Bringing it all together (for dugong and seagrass) in Timor-Leste

August 22, 2016

TL6 Project Update: Jan thru June 2016

The NFC composition was defined – more than 20 different stakeholders were identified, including the Dugong and Seagrass Conservation Project Partners from Timor-Leste, the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of State Administration, Ministry of Planning and Strategic Investment, Ministry of Infrastructure; 2 national NGOs – Haburas Foundation and HASATIL.

The first National Facilitating Committee meeting was convened in January 2016 in Dili. It was attended by 48 people.

The National Facilitator met regularly and coordinated with the leads of the other projects in Timor-Leste on project activities and progress. This included support and facilitation related to different components of work (projects), such as seagrass and dugong data collection (TL1 and TL2), policy work (TL3) and communications work (TL4).

The National Facilitator used different opportunities to promote the global Project and dugong and seagrass conservation. He attended a workshop on climate change adaptation and biodiversity conservation in Timor-Leste organised by the cabinet Director General for Environment.

One of the outcomes of that workshop was a recommendation to Ministries to reduce environmental destruction caused by forest fires, deforestation and mining activities that are leading to high sedimentation and other pollution to the coastal areas, which affects seagrass as a main food source for dugong.

A workshop on the International Biodiversity Day was organised by NDBPR with the UNPAZ (Private University) in Dili, Timor-Leste, which presented another opportunity for the National Facilitator to promote dugong and seagrass conservation as well as the global Dugong and Seagrass Conservation Project.

The inclusion of two MPAs, Atauro Island and Nino Konis Santana (important for dugong and seagrass conservation), was discussed at the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA 20) meeting, held in Montreal Canada, in April 2016. The meeting was attended by the National Facilitator, who was invited to share experience on EBSAs in Timor-Leste. Some of the information shared with the audience was regarding the Dugong and Seagrass Conservation Project in Timor-Leste. The National Facilitator recommended to the Secretariat of the UNCBD to facilitate and assist Timor-Leste in terms of technical and financial support for the establishment of Ecologically and Biologically Marine Significant Areas (EBSAs). In response to this, the Secretariat of CBD plans to conduct a 4-day technical workshop on EBSAs in Timor-Leste around August or September 2016.