05 Jun CTC Renews Partnership Agreement with the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries of Timor-Leste

Coral Triangle Center (CTC) and the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries of Timor-Leste has renewed its partnership by formally signing a five-year cooperative agreement that will be implemented from 2023 until 2028.

The agreement demonstrates CTC’s long-term commitment to assist regional efforts to conserve the marine resources of the Coral Triangle, with a focus on enhancing the management and protection of Timor-Leste’s abundant and unique marine and coastal resources. It is CTC’s third partnership agreement signed with the MAF, the first one was in 2012 and the second one in 2017.

CTC has been working in Timor-Leste since 2012 to build local capacity for managing the nation’s marine resources and assist in the establishment of marine protected areas (MPAs). CTC has focused its efforts in increasing knowledge and awareness among officials, members of the community, women leaders, MPA practitioners about issues such as marine biodiversity, integrated ecosystem-based management, the financial sustainability of MPAs, and community facilitation.

Under the agreement, CTC will also promote sustainable marine tourism in Timor-Leste through the Green Fins program; support the survey and research on coral reef, seagrass, mangrove, and marine mega fauna; provide technical assistance on marine spatial plan development; conduct joint communication and awareness program on marine resources management; and collaborate to secure the necessary funding, support and assistance for the implementation of joint proposed activities

CTC’s support to the Timor-Leste government is also anchored in its role as an official development partner of the Coral Triangle Initiative on Coral Reefs, Fisheries, and Food Security (CTI-CFF). As a development partner, CTC is committed to support the CTI-CFF’s member countries, such as Timor-Leste, in managing its marine biodiversity.

CTC is proud to have supported the Timor-Leste Government in the process of the establishment of the two MPAs since 2014. CTC has laid a collaborative groundwork for the development of the MPAs in Atauro Island and Samba Sembilan Liquica. CTC conducted biophysical and socio-economic surveys, supported the development of the MPA zoning system and management plans as well as conducted numerous stakeholder consultations to generate support for the new MPAs.

Through these efforts, CTC has supported the conservation and protection of critical habitats for charismatic and endangered marine animals, such as sea turtles and dugongs, and the migration corridors for blue whales and other cetaceans as well as fishing grounds to ensure food security for the local communities.

In the last two years, CTC has also expanded its work to support the establishment of new MPAs in Manufahi as well as supported the strengthening of MPA management in the Nino Konis Santana National Park with the overall goal that the protection of marine and coastal systems in Timor-Leste to be more comprehensive in the times to come  while at the same time supporting the nation in contributing to global efforts such as the  UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework to.

Photo: Rili Djohani/CTC, Marthen Welly/CTC

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