DILI, 28 june 2023 (TATOLI) – Blue Venture Timor-Leste (BVT) supports community partners from coastal areas to rebuild small-scale fisheries and build the resilience of the tropical marine ecosystem in Timor-Leste.
Seagrass and Livelihood Coordinator, Jemina Gomes said as a tropical island, Timor-Leste hosts rich biodiversity within the coastal ecosystems in which traditional fishers thrive.
Blue Ventures has been active in Timor-Leste since 2016 and is now supporting small-scale fishers in the coastal sub-villages of Ilimanu and Hera village setting up community-based marine resource management and improving coastal resilience through nature-based solutions.
“Most people know about our coral reefs; however, Timor-Leste Sea is also home to various species of corals, fish, and seagrass that directly shapes the livelihoods of our traditional fishers”, Jemina Gomes, Seagrass and Livelihood coordinator told TATOLI in BVTL’s office in Manleuana on Wednesday.
Blue Ventures supports community partners in tropical regions to rebuild small-scale fisheries by supporting communities to implement locally managed marine areas in sites that experience habitat degradation.
Jemina Gomes further said seagrass is a vital part of the marine ecosystem and plays an essential role in improving marine biodiversity.
Currently, Blue Ventures is partnering with the local NGO Konservasaun Flora no Fauna to implement nature-based solutions to tackle climate change impacts on seagrass and mangroves.
Moreover, these habitats are fundamental for tropical coasts. They can protect the communities from climate hazards like tropical cyclones, tornadoes, wind, and climatic change. Yet, they are delicate and can also be harmed by irresponsible fishing, oil spills, and boat anchors.
Cecilia Mimi Lay, who is the Science Analysis officer for BVTL, has been working alongside Jemima Gomes on biodiversity assessment through Remote Underwater Videos of the seagrass meadow of Hera and is planning to share the preliminary result with some of the communities during the Knowledge Exchange for June 28 until July of this year in Atauro Island.
Blue Ventures organize the knowledge exchange in collaboration with the Tara Bandu groups from Atauro to share their experience and lessons learned and inspire fishers and community members of Hera and Ilimanu in community-led coastal management.
Journalist: José Belarmino De Sá
Editor: Nelia B.