Using customary law for fisheries and marine ecosystem restoration in Timor-Leste
Collecting significant seagrass data in Hera and Atauro
29 March 2023
@ Kiwa Initiative
Blue Ventures Timor-Leste, together with Konservasaun Flora no Fauna, have been collecting significant hours of seagrass data in Hera and Atauro using the Remote Underwater Video (RUV) and the Seagrass Watch method with the help from Project Seagrass.
The results will be shared with the communities once the data analysis and interpretation are completed.
: Photo Credits: Alex Bartlett, Ryan Lewis, Nick Poole
Lessons learned meeting on Locally Managed Marine Areas in Timor-Leste
10 July 2023
@ Mariano Gonçalves and Blue Venture
In the framework of their Kiwa local project in Timor-Leste, Blue Ventures organized and facilitated a 3-day Locally Managed Marine Areas #LMMA Knowledge Exchange in #Atauro for fishing communities from Hera, Ilimanu and Atauro Islands.
What were the objectives of this event?
- To facilitate communities from Hera and Ilimanu to learn from the LMMA groups of Atauro;
- To create an informal LMMA network;
- To facilitate communities from Hera and Ilimanu to see the result of LMMAs in Atauro, including #ecological and #economic #impacts (marine biodiversity, tourism, livelihoods)
The meetings focused on the history, experiences, and challenges of the Tara Bandu groups of Atauro who have successfully implemented the #traditional #custom in their marine areas. They shared lessons learned with the communities of Hera and Ilimanu, in order to find inspirations to tackle the issue of food security, with a declining number of fishes, in order to improve their livelihoods.
The major partners of this event were local partner Konservasaun Flora no Fauna, Representative from the Ministry of Fisheries, Representative from Secretary of State for the Environment, Fishers from Hera, Fishers from Behau, Tara Bandu Structure of Atauro. Tara Bandu groups, local leaders, and the local communities of Atauro.
Learn more about this Kiwa project: https://urlz.fr/mJKh
New partnership between Blue Ventures and KFF in Timor-Leste
11 October 2022
@ Kiwa Initiative
Birgit Hermann, country director of Blue Ventures in Timor-Leste, is proud to celebrate the start of a new partnership with Konservasaun Flora no Fauna (KFF)!
The purpose of this collaboration is to reinforce the sustainable management of fisheries and the whole ecosystem (coral reefs, seagrass and mangrove habitats), the improvement of food security, the community resilience to climate shocks, and people’s ability to adapt.
With the Kiwa Initiative’s funding, 10 communities in Timor-Leste will be able to strengthen their resilience to the effects of climate change by better protecting ecosystems, managing fisheries, and diversifying livelihoods.
"As an organisation, we’re working to create a world where small-scale fishers have bigger catches, better livelihoods and improved food security, and where healthy oceans teem with life for generations to come. I believe that customary practices and nature-based solutions benefitting people and nature alike are the key to making this vision a reality. As we move forwards with our pacific island neighbours I have a renewed sense of purpose that great things can come from locally led initiatives connected at scale, " states Birgit.
Planting 3000 mangrove seedlings in Timor-Leste on World Mangrove Day
26 July 2023
@ Blue Venture
The Kiwa Initiative® is proud to announce that the project "Using customary law for fisheries and marine ecosystem restoration in Timor-Leste" engaged concrete actions to improve the resilience of communities and ecosystems on World Mangrove Day.
Schoolchildren, local communities, and stakeholders took part of a seedling planting activity in order to reforest the mangrove forest of Hera. This day was organized by Konservasaun FLORA & FAUNA and Blue Ventures Timor-Leste.
Project presentation to the Secretary of State for the Environment in Dili
27 September 2022
@ Blue Ventures and Konservasaun Flora no Fauna
Blue Ventures and local conservation NGO, Konservasaun Flora no Fauna (KFF) presented the project to the Secretary of State for the Environment in Dili. Attendees included the Director General, Mr. João Soares, National Director of Biodiversity, Mr. Rui Pires, National Director of Pollution Control, Mr. Nelson Madeira, representatives from National Designated Authority, representative from Carbon Farming Programme as well as the Regional Director Asia-Pacific of Blue Ventures, Steve Box.
“We are supportive of Blue Ventures and KFF’s new partnership in this project. This marks a new era of cooperation between Blue Ventures and the Secretary of State for the Environment”, said Mr. João Soares, the Director General of Secretary of State for the Environment.
The project aims at elevating communities to establish and monitor a locally managed marine area (LMMA) including coral reef and seagrass habitats, and implement ecologically sustainable fishing measures within the respective habitats.
The partnership with KFF will expand Blue Ventures’ ecological monitoring programme in Timor-Leste, its global strategic focus on blue carbon, and further scale up the network of peer-to-peer knowledge exchange between coastal communities.
Fisheries and marine ecosystem restoration
Blue Ventures Conservation
Amount of funding:
The project implemented by Blue Ventures alongside Konservasaun Flora no Fauna and coastal communities aims to protect and monitor critical marine habitats and fisheries to address declining food security, climate change and biodiversity loss.
Timor-Leste is home to some of the world’s highest levels of marine biodiversity, with fisheries underpinning the livelihoods and food security of coastal communities. However, the resilience of coastal ecosystems is being eroded, leaving communities vulnerable to climate risks.
Using nature-based solutions, such as traditional customary-law based management practices to increase the area of ocean under community protection, and working with local partner Konservasaun Flora no Fauna to plant and protect mangroves, this project will empower and enable communities to better manage their fisheries and the biodiversity that underpins them.
Project objectives ?
- Using a participatory approach and traditional Tara Bandusocial code, Blue Ventures will support two communities to establish and monitor locally managed marine areas (LMMAs) and implement ecologically sustainable fishing measures.
- Working alongside partner NGO Konservasaun Flora no Fauna and the localcommunity, mangrove habitat in Hera will be extended, protected and monitored through mangrove afforestation and the establishment of a conservation area. Capacity building of Konservasaun Flora no Fauna and improvement of infrastructure at their Mangrove Study Centre will further establish them as experts in mangrove research and community outreach.
In addition to protecting communities from storms, flooding and coastal erosion, mangroves stabilise soils, support fisheries by acting as nursery grounds, and sequester carbon dioxide. Seagrass beds are also vital carbon sinks, urgently needed for climate change mitigation. More resilient ecosystems, such as coral reefs, will continue to provide a number of ecosystem services such as food and livelihoods. With fish being one of the primary sources of protein for coastal communities in Timor-Leste, ensuring sustainable fisheries will help address food insecurity.