Coordinating the Environmental Agenda In T-L

UNDP

COORDINATING THE ENVIRONMENTAL AGENDA IN TIMOR-LESTE

Dili, Timor-Leste, 22nd October 2007

The Government of Timor-Leste has hailed the
contribution of UNDP towards the country’s
environmental programmes, saying its support has
been instrumental in advancing the environmental
agenda at the local and international levels.

Terming the environment a strong pillar of
“social and economic development upon which the
new government will plan a sustainable future for
the people of Timor-Leste, Mr. Rui Hajan, the
Vice-Minister for Economy and Development,
highlighted the strides the country has made in
the environmental sphere including; the
ratification of the three Rio Conventions;
completion of the national report on land
degradation and the signing by the Council of
Ministers of the Kyoto Protocol. “The Government
of Timor-Leste in close collaboration with the
UNDP designed the National Plan for NCSA
(National Capacity Self-Assessment) to be
implemented by the line agencies,” the
Vice-Minister said. He was speaking at the
“Environmental Governance Support Programme –
National Workshop on the Inter-Ministerial
Working Group on Environmental Coordination and
Natural Resource Management” held in Dili on 20 October 2007.

The workshop coincided with the end of the
Environmental Governance Support Programme (EGSP)
started in 2005 which was funded by UNDP with a
total budget of US $200,000. The overall
objective of the EGSP was to enhance the
Government’s capacity to develop and implement
environmental governance structures. The
project’s core components included supporting the
accession to the Rio Conventions (ratified by
National Parliament on 11th April, 2006);
development of the National Capacity Self
Assessment (funded by the Global Environmental
Facility); supporting the setup of the
Inter-Ministerial Working Group and developing a
strategy plan to support sustainable use of marine resources.

The event, attended by several Government
dignitaries was described by Mr. Akbar Usmani,
Country Director of the UNDP, as an opportunity
for various agencies and the Government to
discuss the environment’s importance in the
country’s socio-development plans and the need
for coordination between all actors to attain the
international environmental and development goals
the Government of Timor-Leste has committed
itself to. “To achieve sustainable development,
we need to establish a close link between
environmental protection and socio-economic
development,” said Mr. Usmani. He added that the
implementation of the Rio Conventions “needs to
become a part of the national planning framework,
meaning that any future Government plans,
independent of whether they directly address the
issues contained in the conventions should always
consider the need to achieve the targets agreed with the stakeholders.”

In order to achieve this coordination, the
Government presented two important new structures
– the Inter-Ministerial Working Group on
Environment and Natural Resource Management and
the National Directorate for the Multi-lateral
Environmental Agreements. In his remarks, the
Secretary of State for Environment, Mr. Abilio de
Jesus Lima, emphasised the importance of these
coordinating mechanisms, noting that they will
bring together all sectors and actors to work
towards the common objective of environmental sustainability.

Meanwhile, the National Director for Environment,
Mr. Carlos Ximenes, made a presentation on the
role of the new National Directorate. He said the
institution will ensure that the obligations
signed in the Rio Conventions are followed, and
that the National Focal Points and others
facilitating their implementation have a
coordinating body. The workshop also provided an
opportunity for the presentation of the National
Capacity Development and Rio Conventions’ action
plans. The National Capacity Development Action
Plan identified the main capacity development
priorities recommended at the individual,
institutional and systemic level to enable the
implementation of the Rio Conventions.

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
is the UN’s global development network,
advocating for change and connecting countries to
knowledge, experience and resources to help
people build a better life. It is on the ground
in 166 countries, working with governments and
people on their own solutions to global and
national development challenges. As they develop
local capacity, they draw on the people of UNDP
and its wide range of partners that can bring about results.

http://www.tl.undp.org/undp/newsroom/News/news4.html

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