Manado, Nov, 1 2019 – The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on Thursday signed a Letter of Intent with Bank SulutGo, one of major state-owned banks in Indonesia’s eastern region, to provide clean energy from solar panels in the fishing community of Manado Tua island.

The signing was inked on the sidelines of the Archipelagic and Islands States (AIS) Forum Ministerial Meeting in Indonesia’s port city of Manado. Championed by the Indonesian Coordinating  Ministry for  Maritime Affairs, and with support from UNDP, the AIS Forum provides a platform for governments to engage and collaborate with private sector, civil society, and academia, on climate change-themed and ocean protection initiatives.

The agreement between UNDP and Bank SulutGo will form a basis to provide further support to the “Improving Livelihood of North Sulawesi’s Coastal Residents by Enhancing Access to Electricity and Clean Water using Renewable Energy” project.  More than 2,000 villagers in the Island will gain access to 24-hour of electricity upon the completion of the Project.

“Electricity opens up enormous opportunities to improve various aspects of life for marginalized communities including those in remote small islands. Electricity from clean and renewable sources of energy will also better protect the island and its communities. For this transformative project, UNDP is delighted to partner with Bank SulutGo, with a shared commitment to improve the life of the people,” said Christophe Bahuet, UNDP Resident Representative.

Bank SulutGo President Director, Jeffry A.M Dendeng welcomed the first collaboration with UNDP,adding that the Bank was committed to support the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

“Bank SulutGo is committed to channeling Corporate Social Responsibility fund to support projects that are in line with the goals of SDGs, specifically on goal 6 (clean water and sanitation), goal 7 (clean and affordable energy) and goal 13 (climate change),” said Mr.Dendeng.

“The success of this project has the potential to be replicated on other islands in North Sulawesi, as well as in other regions in Indonesia,” he added.

Nestled among the world renown Bunaken underwater national park, residents in Manado Tua island currently rely on kerosene to power their diesel generators, and candles  to light up their homes at night.  The joint Project will also improve access of clean water to the mostly fishermen communities.

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UNDP Indonesia Communication Specialist, Tomi Soetjipto, suryo.tomi@undp.org

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