29 Sep Finalizing the Atauro Island MPA Management Plan
After a six year process, the proposed management plan and Ministerial Decree for Atauro Island MPA were submitted to the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries of Timor Leste, through a multi-stakeholder national workshop in Dili from 25-26 September 2019. Once approved, these documents will form the legal basis for the sustainable management and conservation of the island’s unique marine biodiversity.
This Ministerial Decree Proposal was submitted together with biophysical and socio-economic data, a finalized MPA outer boundary (two nautical miles from Atauro Island coastline), a finalized zoning system and long-term (20 years) management plan, and a draft for the structure of the management unit for Atauro Island MPA.
The biophysical and socio-economic data were collected through surveys, and included a literature study for a deeper understanding. The zoning system and management plan were also developed and agreed upon based on input from scientific data and a series of multi-stakeholder public consultations in Dili and Atauro, with over 640 participants joining the meetings in Atauro Island. There are five zones in the Atauro MPA: the core zone, marine tourism zone, temporary protected zone, aquaculture zone, and sustainable fisheries zone. Regulations are applied in each zone, restricting certain activities to protect ecosystems.
Once the Ministerial Decree is declared, CTC will focus on strengthening the capacity of the management unit, so they can effectively manage the MPA. Furthermore, CTC will also focus on the development of infrastructure and facilities, as well as sustainable financing mechanisms to support management of the MPA.
Meanwhile, the CTC Timor-Leste field officer and our partners from local NGO Roman Luan, have taken the plunge to become Open-Water Certified Divers. Their new skills will support the management of the MPA.