travelling should be viewed as an educational practice, as a constructionist approach for becoming an ethical human that will be certainly a great performer on the society… among artists, writers, teachers, engineers, doctors and other performers… Travelling is the exercise of being an active observer, a reader of a story that seems that will never end…

For me, travelling is a school where you can visit voluntarily the galleries of knowledge, but more than that, a place where you can really question yourself and know more about who you are… ;)

Travelling is the best exercise you can do when do not know how you can change the world, because the world changes much slower that you when you are travelling ;)

I am one of the many lucky young people that had the possibility to travel around many cultures and i recommend. One of the reasons why i decided to be a researcher is because i would like to travel across cultures and disseminate how things change, how we might change them by sharing new knowledge coming from remote communities through these new generation of cosmopolitan youths…

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2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The new Boeing 787 Dreamliner can carry about 250 passengers. This blog was viewed about 1,300 times in 2012. If it were a Dreamliner, it would take about 5 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Andes – Peru: diário de viagem

Caros leitores

grato pela vossa correspondência envio-vos algumas notícias das altas montanhas do peru, esperando que este blog possa contribuir como janela de conhecimento de comunidades e também como uma ferramenta colaborativa para viajantes que se interessem por conhecimentos vindos da américa latina…

Few days ago my partner was sharing the enthusiasm of new weekend research field trip in south america. Behond the travelling experience we were preparing ourselves for a field research trip to peru with the senior researcher Adeildo Cabral. During the weekend research trip Janaina helped us to photograph old and traditional buildings, peruvian people and improved wood-burning stoves!

Chegamos pelas três horas da tarde a terras andinas depois duma longa viagem com escalas em São Paulo e Lima. Apanhamos um táxi para o centro de cusco, por sinal bastante económico (15 sol = 6 dolares), na companhia de Willson, um simpático amigo peruano que nos conduziu até ao hostel Malquii a quatro quadras da plaza de armas, um dos principais pontos turísticos da cidade, um lugal muito agradável que recomendamos a todos os visitantes.

cecade expedition 2012 by Feliciano

cecade expedition 2012 by Feliciano

Our mission to Cusco has the main goal of make new environmental confort experiences in peruvian remote households using efficient stoves. Adeildo has a previous contact with an organization working with renewables and capacity building in the region that has been supporting the field work.

Fomos muito bem acolhidos por nosso companheiro colaborador pesquisador e diretor da ONG CECADE Pedro Zanabria que nos levou a tomar um “thé de coca” e um doce tradicional chamado “lengua de sogra” junto à plaza de armas em cusco. Saboroso e acolhedor no frio andino que sentimos quando saímos do hostel já no final da tarde…   ;)

the de coca e lengua de sogra

Ingressos para a cidade sagrada INKA – Machu Pichu

Bem cedo pela manhã saímos para comprar os bilhetes para a mística experiência de Machu Pichu, uma viagem de 3 horas a bordo do vagão da “Peru Rail”, uma empresa de viagens que comercializa as passagens no centro de cusco. O serviço oferecido companhia é regular com saída todos os dias às 8:40 da manhã e regresso ao final do dia.

The Machu Pichu experience is something unforgatable but be prepared for investing in that trip, since nowadays this is one of the most visited place worldwide. The tyckets costed us 124 US for each sit and the we had also to buy the entrance tycket to the archeological park. I have complained a lot about this but the only thing you have to remember is that this is something unique in your life.

caminho para a cidade sagrada by Janaina Teles / janainatb@gmail.com

caminho para a cidade sagrada by Janaina Teles / janainatb@gmail.com

Os ingressos no parque arqueológico de Machu Pichu custaram 132 sol aproximadamente 52 US, metade do preço para estudantes. Contudo, os bilhetes são adequiridos no Ministério da Cultura que fica um pouco deslocado da cidade. Lembrem-se que o táxi cusqueño é bastante económico e que poderão deslocar-se em 20 minutos ao local, por apenas 4 sol.

Yaurisque – uma comunidade andina em movimento

Após adequirirmos os tão desejados ingressos, mergulhámos no nosso trabalho. José esperava por nós na porta do hostel Malquii para nossa experiência de trabalho em pesquisa e desenvolvimento na comunidade de Yaurisque. Chegámos às altas montanhas andinas a 4000 metros de altitude pelas onze e meia da manhã, descendo novamente até aos 3400 m até Yaurisque, onde iríamos trabalhar com membros do CECADE.

percursos andinos by Janaina Teles / janainatb@gmail.com

percursos andinos by Janaina Teles / janainatb@gmail.com

Yaurisque comunity is located 40 minutes from cusco and this district has approximatly inhabithants 3000 inhabitants. We were the happy guests of Pedro Zanabria who received us at CECADE a very interesting capacity builiding centre in the Andine valley of Yaurisque.

CECADE Yaurisque  Janaina Teles / janainatb@gmail.com

CECADE Yaurisque Janaina Teles / janainatb@gmail.com

Para além das acções de capacitação em energias renováveis e sensibilização ambiental, o CECADE desenvolve projetos de desenvolvimento comunitário com mulheres das comunidades ao redor de Yaurisque todas as Terças, Quintas e Sábados.

mulheres artezãns by Janaina Teles / janainatb@gmail.com

mulheres artezãns by Janaina Teles / janainatb@gmail.com

Existem oficinas de tecelagem com vista à formação de artezãs e aulas de culinária peruana.
O projeto também visa a formação de jovens carpinteiros, dividos em dois níveis de formação distintos – iniciante para crianças e avançado para adolescentes…

building capacities at CECADE by Janaina Teles / janainatb@gmail.com

building capacities at CECADE by Janaina Teles / janainatb@gmail.com

Durante os primeiros dias de visita ao CECADE visitámos a aldeia de Yaurisque e fotografámos diversas habitações do estilo colonial construídas em terra adobe. O propósito da nossa saída era realizar um trabalho de campo em habitações tradicionais que utilizam fogões eficientes melhorados.

somos terra peru by Janaina Teles / janainatb@gmail.com

somos terra peru by Janaina Teles / janainatb@gmail.com

Os fogões melhorados são hoje um instrumento de mitigação de emissões de gases poluentes prejudicais à saúde humana e a sua implementação tem evitado milhões de mortes a nível global segundo dados da Organização Mundial de Saúde.

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