Introduction to Conference on Sustainable Development
on Sustainable Development in East Timor
Konferensi Pembangunan Berkelanjutan di Timor Lorosa'e
The purpose of the Conference is to highlight the environment and to promote and facilitate dialogue about sustainable development in East Timor, so that principles of sustainable development can be incorporated into future planning.
The Conference will be highly participatory, bringing together East Timorese and international experts, United Nations bodies, non-government organisations and individuals. The Conference will build strong networks within East Timor and establish alliances with international sustainable development organisations.
The program covers a comprehensive range of sustainable development issues; Introduction to Sustainable Development, Natural Resources and Conservation, Economy, Social Issues, Institutions and Technology.
The format of the conference includes plenary sessions in the mornings, followed by workshops to discuss the topics addressed. The workshops will identify and discuss specific issues and solutions relevant to East Timor.
The conference has been formatted with
the aim of producing tangible outcomes. It is proposed that a Task Force
on Sustainable Development is established to carry forward the ideas generated.
Anticipated outcomes also include outlining a framework for an educational
exchange program, and identification of priority pilot environmental projects.
Over the past 30 years, growing numbers of people have come to recognise that efforts to improve their standards of living must be in harmony with the natural world. Many have also realised that a lack of development can be as great a threat to nature as reckless or misguided development.
East Timor has suffered major destruction
- from the ashes a new independent nation is being built. East Timor has
the opportunity to develop an integrated sustainable development strategy;
to build a sustainable economy and infrastructure, to protect the environment,
reverse environmental degradation and conserve natural resources for future
The term sustainable development was introduced
by the World Conservation Strategy in 1980. The report of the World Commission
on Environment and Development 'Our Common Future' (1987) put sustainable
development firmly on the global agenda. ‘Our Common Future’defined development
as sustainable ‘if it meets the needs of the present without comprising
the ability of future generations to meet their own needs".
It is an action plan that calls on nations to adopt national strategies for sustainable development. Many countries around the world are presently working towards implementing National Sustainable Development Strategies.
Around the world people struggle with what sustainable development means in practice and how to achieve it. They have wrestled with the meanings of sustainable and development. Some have proposed other terms, such as ecologically sustainable development, or ethical sustainable development, sustainable living and sustainable well-being. A strong argument has been put that sustainability also incorporates spiritual and cultural aspects.
Regardless of the terminology, the central concept is the same; the human system is an integral part of the ecosystem. A society is sustainable only if both the human condition and the condition of the ecosystem are satisfactory or improving. If either is unsatisfactory or worsening, the society is unsustainable.
Environmental degradation is a major source of unsustainability. There is a need to tackle environmental issues as an integrated component of overall development.
The livelihoods of East Timorese people
depend on a healthy and productive environment. All people and industries
for example. depend on a healthy water supply. Agriculture, fisheries,
and tourism also depend on the environment. To meet people’s needs now
and for future generations, East Timor’s natural resource base must be
conserved and improved.
While the biodiversity of East Timor’s fauna is high, many species are at risk of extinction due to deforestation. East Timor has many valuable plant species, including Sandalwood and Teak but only small stands remain due to overharvesting in Portuguese and Indonesian times.
In urban areas, pollution and waste is a problem. Air and ground water pollution impact directly on human health and the climatic disruption caused by global warming is causing major disasters affecting the health and living conditions of people all around the world.
Sustainable development in East Timor will depend on effective environmental planning and management. Appropriate technology will allow small villages to participate more fully in the economy and affairs of East Timor, and community participation in civil society is another vital component of building independence.
The conference will explore many aspects
of development, including many essential components required to implement
sustainable development. For example, environmental laws at national and
international levels will be discussed, as well as data management for
effective environmental planning and management. The conference will provide
important opportunities for exchange of scientific and technical information,
playing an important role in sustainable development for East Timor.
Timor Lorosa’e is a rights-based country. This has special implications for sustainable development since human rights are the foundations on which sustainable ecomonic, political and social development and environmental justice are built. The colonial and occupation periods resulted in extensive damage creating a great need for infrastructure and environmental restoration. Sustainable development, however, requires much more than repairing past damage. Sustainable livelihoods, enterprises and communities will be the effective expression of equity and justice for the Timorese people.
Sustainable development has not been fully factored into transition planning. A sustainable development strategy should be in place by the time of independence. This strategy should influence decisions within government, business and civil society. It is a major challenge, linked to governance, development planning and both domestic and foreign policy. There will be substantial immediate and longer-term benefits arising from a sustainable development strategy that can be implemented locally and nationally. For example, reforestation of watersheds will enhance economic wellbeing through restoration of biodiversity and commensurate production of a more diverse range of products, while reducing the impacts of floods and drought. Health will be improved by sanitation and clean water supply. Greater revenue could come from sustainably certified export products starting with organically grown coffee.
These and other consequences of sustainable approaches to development will come about only if certain conditions are met. The Conference recognised that sustainable development depends upon:
* Commitment of both national and local
* Introduction of integrated planning and environmental assessment
* Development of a cultural basis for sustainable development
* Poverty reduction and sustainable economic opportunities
* Environmental security and freedom from further military intervention
* Full participation of business and civil society as well as government
* Participation of women in decision making
* Economic incentives for environmental improvement
* Innovations in technology, institutions and decision processes
* Realistic expectations and time-lines
Progress will begin only when there is
the courage to take action. Sustainable development action can start today,
and should not be delayed and put off to some time in the future.
The Conference on Sustainable Development was initiated by Jose Ramos Horta and Timor Aid.
Conference Supported by:
Catholic Fund for Overseas Development (CAFOD)
Embassy of Finland
Further Support from:
Ecological Architects Australia,
International Union for Conservation and Nature,
Icelandic international Development Agency,
Northern Territory University,
Australian Volunteers International,
Mineral Policy Institute,
Australian Computer Society,
Natural Resources and Environment, Victoria,
RMIT Department of Geospatial Science.
Mario Nunes -ETFOG,
Joaquim Fonseca - Yaysan HAK,
Aderito de Jesus, SAHE,
Domitrio Amaral -Haburas,
Angus Mackay & George Bouma, EPU UNTAET,
Carlos Alberto Baros Forindo- Ema maTA Dalan ba Progresso ETTADEP.
Coordinating Committee & Contacts:
Maria Isabel Da Silva,
Americo Da Silva,
Russell Anderson. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Others who worked on the Conference:
Filomena da Silva Soares,
Bret Eartheart and all those others that have volunteered some of their time.
The Conference on Sustainable Development was initiated by Jose Ramos Horta and Timor Aid:
Added June 12
* Mr Jose Ramos-Horta is an internationally-renowned spokesperson for the East Timorese cause. He received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1996 for “sustained efforts to hinder the oppression of small people”.
* Mr Ramos-Horta has been a dynamic and determined advocate for a free and independent East Timor. From 1976 until 1989, he was the permanent representative of the Frente Revolucionaria de Timor Leste Independente (FRETILIN) at the United Nations. He currently holds the position of Cabinet Member for Foreign Affairs, United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor.
Aid, also known as Timor
Aid-Tulun Rai Timor Updated July 25
Timor Aid is a registered East Timorese non-government organization (ETNGO). TA is also an ACFOA member and as such adheres to a Code of Conduct.
TA is an aid organization founded by East Timorese, whose seat is in Dili. It provides relief, reconstruction and development aid to the people of East Timor. Besides relief and reconstruction work during the current emergency, Timor Aid also engages in long term development projects mainly in the areas of health, education, human resource development, the advancement of women, and income generation. TA is the aid and development arm of ETISC.
25-31 2001 CSD: Program for Conference on Sustainable Development
Summary up-dated Aug 3
"The 22 workshops on sustainable development issues first identified 4 priority issues and then listed strategies to address them. ...
Summary includes: Sustainable Economic Development; Education -at all levels of society; Capacity Building -at all levels of society; Transparent and Integrated Planning Process; Clear Policies -developed in consultation with the community; Transparent System of Regulations, Enforcement and Penalties; Recognition of Traditional Structures and Knowledge." Conference on Sustainable Development in East Timor
25-31 2001 CSD: Recommendations of Conference
on Sustainable Development Added Aug 3
"In addition to the many specific suggestions arising from the Conference papers and workshops, seven overarching recommendations are made. These represent important starting points to begin the journey towards sustainable development in Timor Lorosa’e." Conference on Sustainable Development in East Timor
25-31 2001 CSD: ETTA: The Natural Resources of East Timor
Overview added July 25
"Because East Timor has ruled by other people for so long, the management of natural resources in this country has not received serious attention. The result is that today there is widespread deforestation and there are several species of bird and animals that are threatened with extinction. ... Thus if we wish to develop a better future for East Timor, the biophysical environment and natural resources of East Timor must be given attention so as to avoid further destruction and to repair environmental damage." Mario N. Nunes, Manger ETTA Forestry Unit
Conference on Sustainable Development: http://members.tripod.com/sd_east_timor/
BD: Reconstruction and 'Aid & Development' - A collection of recent press releases, reports, and articles
25-31 KPB: Pembangunan Berkelanjutan di Timor Lorosa’e
Article added July 27
"Konferensi ini mengusulkan agar definisi yang sudah diakui dunia internasional tentang pembangunan berkelanjutan akan dipakai di Timor Lorosa’e, yaitu: “pembangunan yang memenuhi kebutuhan-kebutuhan generasi sekarang tanpa mengurangi kemampuan generasi yang akan datang untuk memenuhi kebutuhan-kebutuhan mereka”. Pembangunan berkelanjutan menjawab keterkaitannya antara lingkungan hidup, ekonomi dan kesejahteraan sosial. ... Kemajuan hanya dapat dicapai apabila ada keberanian untuk mengambil tindakan. Tindakan-tindakan untuk memulai penerapanpembangunan berkelanjutan sebaiknya dimulai hari ini, dan sebaiknya tidak ditunda-tunda untuk dilakukan suatu saat nanti di masa depan." Konferensi Pembangunan Berkelanjutan di Timor Lorosa'e