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  • The Building and Construction Improvement Programme (BACIP) has designed over 15,000 energy-efficient and living condition improvement products such as these fuel-efficient, smoke-free stoves, which have been installed in various households in South and Central Asia
Aga Khan Planning and Building Service a finalist for Ashden Awards for Sustainable Energy

AKPBS’s Building and Construction Improvement Programme in Pakistan is a finalist for the global green energy award 

London, United Kingdom, 17 May 2011 - The Aga Khan Planning and Building Service‘s (AKPBS) innovative Building and Construction Improvement Programme (BACIP) has been selected as one of the finalists for the Ashden Awards 2011. The finalists will compete for over £120,000 prize money. The winners will be announced at a ceremony hosted in London on 16 June 2011.

BACIP provides families in remote mountain villages with access to affordable, energy efficient technologies which insulate their homes, heat their water and reduce their consumption of fuel wood. The programme tackles deforestation and climate change by saving 100,000 tonnes of wood a year and preventing emissions of around 160,000 tonnes of CO2 a year. AKPBS,P aims to extend this approach to other Himalayan countries that face similar challenges and reach another 17,000 homes by 2014.

Sarah Butler-Sloss, Founder Director of the Ashden Awards said: "Our dream is a world where access to clean, affordable electricity and fuel can be enjoyed by the poor, transforming living standards, reducing CO2 emissions and easing the pressure on our dwindling forests. The 2011 Ashden Award finalists are making this vision a reality, and their potential for expansion and replication is high. It is our sincere hope that others are inspired to enable their growth and follow their lead”. 

While many people consider acces to affordable clean energy a basic right and fundamental to daily life, almost a quarter of the world’s population - over 1.4 billion people - live without access to electricity.  Worldwide, around 2.5 billion people still rely on wood and charcoal for cooking. Harnessing clean, local and affordable ways to meet the energy needs of the poor and  local industry is vital to any efforts to reduce poverty and tackle the urgent issues of climate change and deforestation.

The 2011 Ashden Award finalists provide policy-makers, businesses and communities across the globe with pioneering real-life examples of how this can be done through the use of local clean energy technologies combined with clever marketing strategies. From the production of biomass pellets from crop waste to replace coal in India to the provision of a range of solar-powered products to off-grid communities in Africa, these finalists prove that it is possible to meet the energy needs of the poor in a way that radically improves lives, drives economic growth, cuts CO2 emissions and saves trees.

Since 2001 Ashden Award winners have improved the lives of 23 million people worldwide and together are saving over three million tonnes of CO2 a year - this years’ international finalists alone have saved over half a million tonnes of CO2, equivalent to the CO2 emissions of 90,000 UK homes. And it does not stop there: all award finalists have ambitious plans to step up their efforts and to continue in their drive to cut carbon emissions and improve lives.

For further information, please contact:

Salimah Shiraj
Communications Coordinator
Aga Khan Development Network
Karachi, Pakistan
Telephone: (+92 21) 35861242
Fax: (+92 21) 35861272
Qayum Ali Shah
Project Spokesperson
Aga Khan Planning and Building Service, Pakistan
Email address:
Mobile number: (+92) 3469751662 (+92) 3015660065

Notes to Editors:
Photos of finalists work online:


The Ashden Awards for Sustainable Energy were founded in 2001 to encourage the greater use of local clean energy to address climate change and alleviate poverty. Since then they have rewarded over 120 winners across the UK and the developing world. The Ashden Awards work to show-case and celebrate best practice, encourage the expansion and replication of winners’ work, raise awareness of the potential of local sustainable energy, and advocate on their winners’ behalf. For further information, including photos, films, and case studies on past winners, go to The Ashden Awards Patron is HRH The Prince of Wales.

The Ashden Awards ceremony will be held on 16 June at the Royal Geographical Society. To read live comment on the Awards Ceremony and conference and for other news go to Twitter: Facebook: Blog:

The Aga Khan Planning and Building Service, Pakistan (AKPBS,P), an agency of the AKDN, has been working to improve the built environment in Pakistan since 1980. Its areas of focus include safe housing design and earthquake resistant construction, water supply and sanitation, improved indoor living conditions, energy efficient products, institutional construction management, village planning and natural hazard mitigation, mainly for rural communities. AKPBS,P has won several awards including National Energy Globe Award (2009 & 2010), the Partnership for Clean Indoor Air Global Leadership Award (2009), the Dubai International Award for Best Practices (2008), the Alcan Prize for Sustainability (2005) and the World Habitat Award (2006).

AKPBS,P’s developmental programme BACIP provides a life cycle approach to household energy efficiency, market development and entrepreneurship and has been universally commended by local communities, public sector organisations and donors for having a visible impact on the lives of the community in terms of economic benefits, social improvement, and environmental rehabilitation.

The Northern Areas of Pakistan are located in a seismically unstable zone. The degradation of natural resources, especially the loss of foliage and vegetation cover, has been proceeding at an alarming rate, causing land degradation and soil destabilization which, in turn, has led to diminished economic prospects for residents and even the loss of life (due to mudslides and floods associated with deforestation). The main cause of this deforestation is use of wood in house construction and for fuel. An estimated 15 percent of all household income is spent on heating, cooking and house maintenance needs.

To find solutions to this problem, the Building and Construction Improvement programme (BACIP) was set up as a research and extension programme. It has introduced over 60 products and technologies in local communities. To date, over 31,000 energy efficient and living condition improvement products have been installed in 15,000 rural households.

When applied, such techniques and products can, on average:

  • Reduce biomass consumption of up to 60 percent -- app. 3.3 tons/ per month
  • Reduce the incidence of ARI, pneumonia and other health related disease in women and children by up to 50 percent (especially during winters) 
  • Save health related household expenditure
  • Increase household disposal income by 25 percent
  • Reduce recurring house maintenance cost by 10 percent