Academician calls on Govt to approve TL’s National Ocean Policy

Academician calls on Govt to approve TL’s National Ocean Policy

Mario Cabral, researcher of the Department of the Fisheries and Marine Science of the Lorosa’e National University (UNTL)

DILI, 08 june 2022 (TATOLI) – The academician of the Lorosa’e National University (UNTL) called on the government, especially the Council of Ministers (CoM) to approve Timor-Leste’s National Ocean Policy (NOP).

Mario Cabral, researcher of the Department of the Fisheries and Marine Science of the Lorosa’e National University (UNTL) said the National Ocean Policy was important for the government of Timor-Leste to improve the nation’s direction of the future ocean use and management.

Cabral stressed that the National Ocean Policy defines Timor-Leste’s national ocean priorities and detailed implementation plan towards achieving the goal of protecting 30% of Land and Oceans by 2030.

TL’s National Ocean Policy was drafted in 2017, and it hasn’t been approved by the Council of Ministers.

He said the policy document was developed through a series of workshops in Timor-Leste involving an inter-agency and multi-sectoral Policy Development Working Group, with the support of the Partnerships in Environmental Management for the Seas of East Asia (PEMSEA) Resource Facility (PRF) and a team engaged by the PRF from the Australian National Centre for Ocean Resources and Security (ANCORS).

“The vision of our National Ocean Policy is to ensure a healthy and secure ocean that sustains the livelihoods and prosperity of the people of Timor-Leste fairly and equitably,” Cabral said.

Cabral emphasized that the approval of NOP is important to protect Timor-Leste’s marine diversity and its endemic animals.

He added the approval of the NOP will support the implementation of sustainable development goal 14: ‘Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.”

He said Timor-Leste’s National Ocean Policy has six objectives:

  1. Working together: the country is collaborating across jurisdictions, allows for the exchange of knowledge, data, ideas, skills, and experience, and recognizes and considers local customary law, national law, and international and regional commitments.
  2. Securing national jurisdictions and exercising sovereign rights over our oceans: maintaining and protecting the rights of Timorese people to equitably and sustainably use and manage their marine natural resources.
  3. Our future: targeting a diverse Blue Economy based on the sea.
  4. Strengthening our natural defense: protecting, maintaining, and restoring coastal and ocean resources and ecosystem services.
  5. Investing in our people: developing the capacity of Timorese to engage in ocean-based development and protection through research, education, and capacity building.
  6. Climate change vulnerability, adaptation, and mitigation: increasing the resilience of vulnerable communities and resources to current and future climate risks, incorporating the management of climate risks into policy, plans, and investments, and reducing, avoiding, or sequestering greenhouse gas emissions.

“We hope that the Council of Ministers is going to approve the NOP before the 2022 United Nations Ocean Conference, co-hosted by the Governments of Kenya and Portugal, which will take place from monday, june 27, 2022 – friday, july 01, 2022. The approval of the NOP is needed so that Timor-Leste can have important points to present at the conference,” he said.

As a lecturer of UNTL who did his Ph.D. at the Hawaiian Atlantic International University on Ocean Governance Stewardship, Cabral said Timor-Leste needs to ratify the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

“Ratification of CITES is crucial to protect our wildlife animals and plants which are threatened by trade,” Cabral said.

Journalist: Filomeno Martins 

Editor: Nelia Borges 


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