• Lara Ahmad, Staff Reporter

'20by2020' improves lives of thousands of fishermen and their families in Indonesia


ABU DHABI -- The UAE-led humanitarian initiative, 20by2020, continues to extend sustainable solutions to various parts of the world with the latest deployment in Pulau Laut Selatan - South Kalimantan, Indonesia.


The objective of this deployment is to provide 20,700 people from a large fishermen community with improved energy access through off-grid solar lighting.


Pulau Laut Selatan is in the Kota Baru Regency (Borneo), where a quarter of the population still live in the dark, and most households earn their living by fishing. 3,600 solar lanterns and 1,000 mobile-charging solar lanterns will be distributed to fishermen living without access to electricity to help them with household lighting and income generation, enabling greater economic activities by fishing early in the morning and at night.


This deployment represents a collaboration between two leading Zayed Sustainability Prize winners. The first, D.light which is a 2013 Prize winner and a US-based pioneer in delivering affordable solar-powered solutions for households and small businesses that have been commissioned to provide the technology for 20by2020.


Secondly, Kopernik, an Indonesian non-profit organisation and the 2016 Zayed Sustainability Prize winner, which specialises in sustainable energy. Its mandate is to reduce poverty in last mile communities. Kopernik was in charge of implementing the project in the field.


Ahmed Ali Al Sayegh, Minister of State and Chairman of Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), a founding partner of the 20by2020 initiative, said, "The UAE and Indonesia are aligned with the UN 2030 agenda and share a common focus on building sustainable cities and communities and supporting vital growth sectors."


He added, "Over the years, both countries have embarked on several joint sustainability projects that are designed to build resilient societies and economies. The latest 20by2020 deployment of environmentally friendly solar solutions in Indonesia’s South Kalimantan region aims to enhance the quality of life for local residents and will also help to connect unelectrified populations to the grid. We are glad to be part of this meaningful initiative and outreach. "


In turn, Arifin Tasrif, Indonesian Minister for Energy and Mineral Resources, said, "We strongly believe that this donation will effectively support the Indonesian Government to achieve our target of 23% new and renewable energy in the energy mix and help lead the country’s transition to a cleaner energy future. We would like to extend our appreciation to the UAE and we hope that we can continue to work closely together in the field of new and renewable energy to achieve our shared vision of a sustainable future."


Established in December 2019, 20by2020 is a natural extension of the Zayed Sustainability Prize’s commitment to work with its winners and finalists by continuing to support their goals and allowing their solutions to reach a much wider number of people around the globe.


Mubadala Petroleum has also been engaging with local fishermen in West Sulawesi since 2014 to support the deployment of artificial fish aggregating devices (rumpon) in the Makassar Strait and fishing lighting technology opening new fishing grounds and additional income sources.


In 2018, Mubadala funded a skills empowerment training programme for fishermen’s wives in this coastal area, in addition to implementing a Waste Management project which saw the introduction of a waste bank and reuse-recycle waste activities.


Dr. Bakheet Al Katheeri, CEO of Mubadala Petroleum, a founding partner of the initiative, commented, "This deployment in South Kalimantan in Indonesia will harness the power of innovative technologies to enable sustainable solutions for the local fishing community. Since 2014, we have been involved in empowering this community through a range of well-established projects designed to enhance education, environmental and development goals. Our involvement in the 20by2020 initiative complements these efforts and we look forward to seeing the real-world impact on local communities as these schemes progress."


Eight deployments have been rolled out to date, including energy, health, water and food solutions in Cambodia, Madagascar, Egypt, Jordan, Nepal, Tanzania, and Uganda. 20by2020 will conclude its 1st phase with a project in Costa Rica and additional solutions will be deployed in another 10 countries as part of phase two.

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