A project to help people produce charcoal is making life a little cleaner and more profitable for a group of Papua New Guineans.
The six-year project in Lae to help people grow suitable species of trees to produce and sell charcoal, as well as charcoal stoves, is funded by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research.
Project leader Dr Ian Nuberg, from the University of Adelaide, says it is a novel idea because 75 per cent of people use wood for cooking.
"We found that people were very interested in having these charcoal stoves," Dr Nuberg said.
"Mainly the people who had businesses as hot food vendors because a lot of these hot food vendors are all next to each other in a marketplace and when they're using normal firewood it makes lots of smoke."
A group of producers has set up a cooperative to make and sell charcoal and charcoal stoves.
Jessie Abiuda-Mitir, from PNG Forestry Research Institute, is monitoring the project and says it has helped those involved to diversify their incomes.
"They're mostly unemployed villagers who are subsistence farmers," she said.
Ms Abiuda-Mitir says charcoal is also a cleaner and more efficient source of energy for cooking.
"Because of its smokelessness (sic), it's clean energy that they're using and they tend to use that information to inform their neighbours who are also getting involved in using charcoal."