Kupang, 28 January 2021 –Today the Mata Kail (Mari Kita Kreatif Agar Ikan Lestari) programme, funded by the European Union, highlighted results of efforts to empower young people in sustainable business during a virtual closing event. Over the last three years, with application led by Plan International Germany, Yayasan Plan International Indonesia (Plan Indonesia) and its partners, Kopernik and Bengkel APPek, have been implementing activities that aim at resolving the economic problems and improving sustainability in East Nusa Tenggara (NTT), the third poorest province in Indonesia.
The Mata Kali programme has been working to encourage almost 2,000 young people in Sikka, Lembata, and Nagekeo to start their own businesses in the sustainable fish processing sector. As a result of this initiative, over 1,137 young women and 860 young men in the 15-29 age range were trained in the fish processing sector. Aside from receiving education about the sustainable consumption and production practices, the young people have also received help in accessing micro-finance agencies and increased their knowledge in preventing malnutrition and stunting.
“Youth in East Nusa Tenggara need to be empowered and keep on creating innovations to ensure the practice of sustainable business. We not only hope that the quality of life of these youth and the local citizens will improve. We also hope that they will be able to understand and uphold the sustainable consumption and production (SCP) principles in the fish processing sector, which is a sector with a lot of economic potential for the NTT citizens,” Dini Widiastuti, Director Executive of Plan Indonesia shared.
The targets of Mata Kail programme are in line with the main objectives of SWITCH-Asia II, a European Union programme that funds Mata Kail. The SCP principles are comprised of environmental sustainability aspect in a value chain, utilization of local commodity or resources, as well as reduction of waste that would otherwise harm the environment. These principles create economic improvements, while at the same time respond to the current environmental problems.
Vincent Piket, Ambassador of the European Union to Indonesia and Brunei Darussalam, said that Mata Kail had contributed to sustainable development, job creation, poverty reduction and a responsible use of natural resources in the region.
“Through the Mata Kail project funded from the EU’s SWITCH Asia programme, we have promoted the sustainable consumption and production principles. Local entrepreneurs in the fisheries sector have gained a better understanding of how sustainability can help grow their companies for the long run. The project has also unlocked micro financial support for young entrepreneurs. I also think that the project has developed a partnership between government and private sector to encourage the practices of sustainable production and consumption in East Nusa Tenggara,” Ambassador Piket stated.
Plan Indonesia and its implementing partners have introduced a set of technologies that can improve young people and local residents’ economic situation and also help them to preserve the environment. Among the technologies are the cool box an insulated box with ice gels, which has a larger capacity and can preserve captured fish longer than traditional boxes—while also help in reducing the use of plastic wrappers and Styrofoam. Aside from that, there is also kinetic shredding machines that help to process a larger amount of fish without polluting the environment, as well as solar-based drying houses that aids the seaweed drying process, even during the rainy season, and minimizes the risk of contamination during this process. Aside from that, the project also encouraged the local government of Sikka and Nagekeo Districts to integrate the sustainable consumption and production (SCP) agenda in its local development programme. Their commitment to follow this agenda was announced during the Mata Kail National Conference, which was held on December 15, 2020.