On 14 March 2023, the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (MAF) of Timor-Leste, in collaboration with ATSEA-2 project hosted the National Transboundary Diagnostic Analysis (TDA) Validation Meeting in Dili. The primary objective of the meeting was to review the draft country synthesis report and collectively address any gaps or issues. The meeting provided a platform for stakeholders to share their insights and expertise; by adopting a collaborative approach, it embodied the importance of cooperation in managing transboundary environmental challenges effectively.
The meeting brought together stakeholders and representatives from various sectors, including government bodies, Navy and Port Timor-Leste. It also involved academics from the marine and fisheries department at the National University of Timor-Leste (UNTL) and the project coordinator of the Indonesian Sea Large Marine Ecosystem (ISLME).
The stakeholders and representatives joined together in an open dialogue and provided constructive feedback on the report’s findings, discussed priority national and transboundary issues emerging from the report, identified challenges and needs at the national level, and formulated strategies to address environmental issues that could impact the Timor-Leste’s social, economic and environmental well-being. Climate change and Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing issues were among the major topics discussed during the meeting.
During the meeting, Acacio Guterres, the National Project Director of Timor-Leste, relayed information regarding the plan of the General Directorate of Fisheries, Aquaculture and Marine Resources with development partners. In his welcome speech, the General Director of Fisheries reiterated that this document can help to synergise all interested parties in the marine sector with various governmental agencies in Timor-Leste. The meeting lasted for half a day, and the finalisation of the Timor-Leste country synthesis report was based on the recommendations made during that period. One of the critical areas discussed was the need to actualise the data including population and fishing in the document.
The National TDA Validation Meeting facilitated open dialogue and constructive feedback on the report’s findings and discussions on the priority national and transboundary issues emerging from the report. It provided a crucial platform for stakeholders to share their insights and expertise, showcasing the importance of managing transboundary environmental challenges effectively. The ATSEA-2 Project is confident that the successful outcomes of this meeting will help address environmental issues that impacting social, economic and environmental well-being in Timor-Leste.
By Dominica Guterres