Oé-Cusse Regional Level Workshop

Increase the Community Resilience through the Restoration of Water Resources and Environmental Protection

April 12, 2022

Regional Level Workshop-Oecusse

Oé-Cusse, Timor-Leste (30th March 2022): on Wednesday, March 30th 2022. His excellency the President of Authority for the Special Administrative Region of Oé-Cusse Ambeno accompanied by, the Regional Secretary of Public Administration, the UNDP SAR-ZEESM Project Manager and the Director of Permatil opened the workshop of “Increase Community Resilience through the Restoration of Water Resources and Environment Protection in Oé-Cusse” in Numbei Parish Hall, Pante-Macassar. This workshop was organized by Permatil in collaboration with UNDP and the Local Authorities of Oé-Cusse.

The event was attended by the President of the Authority, the Regional Secretary of Public Administration, , the Regional Director for Agriculture, the Regional Infrastructure Directorate, the Tourism Unit Coordinator, the Land Planning Unit Registration Coordinator, the UNDP SAR-ZEESM Project Manager , Administrator of sub-region Pante Macassar, Representative Administrator of sub-region Oésilo, Chiefs of Bobometo, Bobocase, Taiboco, Cunha, Usi-taquen village and  Lakufoan , local NGOs, students from DIT, SOLS, and Technical Vocational School Etaro. The main objective of this two-day workshop was to raise awareness, promote initiatives and develop an action plan to restore the water resources and create environmental protection in the Oé-Cusse region.

In his opening remarks, H.E. President of the Authority remarked that water is an important factor to saving community’s life, specially the agriculture activities. In the last year, the Government managed to preserve 114 water catchment areas at 10 places in Oé-Cusse. The President of Authority also stated that “we must preserve water catchment areas and protect the environment”.

The UNDP SAR-ZEESM Project Manager Ms. Patricia Porras said that UNDP acknowledges RAEOA Governemt its efforts and commitment to increase water conservation activities in the region to improve community’s resilience against climate change., The Project Manager also remarked that the cooperation with   local authorities is crucial to engage community members,  youth, and  agricultural groups to the planting of trees, the conservation of water, and the reparation of damaged areas with reforestation.

The workshop was followed up by a field visit on Thursday, March 31st in Lakufoan community. Permatil in close collaboration with UNDP and the local authorities, guided the visit to the water catchment area and eco toilets located at the Lakufoan’s camping site area.

The water catchment area was developed in November 2021 and since then it has contributed to increasing water availability by 50%. Women and children are the most affected groups by the scarcity of water. Working in water conservation and catchment areas has a positive impact on women as it reduces the time spent on water collection and contributes to improve the livelihoods of the communities.

The visit concluded with a closing session where participants shared their feedback on the visit. The local authorities expressed that the visit was inspiring, and they encouraged other villages to replicate the initiative and develop their own water catchment areas. Students and teachers acknowledged the educational value of the field visit.

The Regional Director of Agriculture, in his closing remarks, mentioned the importance of engaging academy, civil society organizations and international organizations, such as UNDP, in raising awareness at the community level and joining efforts in tackling climate change.

Contact Information: António Ribeiro, UNDP (Oe-Cusse Tourism Project, Tourism Assistant),Tel.+ 670 77173136, Email address. antonio.ribeirro@undp.org