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NATIONAL, SOCIAL AFFAIRS, ENVIRONMENT

Environmental Brigade Movement commits to protect environment

Environmental Brigade Movement commits to protect environment

DILI, 14 july 2021 (TATOLI) – The Secretary of State for the Environment (SEA) informed that the establishment of the Environmental Brigade Movement was to accumulate Timorese youth volunteers to work on saving and protecting the environment in the country.

The volunteers of the Environmental Brigade Movement are working voluntarily on the national program of the SEA – Forest Protection, Reforestation, Urban Environmental Protection, Environmental Control, Fire Protection, and Rubbish Collection.

Within 2021, SEA planned to recruit up to 1000 youth volunteers to work voluntarily on protecting Timor-Leste’s environment.

Secretary of State for the Environment (SSE), Demétrio do Amaral de Carvalho

The Secretary of State for the Environment, Demétrio do Amaral de Carvalho said that in 2020 around 300 volunteers were recruited and had been working on protecting the environment: “We have recruited up to 150 in the first half of 2021. And within the next six months, we will be recruiting more than 160 volunteers.”

He said the majority of the Environmental Brigade Movement volunteers are university students from all universities across Dili.

Carvalho said one important role of the Environmental Brigade Movement is to educate the society to stop cutting down trees, practicing slash-and-burn agriculture methods, looking after marine life, and beaches and planting trees in the mountains surrounding the capital Dili to strengthen its disaster resilience.

“Currently, our volunteers carry out cleaning beach activities in Dili. Each and every day they collect up to one or two tons of rubbish,” he said.

“I call on communities to protect and save our environment, because if we protect it well, then it will protect us as well,” said Carvalho.

So far, since day one of the operation of the movement, some communities showed aggressive acts towards volunteers when cleaning up the beaches, as communities didn’t want any related activities to be carried out on beaches where they run their business.

“I call on communities to not disturb the activities of the Environmental Brigade Movement when cleaning up the beaches. As it is considered as a criminal act and would be subjected to legal process,” Carvalho added.

The Environmental Brigade Movement, including other SEA’s environmental-related activities, had been supported financially by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), and the Government of Japan and South Korea with a total budget of  one million dollar.

Journalist: Filomeno Martins

Editor: Rafy Belo 

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