Mainstreaming dugongs and their seagrass habitats in national coastal zone planning and decision-making (TL3).



TL3 aims to strengthen and operationalise an inter-ministerial mechanism to ensure a coordinated approach to national-level coastal zone planning and decision-making which effectively addresses dugong and seagrass conservation.

The project will strengthen national-level understanding of the importance of seagrass areas by linking their health to the economic value of fisheries and the potential for eco-tourism opportunities related to dugongs. It also aims to enable adaptable management planning and active ownership over the use of natural resources by local communities.

TL3 is designed to investigate current biodiversity safeguards (specific to dugongs and seagrass) in environment, sector-specific and local development policies. The lack of such safeguards is a key driver of conflict between development and biodiversity and a barrier to the effective conservation of dugongs and seagrass in Timor-Leste.

Active dialogue with government and dedicated workshops will be conducted to identify appropriate means to improve policies where required. A set of guidelines will be developed based on the policy gap analysis, which will be shared with key ministries (Tourism, Finance, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Environment, etc.) engaged with coastal planning. These guidelines will identify the steps required to protect dugongs and/or seagrass habitats in proposed planning areas.

  1. Analyse Timor-Leste policies to identify gaps in decision-making and planning to protect dugongs and seagrass.
  2. Propose recommendations/guidelines on sustainable coastal development and planning, and gain approval from the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Environment (MCIE) and the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (MAF).
  3. Disseminate widely the approved guidelines among related institutions, businesses and communities in local languages