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Terian Village


Conservation benefit: Protection of a 107-acre watershed and integrated watershed management

Community benefit: Community micro-hydro system

Date Approved: 07.2004


This project promotes sustainable energy production, helping reduce the emission of greenhouse gases and slowing global warming.


This project protects forest, preventing the release of greenhouse gases and reducing erosion that damages coastal and ocean ecosystems.

The Crocker Range National Park, also called “The Spine of Sabah,” covers 540 square miles of remote forest on the island of Borneo. It is one of the most important sanctuaries of biodiversity left in Sabah State, which developers have logged extensively.

Terian Village has agreed to protect a 107-acre watershed area. In return, Seacology will fund a micro-hydro energy system, which will provide clean electricity for the village. Micro-hydro systems create power by harnessing the vertical drop of a stream in the forest. Seacology is working with PACOS Trust, the Borneo Project, Green Empowerment and Tinimungan Popoburu Tulun (TINIPOT, or the Community Development Action Group of Terian) to complete this system.

Project Updates

September 2018

The repaired micro-hydro installation is up and running, providing clean power to the village.

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May 2018

It took three tries to get pipes for the micro-hydro system up to the village. But now they are there, and there have been regular community work sessions (gotong royong). Each household is required to send at least one family member to each one. Community discussions on watershed protection protocols are attracting a cross-section of the community, including youths and elderly men and women. Mapping of the watershed has been completed.

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January 2018

December and January rains badly degraded the only road to Terian, and two attempts to bring in pipes for the micro-hydro system have failed. Still, there has been progress: two or three community work sessions every month, as well as conservation mapping, which was undertaken by community leaders. When the road dries out a bit, community members will try again to get the pipes up to the village.

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October 2017

After another landslide severely damaged the intake pipes that led from the river to the small powerhouse, Malaysia field representative Chris Wright traveled to this lovely, remote village several times to meet with community members. Chris then brought a request for a maintenance grant to Seacology, on behalf of the village. He and Program Manager Mary Randolph visited Terian this month. They met with Seacology Prize Winner Adrian (Banie) Lasimbang, community members, and the project administrator. Work should begin soon.

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January 2007

After the mud slide in April the system was repaired to full operation in July 2006. The system is providing renewable electricity for lights, small appliances and agricultural processing. The community now collects contributions from members for their use of the electricity and mills so they can pay for future repair costs.

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June 2006

The micro-hydro system was completed in June 2005. It is providing renewable electricity for lights, small appliances and agricultural processing. Training for the maintenance of the system occurred in late 2005 and community meetings were held to discuss various aspects of managing the system. A Seacology group visited the site and the system during their April 2006 expedition to Borneo. A mud slide had temporarily suspended operation of the generator during their visit. The community remains very appreciative of the project and land owners upstream have signed an agreement not to participate in activities that would deteriorate a several hundred acre parcel of land.

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January 2006

In June, some sections of pipe had to be replaced due to damage by a fallen tree. Other trees along the headrace were removed to prevent future problems. In August, a community meeting was held to discuss various aspects of management of the micro-hydro system, and follow-up training for system operators was held as well as training of three new operators. In September, house wiring safety inspections were held, and Miniature Circuit Breakers were installed to limit power use by each household based on the subscribed lighting package. Operation of the system was reduced to between 6-11 PM during this time, the driest of the year. A small “agro-processing” unit has been set up to grind cassava and husk rice. A detailed evaluation will be conducted in January 2006, six months after the official commissioning of the system.

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July 2005

Project coordinator and 2004 Seacology Prize recipient Adrian Lasimbang reports that the last of the equipment was delivered to Terian by helicopter and that the turbine will be installed and operating by June 2005. Mr. Lasimbang and the Terian community plan to use the month of July to test the system to make sure the micro-hydro system is fully operational. 300 seedlings and materials for a nursery were also delivered in early 2005 to start the watershed reforestation program.

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