Strengthening Village Resilience and Indigenous Advocacy through Sustainable community based Micro-Hydro In Malaysia.
In the effort to scale up Malaysia’s efforts in simultaneously addressing the problems of rural energy access and climate change, Jaringan Orang Asal SeMalaysia (JOAS) and its member organizations seek to demonstrate the viability of renewable energy systems. Together, these organizations plan to demonstrate the capability of indigenous communities to wield this technology in ways that improve the resilience of their villages while contributing to the global effort to reduce carbon emissions. JOAS, as the main project proponent, will leverage the existing technical expertise of member organization TONIBUNG to build a 20 kW micro-hydro power system that will provide the village of Long San’s 800 residents with 24-hour, renewable power for domestic use and cottage industry activities. The development of the actual micro-hydro power system will be the foundation for the following three course of actions: 1) JOAS will use the village of Long San as a base to train additional micro-hydro project developers from past GEF SGP projects and other villages. 2) JOAS’ media team will develop a 20-minute long documentary and several short films/ video clips highlighting the micro-hydro development process, community-based model, and important impacts on local community livelihood, all contextualized within Malaysian indigenous peoples’ issues. 3) JOAS will utilize these projects and documentation as leverage to advocate for more equitable energy solutions at both the local and international level, calling for roundtable discussions involving local and international policymakers.

Project Objectives.
1. To electrify the village of Long San, and demonstrate the viability of renewable power alternatives by building a 20 kw micro-hydro power system in the village of Long San. Establish a micro-hydro committee, consisting of women in key roles, to manage the system.
2. To expand and strengthen a network of indigenous, renewable energy practitioners in Malaysia.
3. To mainstream the idea and methodology of community-based renewable energy projects.
4. To engage local and international policymakers in dialogue concerning the community-based renewable energy model.

Project Activities;
1.1 Build a 20 kilowatt micro-hydro power system that will provide Long San’s 800 residents with 24-hour, renewable power for domestic use and cottage industry activities that are led by women.
1.2 Work with community leaders in implementing measures that will ensure that the Long San community will be able to pay back the costs of Long San’s 20 KW turbine over the span of 3 years.
1.3 Develop a watershed protection plan, and implement watershed restoration measures, for Long San’s watershed, using the micro-hydro power system to incentivize the conservation of that watershed.

2.1 Train micro-hydro technicians from communities across the nation, with a focus on those from villages that were recipients’ previous GEF SGP funds.
2.2 Establish a nation-wide network for community-based micro-hydro practitioners.

3.1 Produce a series of videos that document the construction process of the Long San micro-hydro power system, as well as the state of existing SGP micro-hydro projects in the context of the indigenous struggle for land and resources. Hold public viewings of the video once complete.
3.2 Produce copies of these videos that can be easily distributed to community members via existing JOAS networks. JOAS will feature articles in ASAL, a quarterly publication produced by JOAS, sourced from its member communities and organizations, to be read by indigenous communities across the nation.
3.3 Use social media to spread the message and the model of community-based micro-hydro, leveraging international networks like SEAREPA and HPNet. JOAS will make these videos and materials available on social media and SGP/JOAS websites.

4.1 Hold roundtable discussions with policy-makers to discuss how the community-based model could be applied to their rural electrification goals.
4.2 The Southeast Asia Renewable Energy Peoples’ Assembly (SEAREPA) is a regional network that brings together renewable energy advocates and campaigners with practitioners. The network meets once every two years. JOAS will use SEAREPA as a platform to engage ASEAN and other intergovernmental organizations that could provide funding and policy support for rural electrification programs. The specific objective will be to gain access to intergovernmental policymakers and media groups to advocate for stronger regional incentives and support for community-based micro-hydro in Malaysia. The JOAS delegation will meet with other JOAS stakeholders to discuss what other specific outcomes and issues need to be addressed within the SEAREPA. Media materials and parts of the report (mentioned in section 4.3) will be provided to share with other SEAREPA members.
4.3 Compile research that shows the potential impact of a policy change in rural electrification. Print and distribute copies of the final documents. The research will be conducted in stages and will form a three-part series. The first of the series will involve a strong technical analysis addressing rural energy demand and financing to be distributed to state/national utility companies and rural development ministries. The second will address the potential climate and conservation components, as well as micro-hydro’s relevance to indigenous groups, to target an audience that include forestry, parks, wildlife departments and large conservation-oriented NGO’s like the WWF. The final piece will compile elements of the first two reports to be directed towards parliamentary level policy makers.

Project Snapshot

Country: Malaysia
Area Of Work: Climate Change Mitigation
Operational Phase: Phase 5
Grant Amount: US$ 150,000.00
Co-Financing Cash: US$ 16,563.00
Co-Financing in-Kind: US$ 37,064.00
Project Number: MAL/SGP/OP5/Y3/SP/STAR/CC/14/01
Start Date: 4/2014
End Date: 12/2016
Status: Currently under execution