Building Technical Capacity for Micro-Hydro Development in Indonesia

Part of what partnership means to Green Empowerment is being able to share sustainable technology solutions across geographic regions. After seeing our successful collaboration with TONIBUNG in Malaysia, we were honored to have Aliansi Masyarakat Adat Nusantara (AMAN), the Indigenous Peoples Network of Indonesia, invite us to help build and strengthen their renewable energy program by leading trainings and sharing what we have learned in the field.

For two decades, Green Empowerment has been working with communities on micro-hydro projects in Malaysia, the Philippines, and Latin America. Micro-hydro technology uses a water source like a stream, to provide high-quality electricity to an entire remote community 24/7 by diverting a small portion of the water to a turbine located downstream.

Prioritizing Our Partners and the Planet

Together with AMAN and TONIBUNG, we are delivering a series of virtual micro-hydro training sessions in Indonesia. So far, we have developed training tools in the Indonesian language, provided virtual training, and supported feasibility studies for pilot projects in three Indonesian provinces. 

AMAN strives to empower Indonesia’s Indigenous population. Training participants are from “Masyarakat Adat”, Indigenous peoples communities from the provinces of Sumba, Kalimantan Utara and Kalimantan Barat. “Like many of the world’s indigenous communities, [participants] live in and around some of the most biodiverse and ecologically important lands in the world,” Gabriel Sundoro Wynn, Green Empowerment’s Regional Advisor in Asia described. “Yet, many being subsistence farmers, hunters and fishermen, they often bear the brunt of the negative effects of climate change. In this way, they are both essential partners in overcoming the challenges of climate change mitigation, while also being highly in need of obtaining access to the tools to adapt to climate change.” Through our inclusive training program, our goal is to provide the tools and knowledge for participants to support their communities in the face of challenges like climate change.

Green Empowerment’s Philosophy: Impact Expansion

Green Empowerment’s philosophy is that in-country practitioners are best-suited to meet the community’s needs but are often left out of the conversation. This is why we prioritize local solutions and support Indigenous and rural communities as they determine and realize their own vision of the future. “By providing this training to the AMAN network, we are providing practical technical training to individuals and organizations who will, in turn, deliver community-design, owned and operated systems that will provide reliable energy access, providing critical resources to help communities thrive,” explained Andrea Johnson, Green Empowerment’s Executive Director. 

When asked if she hopes to do this type of training with other partners in the future, Andrea responded, “Definitely. Green Empowerment has been supporting technical training with partners and networks since our founding, the major difference here is that we had to convert this training to virtual training. Thankfully, global connectivity and online training tools enable interactive and engaging virtual training that we complement with toolkits that can be used in the field.”

We are grateful to have the opportunity to work with and learn from AMAN, TONIBUNG, and participants from the Indigenous population in Indonesia. We are inspired by their dedication to lead lasting change in their communities. Stay tuned for an update on the Sabah Road Map next month where we will cover another way of maximizing impact with our partners in Malaysia!

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