President Ramos-Horta Strongly Supports Reforestation and Family Income Program

DEPARTAMENTO DE COMUNICAÇÃO SOCIAL

English 22 April 2008

His Serene Highness Prince Albert of Monaco concluded his visit to Timor-Leste on Saturday afternoon by planting two sandalwood trees, as symbols of the future for the youth of Timor-Leste, at the Becora Youth Center. The construction of the youth center is being funded by the people of Monaco. Prince Albert II was joined in the tree-planting ceremony by two young people from the Becora Community.

Reflecting his strong, continuing interest in furthering the health and welfare of the people of Timor-Leste, Prince Albert also announced during his visit plans to support a Reforestation and Family Income Program. The Government of Monaco will fund a pilot program designed to engage Timor-Leste communities in reforestation and, at the same time, foster improved income generation and well-being for families and their communities. This pilot program, under the guidance of President Dr. Jose Ramos-Horta’s Office, will work with an initial group of four communities in the Lete-Foho Subdistrict of the District of Ermera. The communities will be engaged to define their, particular, interests in reforestation and the needs that exist for improving the productivity and income generation of the agro-forestry activity in each community. With the funding provided by Monaco, the role of the Reforestation and Family Income Program will be to respond by providing technical support, organizational management support, and resources in the form of materials, equipment, and transportation services with which the communities can work and accomplish their individual objectives.

There are four major dimensions to the program:

1. Reforestation of existing family coffee plots – replacement of shade trees and product diversification.

2. Improvement of productivity of existing family coffee plots through application of tested forestry and agro-forestry methods and through investment in value-added processing capability.

3. Reforestation of de-forested areas with particular attention to watershed management, soil conservation, and diversification of forest and agro-forest product.

4. Community infrastructure development in the form of value-added processing capability, community water systems, irrigation systems, warehousing, secondary road maintenance, sanitation systems, etc.

It is expected that the success of the pilot program and the lessons learned from it will provide the base for application of the Reforestation and Family Income Program to a greater number of Timor-Leste communities in the future.END

DEPARTAMENTO DE COMUNICAÇÃO SOCIAL DA PRESIDÊNCIA DA REPÚBLICA DEMOCRÁTICA DE TIMOR-LESTE

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