11 Jul Collaboration in Action: CTC Team Heads to Timor-Leste
The Atauro Island MPA in Timor-Leste is an example of international collaboration, communities, local governments and NGOs uniting to protect the environment that sustains us all. On July 11th, the CTC team travelled to Atauro to meet with community leaders and local government representatives, and to celebrate and solidify our collaboration.
The trip started with a meeting between the CTC team, the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (MAF) and the Atauro community, including women leaders, fishing groups and village officials. The CTC team was welcomed with Tais Timor, a traditional woven cloth, given as a symbol of friendship and cooperation. The meeting was an opportunity to ensure all stakeholders in the project understand the importance of marine conservation efforts in the area, and to ensure the involvement of all groups on the island in the planning and management of the MPA. New ideas and improvements to the current management plan were brought up during a group discussion, highlighting the enthusiasm and commitment of the local community to ensure Atauro is a model of sustainable and effective marine conservation.
The CTC team also used this trip to sign a new MoU with the Roman Luan Foundation, our local NGO partner in establishing the MPA. The ceremony focused on our common goal of increasing cooperation to support greater management of coastal and marine resources. The hope is to focus our collaboration on supporting marine resource research programs and to provide training on marine conservation, to build skills and capacity amongst the local community. The Director of the Roman Luan Foundation, Avelino Pereira, expressed his optimism for Atauro’s future, and our joint responsibility to care for and manage these precious marine resources.