Timor-Leste Uses New Natural Resources ManualNewsroom
The Government of Timor-Leste will be using a new comanagement manual as part of efforts to protect its natural resources.
The US Support to the Coral Triangle Initiative said the new manual on comanagement “is expected to harness, for the first time, the capacity of government officers and local communities in jointly managing and protecting the country’s resources.”
The manual, entitled Guidelines for Establishing Comanagement of Natural Resources in Timor-Leste was developed by the USAID’s Coral Triangle Support Partnership (USAID CTSP) in collaboration with Timor-Leste’s Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries through its National Directorate for Fisheries and Aquaculture.
The USAID CTSP, which is helping the government in its efforts to preserve natural resources, also said “comanagement provides a mechanism for establishing effective partnerships between different stakeholders and government agencies, ensuring that people are involved in decision-making processes that will directly affect the way they interact with their surrounding resources.”
The USAID CTSP further said throughout the process of developing the manual, community members who often rely on traditional methods in resource management, and government officers, will be able to establish a common understanding of roles and responsibilities in the management of coastal and marine resources, and provide the foundations for fisheries comanagement in Timor-Leste.
The manual includes step-by-step principles for working with communities, strengthening community government relationships, establishing community-based management systems that are aligned with customary practices (tara bandu), and integrating resource management systems into laws, the USAID CTSP said.
“This manual provides an overview of Timor-Leste’s comanagement model and strengthens the existing legal framework by providing a body of work to be used as guidance for the many agencies aiming to achieve better community participation in Natural Resource management,” said Mariano Assanami Sabino, Timor-Leste Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries.
Proponents said although the manual aims to primarily develop management efforts of Timor-Leste’s natural resources, it can “also provide lessons for the broader Coral Triangle and beyond.”
Tory Read, USAID CTSP