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Our climate change

adaptation projects in the Pacific
© SPC
Our climate change
Our climate change
adaptation projects in the Pacific
© SPC
© SPC

Scaling up climate adaptation strategies, including water resource restoration, environmental rehabilitation, and sustainable food systems

 Timor Leste
Scaling up climate adaptation strategies, including water resource restoration, environmental rehabilitation, and sustainable food systems
Local Project
Improved food security for Timor Leste communities
PC Lyn Jenkin-Permatil

  • Project name:
    Scaling up climate adaptation strategies, including water resource restoration, environmental rehabilitation, and sustainable food systems
  • Project Coordinator:
    Fundacao Permakultura Timor Lorosa'e
  • Project Start:
    Sept 2023
  • Amount of funding:
    €307, 500
  • Project leader:
     Local NGO and community network
  • Type of NbS:
    Management / Protection of terrestrial, coastal and marine ecosystems -  Restoration / Rehabilitation of terrestrial, coastal and marine ecosystems - Preservation of functional agricultural & forest ecosystems
  • Cobenefits:
    Food security - Water resource availability and quality - Human health -  Socio-economic resilience - Risk reduction - Biodiversity conservation

In Permatil’s work, Permaculture is central to their solution in adapting to climate change and sustainable food systems. It’s an overarching design system for creating a land design and implementation plan involving key activities implemented using a stepped approach to achieve maximum effect and efficiency. All outcomes from this project are aligned with improving people’s health and social well-being, improving education, local economies, and livelihood opportunities, and providing for a more sustainable future both in Timor-Leste and for people and communities accessing the education resources in other countries.

Scaling-up water restoration, environmental rehabilitation, and creating resilient food systems that adapt to climate change in Timor-Leste is a project aimed toward, water restoration and environmental rehabilitation programs to be implemented at the village level in 12 locations and 2 districts (6 in Alieu and 6 in Liquica of Timor-Leste).

Resilient food systems are established and integrated alongside the water restoration and environmental rehabilitation program, including agro-forestry, horticulture, small animal husbandry, and aquaculture, all based on organic permaculture methods. The overall goal of the project is to increase knowledge, skills, and attitude around water source management and conservation, environmental rehabilitation, and resilient food systems across Timorese society and all Pacific nations.

Agriculture is also the main activity in Timor Leste, providing subsistence to an estimated 80% of the population with 66% of all households directly depending on agriculture to live. Much of the agriculture practices are currently unsustainable, creating land degradation, reducing water catchment opportunities, also leading to poor nutrition and food insecurity. This is compounded by a lack of knowledge about how to grow nutritious foods and the need to eat a varied diet.

The objective of the project?

  • Objective 1: Scale-up water restoration, environmental rehabilitation and create resilient food systems that adapt to climate change.
  • Objective 2: Embed long-term climate adaptation and resilience skills in young people by linking in school environment programs with youth leadership and environmental education programs.
  • Objective 3: Enable access to community transforming tropical focused permaculture education resources for all Pacific countries.

 

 Key activities by areas:

1. Climate change adaptation:
- Water restoration and environmental rehabilitation programmes implemented at village level
- Identify and design and implement water restoration and catchment plans in each location
- Establishing local nurseries and planting trees for environmental rehabilitation in designated areas of the water restoration project.
- Resilient food systems are established and integrated with water restoration and environmental rehabilitation


2. Sustainable livelihoods:
- Resilient food systems are established and integrated with water restoration and environmental rehabilitation program
- Establishing local nurseries and planting trees for agro-forestry production in designated areas of the water restoration project
- Introduce integrated horticulture and small animal husbandry
- Create youth leadership and permaculture training programs for a sustainable future in Timor Leste.
- Improve knowledge, skill, and attitude through permaculture gardens in school program


3. Sustainable resources management:
- Water restoration and environmental rehabilitation programmes implemented at village level
- Effective land management systems slow, spread and store rainfall in the ground, using a mixture of water catching trenches, swales, soak pits and small reservoirs


4. Biodiversity:
- Water restoration and environmental rehabilitation programmes implemented at village level
- Establishing local nurseries and planting trees for environmental rehabilitation in designated areas of the water restoration project.
- Resilient food systems are established and integrated with water restoration and environmental rehabilitation

Reduction of gender discriminations

Permatil’s work is underpinned by the UN SDGs which provides a shared blue print for peace and prosperity for people and the planet. Permatil’s multu-generation, multi-age and gender inclusive approach, developed and refined over 20 years is based on community participation.

All projects start with community meetings to understand and map resources, infrastructure, skills and community need with gender inclusivity and in a culturally appropriate manner, being key to this process. Projects are developed and implemented together with communities, developing local skills, in-community project management and ongoing independent land management- from the direct transfer of skills and knowledge and with post project support. PermaYouth, a national movement developed by Permatil in Timor-Leste, includes bi-annual ‘living open laboratory event for sharing sustainable and culturally relevant permaculture practices with youth from across Timor-Leste, including young women and girls.

Thereby, engaging and mobilizing youth to help scale up efforts to sustain Timor’s natural resources, improve ecosystems and mitigate against climate change. Permatil also has over 50% female staff including in managerial and training roles, creating a more balanced workplace, and providing role models to female participants. Recognising and working with female community leaders, engaging directly with communities using a gender equality approach provides more opportunities for people to engage in training activities.

Info+

Environmental degradation and water scarcity have become serious issue all over Timor-Leste. Rivers, lakes and natural reservoirs and natural springs have declined due to climate change, deforestation and land clearing. This is negatively impacting community’s access to clean water for drinking, household consumption and agricultural production. Rural women and children are particularly impacted as they are responsible for daily water collection, often walking many miles from home in search of water to collect and carry back to their villages.

This situation is further compounded in the often-harsh dry season. The overarching goal of this project is to increase knowledge, skills and attitude around water source management and conservation, environmental rehabilitation and resilient food systems across Timorese society and all pacific nations, improving wellbeing and creating a strong base for effective climate adaption and mitigation, that grows exponentially over time.

This can be strategically operationalized by using permaculture and food sovereignty approaches to simultaneously address local resources shortages, implement disaster prevention, climate mitigation and adaptation strategies and make meaningful contribution to climate crisis solutions, through carbon capture strategies that can be used for the progress of their conservation initiatives, which will be needed for the progress of the project site activities.

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