Happy New Year 2013. May all beings be happy.

Entering the year 2013 means that YBUL is entering itís 20 years of age. Established in 1993, YBUL has been working in renewable energy development related issues. In this last two decades, many works and projects have been implemented, and thus many experiences were gained. The organization has become more mature in developing projects or programs; maintaining networks with relevant partners; and working with different levels of entities, from international donors to community-based organizations.

Within the last three years, YBUL has been involved in designing and implementing projects directly related to local community empowerment. To mention a few: provision of clean water to local community in Sindang Pakuon, Sumedang, West Java (under a collaboration with the Coca-Cola Foundation Indonesia); alternative income generation for local community aiming at conservation of Gunung Halimun-Salak National Park (under collaboration with Chevron Geothermal Salak); and conversion of cow manure to community-based biogas for cooking in Riau (under collaboration with the Embassy of Finland/EEP project).

YBUL believes that in working with community organizations, sustainability factors have to be carefully integrated. YBUL is dwelling into this discourse. For example: in the clean water provision in Sindang Pakuon, a community-based organization was planned, initiated, developed and established, as well as legally supported. These aim at sustainably manage the clean water and its distribution to the subscribing communities. By establishing this village level PDAM (water company) supported legally by a Perdes /village level, revenues are collected for running the operation and maintenance of the system, as well as allocating some percentage of the revenue for rehabilitating the water catchment areas to maintain sufficient water volume.

Approaches toward development of social entrepreneurship in the Chevron assisted project is being explored and will be implemented in the future. Social investment strategies are considered for future extension of the project. YBUL will collaborate with local community members in managing selected Ďbusinessesí under the project, which is aimed at promoting sustainable economically benefiting activities.

Construction of biogas digesters in Riau is based on micro-credit system. YBUL has observed that many renewable projects do not last when they are developeond as grant-basis program. Degree of ownership is low, commitment to correctly operate and maintain the system is lacking. Therefore, YBUL is working with the Yayasan Mitra Insani (YMI) of Riau and the Koperasi Petani Sawit to set up the appropriate engagement and micro credit system for the project.

All in all, YBUL has improved itís strategy by adopting social entrepreneurship dimension in all itís development projects. This means that social investments have to take place in the project sites, economic investments have to be integrated into community-based projects for self sustainability. Only then, community strengthening can take place, continuously in relatively a longer period of time.


Agus Widianto

Executive Director