‘Sumba Iconic Island’: A Case Study on Establishing a Community-Public-Private Partnership for Providing Renewable Energy
T. Lambooy, A. Kusumadara, A. Argyrou, M. Istiqomah (eds.) CSR in Indonesia: Legislative Developments and Case Studies, Konstitusi Press, Utrecht University and Brawijaya University, Malang, Indonesia 2013
58 Pages Posted: 21 Jun 2013
Date Written: June 19, 2013
This case study investigates the partnership for sustainable development with the name ‘Sumba Iconic Island’. It concerns a community-public-private partnership aimed at providing renewable energy to the people of Sumba, an Indonesian island in the Province East Nusa Tenggara. The study explores how the partnership has been set up and organised: who are the partners, what is the type of engagement of each partner, what type of preparatory work was undertaken, what are the partnership goals, how are they being implemented, and which challenges need to be addressed?
This partnership was initiated in 2009 by the Dutch non-governmental organisation (NGO) Humanistisch Instituut voor Ontwikkelingssamenwerking (Humanist Institute for Co-operation with Developing Countries; 'HIVOS'). The partnership aims at reorganising the energy provision for Sumba’s inhabitants and to transform this into a 100% renewable energy provision, all locally produced. The ambitions include realising an increase of the local accessibility to electricity and at the same time addressing climate change. The idea behind this initiative is that this island could serve as an ‘Iconic Island’, i.e. serving as a showcase for other Indonesian and Pacific islands as to how to generate low cost, clean and renewable energy in rural areas, thereby making the island inhabitants independent from traditional sources of energy such as diesel and firewood. Concrete partnership goals include stimulating the use of biogas, wind, solar and water energy, and also creating carbon emission credits. At the beginning of 2013, many of these goals were in the process of being implemented.
For the realisation of this ambitious initiative, many preliminary scoping studies and in-depth feasibility studies were conducted, many stakeholders were aligned and many relationships were established. Local and national public authorities were contacted about the partnership idea as well as local civil society organisations. What is interesting from the perspective of Corporate Social Responsibility is the following. The ‘Sumba Iconic Island’ Initiative puts sustainable development into practice by uniting the strengths and capacities of public and private partners. From the outset, Hivos has joined together public authorities, local NGOs and various Indonesian and Dutch companies and consultants. The reasons for involving private sector players were threefold: to profit from their financial support (sometimes through their CSR programmes), to engage their professional resources in developing the ideas, and thirdly to involve them from the beginning as important players in the partnership in order to stimulate a long-term determination from their side.
The final section of the case study describes new challenges that the ‘Sumba Iconic Island’ partnership faces in the context of striving for collaboration with the private sector. PT. Wilmar, a multinational company, publicly communicated its strategy to purchase large areas of farmland in West Sumba to start sugar cane plantations to produce biofuel. This company however, has received a lot of critique from various NGOs in the past. It has been suggested that if PT. Wilmar would effectuate its plans, issues with communities could arise concerning the food security, land ownership, corruption, the scarcity of water and cultural heritage.
Keywords: Corporate Social Responsibility, partnership for sustainable development, climate change, renewable energy, community-public-private partnership, stakeholder engagement, triple P investment, Indonesia, Sumba, Nusa Tenggara
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