Government and Conservation International Timor-Leste discuss an initiative to create a Peace Natural Park between Indonesia and Timor-Leste

The Minister of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, Agio Pereira, held a meeting today, on October 18th, 2023, with a delegation from Conservation International Timor-Leste (CI-TL), led by its Director, Manuel Mendes. The meeting occurred at the Government Palace in Dili and focused on the initiative to create a  Natural Park between Indonesia and Timor-Leste, called the “Peace Natural Park”.

Conservation International has played an important role in Timor-Leste, working for the past 12 years on conserving marine resources, especially protecting coral reef biodiversity. The organisation has been working closely with local communities and relevant ministries to establish protected marine areas to preserve Timor-Leste’s natural resources.

During the meeting, various issues related to marine conservation were discussed, including fish species, coral reefs and marine areas that are already protected, such as in Oé-Cusse, Ataúro and Com (Lospalos). The importance of marine conservation was emphasised from an environmental point of view and because of the benefits, it brings to local communities, generating opportunities in the tourism sector. However, the challenge of illegal fishing was highlighted, which requires joint efforts between Timor-Leste, Australia and Indonesia to be tackled.

To this end, the Conservation International team presented an overview of the initiative to create the Peace Natural Park between Timor-Leste and Indonesia, called the “Peace Natural Park”. This initiative aims to improve the management of the partnerships and natural resources shared between the two countries. The “Peace Natural Park” management will be shared between the two nations to promote thriving ecosystems and support local communities.

Minister Agio Pereira expressed the will to deepen collaboration between the Government and Conservation International, especially in developing the Blue Economy, to promote national economic growth based on preserving marine ecosystems and environmental sustainability.

The Minister reiterated the 9th Government’s commitment, as set out in its programme, to strengthen internal coordination to foster the growth of the national Blue Economy and to promote a joint and dynamic effort by various ministries and other entities, especially those with responsibilities in the area of agriculture and fisheries, the environment, foreign affairs, oil, state administration, defence and security, with a view to the successful and sustainable development of the Blue Economy.