Papua New Guinea (PNG) is a maritime nation, home to beautiful coastal environments and rich in marine resources. From lush mangrove estuaries to sprawling reefs, the marine habitats of PNG are ideally suited to fisheries.
Covering a total area of 1,877 km2, Municipio Viqueque is one of five sites of the GEF/UNDP/PEMSEA ATSEA-2 Programme for the Timor-Leste component. The municipality is home to around 76,033 people (according to the 2015 census), comprised predominantly of coastal communities who use double outrigger canoes and fibreglass mono-hull vessels to catch fish.
Norce Mote S.Si., M.Si. was born in Yapen Waropen, on 7 November 1983. Norce, as she is generally known, is a mother of three who is devoted to two things: Family and nature conservation. Since childhood, she has aspired to become a teacher. However, this dream was put to one side when she followed her husband, who worked as a government employee, to Merauke in Papua.
To protect and manage a large marine ecosystem such as the Arafura and Timor Seas (ATS) region is no easy feat. One tried and tested method is to focus efforts on High Conservation Value Areas (HCVA). In recent years, Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), and especially ‘no-take zones’, have become popular tools employed by regional managers around the world, in their attempts to maximise conservation gains.
A survey of south-coast communities and coastal ecosystems in Timor-Leste has found onshore and offshore marine pollution presents a significant threat to economic and environmental sustainability.
Healthy coastal environment is vital for lives and livelihoods. However, the rampant economic exploitation, marine pollution, and climate change impact remain unsettled tasks to be resolved. These multivariate threats to coastal habitats and ecosystems require integrated management as the key to sustainable development.
In Timor-Leste – where over 70% of the population relies on subsistence agriculture – fishing is a crucial source of livelihoods and protein for both coastal dwellers and inland communities. Small-scale coastal fisheries dominate the fisheries sector, while inland fish farms are seasonal and usually sustain only a single household.
The GEF/UNDP/PEMSEA ATSEA-2 Project welcomes Mr. Kenneth Yhuanje and Mr. Joe Kiningi as the National Coordinating Unit (NCU) staff members of ATSEA-2 Project in Papua New Guinea (PNG).
Started in 2019, ATSEA-2 is the second phase of the Arafura & Timor Seas Ecosystem Action (ATSEA) Programme; a regional partnership involving the Governments of Indonesia, Timor-Leste and Papua New Guinea, with the support of the Australian Government. This group works to devise and implement solutions to the most important transboundary marine issues facing the region.
Our primary aim is to conserve the biodiversity of the Arafura and Timor seas for the overall health of the ocean and the livelihoods of the communities who depend on it for survival. We also work to ensure the networks supporting these resources and revenues are operated efficiently, fairly and sustainably.
Our objective: to ensure the sustainable management and usage of living coastal and marine resources
Our goal: to sustain the flow of ecosystem goods and services from the Arafura and Timor Seas
From conserving natural ecosystems to empowering local fisheries and securing regional supply chains, the ATSEA-2 Programme sets out to ensure that coastal and marine resources are protected.
We are working in three countries in the ATS region: Indonesia, Timor-Leste and Papua New Guinea. In Indonesia, our sites are located in Aru District, Maluku Province; Merauke District, Papua Province; and Rote Ndao District, East Nusa Tenggara Province. In Timor-Leste, our sites can be found mainly on the south coast, in the Suai, Manufahi, Manatuto, Viqueque and Lautem Municipios, respectively. Lastly, in Papua New Guinea, ATSEA-2 is operating in the South Fly District of the Western Province.