Indigenous-Led/Managed Renewable Energy Projects in Partnership with United Nations Developmnet Program-Small Grant Program (UNDP-SGP)



The Bunong indigenous community in Kbal Romeas had to fetch water from the hydropower dam for their household use. This water source is far from their new village. It takes them one or two hours by a ​hand tractor to get  water. Some families do not have a handed tractor, so they use motorbike. They have to spend a few hours, energy and gasoline (money) to get 4-100 liters of water In addition, the dam’s water is not clean, and sometimes causes itchy skin.

To deal with this water problem, the community came up with the idea of establishing a clean water station to distribute water to all the houses in the community. The community consulted with CIPO about this clean water system initiative. In response, CIPO provided support to the community by helping the community to seek funding from external sources.


The clean water pumping station project received a joint funding from SELAVIP and UNDP Small Grant Program (UNDP-SGP). The Selavip fund contributed to address community sanitation through constructing latrines to all household in the village. At first, due to limited of fund from Selavip, the clean water pumping system used a power generator to pump water, which consumes fuel. However, to cut the cost and protect environment, the community members discussed about using solar power instead of the generator. With the assistance from the Right Energy Partnership, the community was able to access the UNDP SGP to support the installation of solar energy in their community for green electricity need to pump clean water.


In 2020, the GEF Small grants together with the Right Energy Partnership launched a call for proposals for indigenous peoples (IP) organizations to implement Community based energy projects in Africa, specifically in DRC and Cameroon. In Cameroon, five IP organisations were selected through a competitive process on community-based projects in favour of vulnerable indigenous peoples.

One of the main activities of the grant is the provision and installation of solar panels in indigenous communities. Five communities benefited from the solar panels as follows: Assoumindélé (East Region of Cameroon) implemented by Okani, Mobe (East Region of Cameroon) implemented by MBOSCUDA, Messok (East Region of Cameroon) implemented by ASSID, Yolo (West Region of Cameroon) implemented by MADACKCON, and Kribi (South Region of Cameroon) implemented by ADEPA.

Access to solar panels helps in improving the living conditions of indigenous peoples and facilitate access to learning for children of school going ages. Many households benefited including a health centre in Assoumindélé, school and an orphanage (Foyer de Notre Dame de la Foret) at Bipindi under Ocean division. This is the first time that these communities gained access to energy and it has gone a long way to ameliorate their standard of living and has triggered a positive relationship with other neighbouring communities.


In November 2019, the United Nations Development Program, UNDP, through the Microfinance funds of the Global Environment Facility (GEF), launched as part of the OP6 Innovation Program : Access for Indigenous Peoples to energy. This call for projects aimed to reduce deforestation and the protection of forests and natural resources through the access of indigenous peoples to renewable energy.

Seven organizations in the provinces of Maindombe and Equateur were selected to implement the project in the DRC as follows:

    1. Association des Femmes Pygmées Botshike (AFPB)   
    2. Association des Femes Bokatola (APPB) 
    3. CAMAID , 
    4. Dignité Pygmée (DIPY) 
    5. Solidarité Pour la promotion de la Femme Autochtone (SPFA) 
    6. Synergie des associations pygmées de Lokuku pour l’environnement, (APYLIN) 
    7. Association des paysans pygmées de Lokuku (APPL) 

 Living off forests and biodiversity, the indigenous Pygmy peoples in the villages of Luatekaka and Bolingo in the province of Maindombe in the Democratic Republic of Congo, had expressed the need to light up their villages.  

Despite the potential, only 7% of the Congolese population have access to lighting, including 0.1% of the indigenous Pygmy peoples. Insufficient electricity is one of the drivers of deforestation in the Democratic Republic. 

The communities of the two villages have lived for millennia in their forests, using the traditional method as a form of resilience in individual lighting in households. These communities were in a very particular situation insofar as public lighting did not exist and whenever cases of illness arose during the night, serious problems were observed in reaching a nearby health facility. This was the basis of a high mortality rate.

These projects were an innovation in the fight against deforestation through lighting in villages with energies. The projects have contributed to improving the living conditions of the indigenous Pygmy peoples as well as to the conservation and protection of forests and natural resources. The projects are part of the mechanisms to fight against climate change but also the conservation of biodiversity in the areas of implementation. 



The OP6 Innovation Program (SGP GEF Global Environment Facility Small Grants Program El Salvador) within the framework of cooperation with the Major Group of Indigenous Peoples for Sustainable Development (IPMG), supported by the Rights to Energy (REP) initiative. 

The REP initiative seeks to empower indigenous peoples to accelerate their access and progress in renewable energy; generate processes to strengthen the indigenous community social network to improve the quality of life – good living, using photovoltaic energy technologies.

In the case of El Salvador, the Major Group (IPMG) contacted the Central American Indigenous Coordinator (CICA), which in turn convened the Salvadoran National Indigenous Coordinating Council (CCNIS), so that it would support the Energy Rights Initiative (REP) in that country and thus the initiative “Photovoltaic Energy Access to Indigenous Peoples of El Salvador” was born. 

Project Objectives:

Specific Objective 1:

Conventional rural electrification project in hamlets: a) La Presa, b) El Rodeo and c) Colón.

A1. Conventional rural electrification in 3 hamlets a) La Presa, b) El Rodeo and c) Colón

Specific Objective 2: Installation of 24 photovoltaic systems in the hamlets: a) La Presa, b) El Rodeo and c) Colón.

A1. Installation of 24 photovoltaic systems in the hamlets a) La Presa, b) El Rodeo and c) Colón.

Each system is made up of a 400W photovoltaic module that receives sunlight to convert it into energy for domestic use through a micro inverter. The energy generated by photovoltaic solar systems is enough to light up to three 15-watt LED bulbs at the same time, use four electrical appliances and charge two cell phones.

Specific objectives:

3: Installation of photovoltaic systems in the Multiple Use Community Center of the municipality of Guatajiagua.

Activity 1. Installation of photovoltaic systems in the Multiple Use Community Center of the municipality of Guatajiagua.

Activity 2. Change from conventional meter to bidirectional meter

Specific Objective 3: Installation of photovoltaic systems in the Multiple Use Community Center of the municipality of Guatajiagua.

Activity 1. Installation of photovoltaic systems in the Multiple Use Community Center of the municipality of Guatajiagua.

Activity 2. Change from conventional meter to bidirectional meter

Given the participation of the AES company, the REP project had a collateral benefit, because the AES company turned to benefiting these communities by extending the national electricity grid to the communities, which included the installation of 63 poles, 6 transformers and more than three thousand meters of cable.



Name of the project: Supporting Indigenous Practices and Entrepreneurship through Promotion of Renewable Energy Technology in the Indigenous Community of Bardiya

Primary Objective:

  • To improve rural livelihood of Indigenous people by supporting indigenous practices through promotion of renewable energy technologies

Specific Objectives:

  • To install various renewable energy technologies in the community to meet their energy demand for household and agricultural activities
  • To promote and support various indigenous entrepreneurship activities through capacity building
  • To develop climate resilience in the village through adoption of climate smart technologies and demonstrate the village in the form of eco village
  • To create linkage in between the community and the local financial institutes to finance on RE technologies and other entrepreneurship activities and promote local indigenous products.

 Expected Results:

  • Various renewable energy technologies like solar pumps, improved cooking stoves, solar dryers, biogas etc. is installed in the Tharu village.
  • 15 units of individual based Sajilo Sunflower Solar Pump installed which is very handy and can be easily installed in the field. The individual system has advantage over community based system as there will be more ownership and care in case of individual system and no chance of conflict.
  • 50 units of ICS being installed and 10 units of biogas installed for cooking to reduce improper/ inefficient traditional biomass burning cookstoves causing harm to health and environment and conservation forest and use of bio slurry as fertilizer for eco friendly agriculture
  • 1 house 1 tree concept of high value tree/fruit tree seedlings planted within the village in 187 HHs
  • 10 units of solar dryer installed for processing medicinal herbs
  • Indigenous entrepreneurship improved;
  • Piloting of semi mechanized DunaTapari making machine
  • Use of bio fertilizer/Jholmal in all project community
  • Development of linkage between project beneficiary community and local financial institutes to finance RETs and other related entrepreneurship.
  • School level program to advocate students and teachers on RETs

 Development of knowledge products and sharing results of project experiences and outputs with village communities and other stakeholders.




The Right Energy Partnership (REP), in partnership  with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP-SGP)) has supported community-led renewable energy projects in rural areas in Timor-Leste in addressing their need for access to energy. 

Assosiasaun Santalum, a local NGO, implemented a renewable energy project entitled “Sustainable Energy for Rural Communities” in Hatucona Manatuto Muncipality particularly photovoltaic systems (solar panelpanels).

In the project implementation, the SGP worked along with the National Steering Committee (NSC) consisting of varied entities and relevant stakeholders,          


With support from UNDP, Centro Comunidade Covalima (CCC), implemented the renewable energy project in Timor-Leste entitled “Alternative Electrical Energy Innovation” particularly photovoltaic system (solar panel) in both Dato-rua and Dato-tolu village in Covalima Municipality. 


Indigenous-Led/Managed Renewable Energy Projects in Partnership with International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)

The International fund for Agricultural Development is supporting the  Institution Capacity building of Alyansi Masyarakat Adat Nusantara (AMAN) in Indonesia  and the construction of 2 Pilot Microhydro Projects in the Island of Sumba and Edungus Village in Kalimantan Utara




The Right Energy Partnership is supporting the campaigns of indigenous peoples in Nepal on the Tanahu Hydro power Project, Sunkoshi-Marin Diversion Multi-Purpose Project, Dudhkoshi Hydropower Project  and Tamakoshi-Kathmandu Transmission Line.



The Right Energy Partnership is providing support for the campaigns of indigenous peoples in Kenya on the Lake Turkana Wind Power Project and Kipeto Wind Power Project. It has also supported the development of a Policy Paper on Renewable Energy and Indigenous Peoples



The Right Energy Partnership has collboarated with indigenous organizations in the Cordillera, Philippines in their campaign to stop the Gened Dams and Alimit Hydropower Complex, and the Saltan Dam.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This