Yet, with the opening of Indonesia's first Climate Communications Centre right in their village, this is precisely what their community has turned into.
Buntoi is a remote village of nearly 3,000 ethnic Dayaks, tucked deep into the dense tropical forests of Central Kalimantan province, on the island of Borneo, Indonesia. Central Kalimantan is one of the poorest areas in Indonesia – nearly 40 percent of its inhabitants live in poverty. The province's organic wetlands are under threat from heavy logging and unsustainable agricultural practices, which release large amounts of carbon dioxide and significantly contribute to Indonesia's greenhouse gas emissions.
Sharing knowledge in favour of the environment
In 2012, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, the United Nations Office for REDD+ Coordination in Indonesia and UNOPS launched a project to build a Climate Communications Centre in Central Kalimantan. The project was launched to help combat illegal logging, preserve existing forests and organic wetlands, and provide communities with alternative livelihoods.
Implemented by UNOPS with funding from the Government of Norway, the project has created a space where local people can connect with each other and the outside world, share information, and increase their resilience to climate change. It allows local communities to benefit from global and intergenerational knowledge-sharing on climate issues, and sustainable ways to preserve the environment.
Leading by example
"100 percent of this building's energy needs comes from the sun, which makes it a model for sustainable energy supply."
– John Girsang
UNOPS Construction Manager
Officially opened in September 2013, the Climate Communications Centre is an environmentally-friendly facility built by locals with local materials, incorporating traditional Dayak design and fully run on solar power.
Working closely with local stakeholders and national and international organizations, UNOPS provided procurement services and technical guidance to local contractors and labourers involved in the project.