20 Feb Local Consultations for Proposed Atauro Island and Liquica MPA Zoning System in Timor-Leste

Last February, workshops to finalize the draft of zoning system for Atauro Island and Liquica MPAs were facilitated by Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (MAF), CTC and Roman Luan Foundation.  The workshops were conducted in Atauro Island on 20-21 February and attended by 43 participants and in Liquica on 22 February 2019 and was attended by 40 participants.

The workshop was opened by MAF Director General Acacio Guteres (Atauro island) and MAF National Director Celestino Da Cunha (Liquica).  The participants came from national government municipality, sub-district and village heads as well as representatives from fishermen group, women groups, religious leaders, and the private sector.

As a result of the workshop in Atauro Island, the participants came to agree the proposed MPA outer boundary (one nautical mile from the coastline),  core zone, tourism zone, sustainable fisheries zone, and Tara Bandu zone. The participants proposed to add an aquaculture zone as well as general regulation within the MPA such as prohibiting littering in the sea and anchoring on the coral reef for all zones.

In the Liquica workshop, there was intensive discussion on outer boundary distance where draft was two nautical miles from the coastline with several consideration such as cost for surveillance and patrol, range area of the conservation target as well as regulation for boat routes. The participants came out with one and three nautical miles options. After a long discussion, the participants agreed to have two nautical miles for the Liquica MPA outer boundary.  The participants were proposing certain route and tracking for oil boats as well as general regulation in MPA such as prohibiting the dumping of waste into the sea. Following the consultation, CTC’s technical team will revise the previous draft to include the outcomes of the workshop.

Continuing the zoning system development, CTC, MAF and Roman Luan foundation facilitated a workshop with Atauro Island stakeholders to pilot test outreach materials to teach local communities about marine mammals and reef fish.  The posters are available in English and Tetun version. The stakeholders found the posters easy to understand with key messages. As a follow-up to the workshop, the posters are ready to be printed and distributed to the communities in the coming months.

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