16 October 2018

Promove Ai-han Lokál Nutritivu hodi Hakotu Hamlaha no Mal-nutrisaun

HASATIL (HAMETIN AGRIKULTURA SUSTENTÁVEL TIMOR LOROSA’E)
Rua. St.Antonio Motael – Farol, Dili Tel. (+670) 77287429 E-mail: hasatil@sapo.tl
KOMUNIKADU BA IMPRENSA KONA-BA LORON MUNDIAL AI-HAN
Promove Ai-han Lokál Nutritivu hodi Hakotu Hamlaha no Mal-nutrisaun Iha Timor-Leste

Iha eventu komemorasaun loron mundiál ai-han 2018, HASATIL nu’udar rede nasionál ne'ebé servisu ba hametin no promove agrikultura sustentável iha Timor-Leste hamutuk ho ninia membru hotu iha munisipiu 13, hakarak louva agrikultór sira hotu iha Timor laran tomak ne'ebé kontinua servisu maka’as hodi halo produsaun ai-han ba ema hotu, maski hasoru dezafiu no problema oi-oin.

HASATIL mós hakarak aproveita loron importante ida ne’e atu bolu Governu, Parlamentu Nasionál, Prezidente Repúblika no ba Públiku tomak nia atensaun ba situasaun real iha Timor-Leste liga ba produsaun ai-han iha rai laran, no dependénsia ba importasaun ai-han husi rai li’ur.

Timor-Leste nia situasaun produsaun ai-han sei nafatin laiha progresu boot hafoin liu tiha tinan 15, maski governu Timor-Leste no ajénsia dezenvolvimentu sira gasta ona osan barak ba setór ne’e. Dadus estatístika agrikultura nian husi governu hatudu katak produsaun agrikultura kontinua tun. Ita nia merkadu sira nafatin domina husi ai-han importadu, no mal-nutrisaun kontinua sai problema boot (haree dadus).

Produsaun foos kontinua tun maski durante ne’e governu tau atensaun boot liu ba parte ne’e, liu husi investimentu maka’as ba iha irrigasaun eskala boot hodi fornese bee ba natar sira no mós distribui tratór rihun haat resin ba agrikultór sira. Governu rasik rekoñese ona katak ho kondisaun ne’e Timor-Leste sei susar atu atinje nia tarjetu autosufisiensia ai-han iha tinan 2030. 

Polítika orsamental governu Timor-Leste nian la buka atu responde ba situasaun difisil iha setór agrikultura. Investimentu estadu nian ba setór Agrikultura tun ba beibeik. Ida ne’e refleta iha Alokasaun Orsamentu Jerál Estadu ba setór Agrikultura no Peska dezde 2015 to 2018 ne’e. Iha tinan 2015 Alokasaun orsamentu ba setór agrikultura mak tokon $34.457, iha 2016 tun ba tokon $24.826, iha 2017 tun tan ba tokon $21.962, no iha 2018 ne’e tun ba $14.679. HASATIL preokupa tebe-tebes ho tendénsia negativu ida ne’e no la refleta prioridade ne’ebé haktuir ona iha Planu Estratéjiku Dezenvolvimentu Nasionál 2011-2030

Bazeia ba tema loron mundiál ai-han ba tinan ida ne’e kona ba Promove Ai-han Lokál Nutritivu hodi Hakotu Hamlaha no Malnutrisaun iha 2030, HASATIL hanesan mós membru KONSSANTIL husu ba Governu tenke fó atensaun maka’as no investe ba promove produsaun ai-han iha rai laran no promove produtu ai-han lokál, hortikultura, produtu peska no pekuaria inklui ai-han indigenous no ai-han fuik sira ne’ebé eziste nanis ona iha Timor-Leste,  tanba iha valor nutrisaun di’ak liu ba ema, saúde, ambiente no ekonomia rai laran.

Hasatil mós preokupa tebes ho programa ajuda ai-han (McGovern Dole Food Aid for Education Program) Estadu Unidus Amérika nian, ne’ebé sei hafó sá sira nia influensia iha TL no iha tempu hanesan fó impaktu ba merkadorias produtu lokál iha rai laran. Kritéria prinsipál husi programa ne’e mak hanesan, ai-han ne'ebé atu ajuda ba nasaun tarjetu sira maioria tenke hola iha Estadu Unidus, tenke transporta iha ró ho bandeira Estadu Unidus nian. Maski programa ne'e ho objetivu katak ajuda ai-han ba komunidade, liu-liu ba eskola sira, kritéria ne'ebé programa ne'e aplika, sei fó benefísiu boot liu ba programa ne'e nian (ba Estadu Unidus Amerika) no bele fó impaktu negativu boot liu ba nasaun ne'ebé simu ajuda ai-han ne’e.

Informasaun preliminaria husi departamentu agrikultura Estadu Unidus nian hatudu katak Care Internasionál mak sei implementa programa Food Aid ne’e iha Timor-Leste ho total valor osan tokon $26.  Ami hakfodak katak Care sei sai implementador ba programa Food Aid Estadus Unidus Amerika nian. Ami hanoin katak pratika ne’e klaramente la tuir Care nia Food Aid policy rasik, ne’ebé rekoñese katak programa sira hanesan ne’e fó impaktu la di’ak ba nasaun ne’ebé simu.  Ami husu ba organizasaun internasionál sira, atu labele sai implementador ba programa ida ne’e, bainhira laiha estudu ne’ebé prova katak sei laiha impaktu ba agrikultura no seguransa ai-han iha rai laran.

Ikus liu, HASATIL hanoin katak, programa agrikultura sira mós tenke fó benefísiu hanesan ba feto no mane agrikultór, no maximiza agrikultór feto sira nia partisipasaun no kontribuisaun ba produsaun agríkola. Investimentu barak too oras ne’e foo benefísiu boot liu ba mane sira, en termu de hakmaan agrikultór sira nia servisu.

Tuir mai HASATIL nia rekomendasaun espesífiku ba VIII Governu Konstitusional atu konsidera:
  1. Prioritiza no hasa’e orsamentu estadu ba setór agrikultura no peska, liu-liu iha programa importante sira hanesan:
    •  Kapasitasaun, formasaun ba agrikultór no peskadór eskalaun ki’ik sira atu hasa’e
    produsaun no jestaun tuir dalan ne'ebé sustentável
    •  Fó atensaun didi’ak ba diversifika produsaun ai-han iha rai laran atu la depende maka'as ba konsume produtu ida ka rua de’it hanesan (foos no batar)  
    •  Fasilita ekipamentu prosesamentu no kapasitasaun ba grupu prosesamentu produtu agríkola sira ne'ebé mak eziste ona iha rai laran atu hadi’ak liu tan sira nia kualidade produtu, jestaun no asesu ba merkadu
    •  Promove agrikultura familiar, diversifikasaun ai-han no diversifikasaun ekonomia nudár fonte alternativu hodi substitui fundu mina rai
  2. Fó prioridade orsamentu ba promove hortikultura, hakiak animal no hakiak ikan iha nivel uma kain hodi prodús produtu ne'ebé saudável no nutrisaun di’ak ba família, atu hamenus mal-nutrisaun, no ajuda ekonomia família nian.
  3. Husu ba Organizasaun internasionál sira atu labele sai implemetador ba programa Food Aid ne’ebé sei estraga agrikultura lokál no hafraku Timor-Leste nia rezilensia seguransa ai-han ba tempu naruk.
  4. Husu ba Ministériu Edukasaun, Agrikultura no Saúde atu la bele simu implementasaun programa Food Aid iha Timor-Leste.
  5. Konstrui irrigasaun eskala-kiik iha nivel aldeia no suku hodi fornese bee ba atividade produsaun iha nivel uma kain. Presiza mós estabelese sistema kolleita bee no Konservasaun bee iha area sira ne’ebé bee menus.
  6. Promove diversifikasaun ai-han no konsiensilizasaun hodi muda kultura Han, nudár dalan ida hodi hamenus importasaun iha Timor-Leste. 
  7. Tau matan no halo avaliasaun kritiku ba projetu ajénsia internasionál sira iha Timor-Leste atu labele hamosu problema tempu naruk ba Timor-Leste bainhira sira nia projetu remata.
  8. Hametin igualdade entre mane no feto iha asesu ba fasilidade, rekursu no oportunidade ba kapasitasaun. No mós maximiza partisipasaun no kontribuisaun feto sira nian iha etapa produsaun tomak.
  9. Promove agro-ekologia, uza rekursu lokál atu hasa’e produsaun liu husi dalan ne'ebé la estraga meiu-ambiente.

Too ba ne’e de’it komunikadu imprensa. HASATIL no membru sira tomak prontu nafatin atu kontribui ba dezenvolvimentu ne'ebé promove agro-ekolojia no hametin soberania ai-han iha Timor-Leste.

Viva Soberania Ai-han!  Viva HASATIL! Viva Agrikultór no POVU Timor-Leste!

Dili, 15 de Outubru 2018

Gil Boavida
Koordenador Rede HASATIL

Grupu Trabalho Advokasia
  • La’o Hamutuk
  • Asosiasaun HAK
  • ETADEP
  • Permatil
  • Fundasaun Haburas
  • Kdadalak Sulimutu Institutu
  • Fokupers
  • Raibea

11 October 2018

Timor-Leste nia tasi tenke mantein nudár area protejidu ba ikan-baleia no golfiñu

Afirmasaun Konjunta Husi Sosiedade Sivíl 
Dili, 10-10-2018

Husi Timor-Leste from Below video, Episode 6.
Haree asaun sira foin daudaun husi Governu Japaun atu promove kasa ka kaer ikan-baleia sira, ami preokupa katak asuntu ne’e bele tama iha diskusaun durante vizita Ministru Estranjeiru Japaun nian iha Timor-Leste hahú loron 11 Outubru. Ami hakarak afirma ami nia pozisaun no suporta atu Timor-Leste tenke mantein sai area protejidu ba animál protejidu sira hanesan ikan-baleia no golfiñu (ikan-toniñu ka lumba-lumba).

Nudár organizasaun ne’ebé tau matan mós ba ambiente, ami afirma ho kompromisu atu proteje ita-nia ambiente natural ne’ebé úniku no sai patrimóniu importante rai doben Timor-Leste nian, ami mós apoiu Governu nia suporta ne’ebé forte ba dezenvolvimentu eko-turizmu marina (tasi nian), protesaun ba riku soin tomak ne’ebé moris iha tasi laran, hanesan hakerek iha Planu Estratéjiku Dezenvolvimentu Nasionál 2011-2030 no Polítika Turizmu ne’ebé foin estabelese.  Ami rekoñese no suporta esforsu husi Ministériu Turizmu (ho nia parseiru sira) atu promove no dezenvolve setór eko-turizmu tasi (Marina), liuhosi ninia programa tau matan ba ikan-baleia no golfiñu. Programa ne’e sei kolabora no servisu hamutuk ho ajénsia turizmu lokál sira, organizasaun eko-voluntáriu no komunidade peskadór lokál sira. Iha sorumutu ikus Konsellu Ministru nian, aprezentasaun “Planu Dezenvolvimentu ba Ekonomia Sustentável bazeia ba Eko-Turizmu Marina iha Timor-Leste” deskreve proposta “hodi transforma Timor-Leste atu sai referénsia iha turizmu luku tasi (diving) no haree movimentu furak ikan-baleia no golfiñu nian iha tasi (whale watching) iha rejiaun Sudeste Aziátiku” no inklui “protesaun no Konservasaun ba rikusoin tomak ne’ebé moris iha tasi laran.” Maski ami seidauk hatene ho kompletu proposta ne’e no hakarak atu aprende tan, hodi apoiu ami-nia opiniaun katak eko-turizmu tasi iha poténsia boot, se hetan tratamentu di’ak no halo protesaun loloos.

Golfinu "Spinner" iha Baucau. Foto husi Kevin Austin.
Ami konkorda tebes katak presiza iha protesaun ba ita-nia tasi, no eko-turizmu tenke sai parte husi planu dezenvolvimentu diversifikadu no ekonomia ne’ebé sustentável. Persentajen boot husi ita-nia populasaun depende ona sira nia moris ba riku soin iha tasi laran no tasi ibun hodi hetan ai-han, nutrisaun no rendimentu ba sira nia família uma kain nian. Se rekursu sira-ne’e dezenvolve ho di’ak, hahú husi buat ne’ebé Governu estabelese tiha ona, dezenvolve indústria turizmu ho ikan-baleia no golfiñu iha poténsia atu lori benefísiu ekonómiku ne’ebé signifikante ba ita-nia komunidade lokál sira. Agora ita iha nesesidade urjensia atu diversifika ita-nia ekonomia, haluan no haforsa setór sira ne’ebé la’ós mina hanesan agrikultura, peska, indústria produsaun ho eskalaun ki’ik sira no turizmu. No sira tenke hetan dezenvolve ho kompromisu boot hodi tuir polítika ida ne’ebé sustentável nune’e bele garante no proteje ita-nia ambiente ne’ebé sei frajil hela nudár patrimóniu naturál. Ita nia tasi sai ona area protejidu ba ikan-baleia no golfiñu sira (haree Diploma Ministeriál No.18/MAP/MCIA/II/2017) no ida ne’e oferese buat úniku no espesiál ne’ebé bele atrai turista barak.

Artigu balu foin daudaun fo sai husi ema akadémiku no media internasionál sira, hatudu Timor-Leste nia poténsia eko-turizmu di’ak tebes hanesan lalehan. Liu-liu fatin atu ba haree movimentu ikan-baleia boot no golfiñu sira. Maski ita nia tasi la luan, maibé tasi kle’an no iha nia laran, bele estimatiza katak um tersus ka 1/3 (33%) husi tipu ikan-baleia no golfiñu sira tomak (ne’ebé hamutuk hetan naran sientífiku ‘cetaceano’) moris iha Timor-Leste. Kompañia media internasionál konsege hatudu no promove ona poténsia eko-turizmu Timor-Leste nian liuhosi fotografia no video ne’ebé promove Timor-Leste nu’udar fatin di’ak atu haree ikan-baleia azúl sira iha migrasaun ba parte súl, nani hamutuk ho ikan-baleia ‘sperm’ sira no haree baleia no golfiñu barak tebes. Atividade haree movimentu ikan-baleia no golfiñu sira konsidera nudár setór turizmu globál ne’ebé aumenta; iha mós interese sériu husi ema biolojika-marina hodi estuda no hasai fotografia ba animál furak tasi nian sira ne’e. Haree hamutuk ho ita nia paizajen ne’ebé maioria agrikultura orgánika, to’os permakultura nian, paizajen tasi ninin ne’ebé furak, no ahu-ruin ho kór oioin, ita-nia ikan baleia no golfiñu sira sai parte husi ita-nia rikusoin nasionál. Ne’e mós bele hatudu buat úniku husi Timor-Leste ba mundu no posibilidade boot atu aumenta turizmu nasionál no internasionál. Bele aprende husi rai-Sri Lanka ne’ebé harii indústria turizmu ho baze ba atividade sira atu haree ikan-baleia no golfiñu, maibé sira-nia númeru ikan-baleia no golfiñu sira menus tebes kompara ho Timor-Leste nian.

Maski nune’e, eko-turizmu marina só bele buras se ita bele jere ita-nia rekursu sira ho di’ak no proteje ita-nia rikusoin hanesan ikan-baleia no golfiñu husi ameasa sira hanesan kasa komersiál (commercial hunting), impaktu husi ró boot, no fo’er plástiku  (lixu plástiku). Ameasa sira ne’e bazeia ba grupu Organizasaun ambientál internasionál Greenpeace hato’o katak ameasa sira kontinua aumenta. Nune’e Komisaun Baleia Internasionál (International Whaling Commission – IWC) diskute maka’as kona-ba ameasa hirak ne’e, iha Florianopolis, Brazíl fulan kotuk. IWC harii iha tinan 1946 no agora iha membru sira hamutuk nasaun 89 ho responsabilidade ba konservasaun no jestaun liga ba indústria kasa ikan-baleia hodi hasai baleia nia mina, na’an no ruin sira. Iha tinan 1986, IWC halo regra hodi bandu pratika kasa no oho ikan-baleia ho interese komérsiu, no regra ba bandu ne’e sei eziste to’o ohin loron.

Iha sorumutu IWC foin daudaun, Japaun introdús proposta kontroversiál, ho suporta husi nasaun 25, ne’ebé buka atu hasai regra bandu ne’e hodi promove “ezisténsia hamutuk” entre konservasaun no kasa/oho ikan-baleia ba komérsiu. Hafoin debate manas no maka’as, ikus mai maioria membru IWC rejeita proposta Japaun nian, no afirma regra bandu internasionál katak labele kasa/oho ikan-baleia ba interese komérsiu. Sira barak defende pozisaun ne’e tanba sira haree la iha nesesidade iha tempu agora hodi estraga populasaun ikan-baleia sira.

Iha sorumutu hanesan, membru CPLP Brazíl propoin atu iha area protejidu ba ikan-baleia sira iha Tasi Atlántika Súl, maibé proposta ne’e la pasa tanba la to’o dois tersus (2/3) ka 66% votu ne’ebé presiza. Bainhira Timor-Leste mantein ita nia tasi nudár area protejidu ba ikan-baleia no golfiñu, ita la’ós de’it proteje ita-nia rikusoin nasionál, maibé ita mós oferese ba mundu fatin úniku no espesiál atu haree animál sira-ne’e.

Konstituisaun RDTL Artigu 61.3 hato’o: “O Estado deve promover acções de defeza do meio ambiente e salvaguardar o desenvolvimento sustentável da economia.” Timor-Leste ratifika Konvensaun internasionál ONU nian kona-ba Lei Tasi (UNCLOS 1982) ne’ebé haktuir responsabilidade estadu nian ba jestaun rekursu marina, no ita mós membru husi Organizasaun Maritima Internasionál. Iha tinan 2007, Timor-Leste ratifika Konvensaun Internasionál ba Bio-Diversidade (CBD), hafoin dezenvolve Planu Asaun Estratéjiku Timor-Leste nian ba Biodiversidade Nasionál (2011-2020) ne’ebé inklui protesaun ba abitasaun rikusoin marina.

 Timor-Leste nia diversidade marina ne’ebé importante iha nivel global presiza no merese atu hetan protesaun no prezervasaun liuhosi define area protejidu no parke nasionál marina sira. Governu no Ministériu Turizmu agora presiza dezenvolve enkuadramentu legál importante no nesesáriu, ho infrastrutura, formasaun ba ospitalidade iha setór turizmu, akreditasaun ba ajénsia turizmu sira, no komprende rikusoin sira hodi bele jere no tau matan ho di’ak ba oin. Nune’e ita bele asegura indústria eko-turizmu ne’ebé sustentável, protesaun ba ikan-baleia no golfiñu sira hodi fó benefísiu ba komunidade lokál.

Timor-Leste tenke forte atu proteje ita-nia rikusoin no fó solidariedade ba membru IWC ne’ebé buka atu proteje ikan-baleia no golfiñu sira iha mundu. Ita tenke kontra “peska ikan-baleia sustentável” (“sustainable whale fishing”) tanba tuir loloos termu ne’e iha lia-inglés la eziste. Ikan-baleia no golfiñu sira mak ‘mamalia’ (hahoris hanesan ita umanu), la’ós ”fish”; no ita labele kail ikan-baleia, maibé tenke oho ho diman. Ita tenke asegura katak Timor-Leste sei hasoru indústria no nasaun sira ne’ebé suporta kasa ka oho ikan-baleia no golfiñu ba orientasaun komérsiu.

Hamutuk ita sei proteje ita nia tasi no area protejidu ba ikan-baleia no golfiñu sira husi sira ne’ebé iha intensaun atu estraga.

Ami ne’ebé fó ami nia afirmasaun:
  • La’o Hamutuk
  • Fundasaun Haburas, Friends of the Earth TL
  • PERMATIL
  • HASATIL Network
  • Movimentu Hadomi Natureza (Mohana) 
  • Konservasaun Flora and Fauna
  • Asosiasaun Tafon Green
  • Asosiasaun HAK
  • Rede ba Rai
  • Kdadalak Sulimutu Institute
  • Movimentu Tasi Moos 
  • RENETIL
  • Oxfam iha Timor-Leste

Timor-Leste’s waters must remain a sanctuary for whales and dolphins

Joint Statement from Civil Society

Dili, 10 October 2018
Sperm whales. From Timor-Leste from Below, Episode 6.

Considering recent moves by the Government of Japan in support of whaling, we are concerned that the issue may come up during the Japanese Foreign Minister’s visit to Timor-Leste which begins on 11 October. We wish to make clear our strong support for Timor-Leste remaining a sanctuary for whales and dolphins.

As organizations committed to protecting the unique natural environment and valuable heritage of our beloved Timor-Leste, we note the Government’s strong support for marine ecotourism development and the protection of all marine life, as articulated in the National Strategic Development Plan, and in the Government’s recent Tourism Policy.  We also recognize and support the Ministry of Tourism’s ongoing efforts (with partners) to lead and develop the marine ecotourism sector, through its whale and dolphin monitoring program, its work with local tour operators, eco-volunteer organizations and local fishing communities.  In the latest Council of Ministers’ meeting, a “Development Plan for a Sustainable Economy of Marine Eco-Tourism in Timor-Leste” was presented, describing  “a proposal to transform Timor-Leste so that it becomes a reference in dive tourism and whale watching in Southeast Asia” and including “the protection and conservation of all marine life.”  While we do not yet know the details of this proposal and look forward to learning more, it seems to support our view that marine eco-tourism has serious potential, if properly protected.

Pilot whales. Photo by Kevin Austin
We strongly support the protection of our oceans and eco-tourism as part of plans for a more diverse and sustainable economy. A large percentage of our population already depends on marine and coastal life for food, nutrition, and family income. If developed appropriately, building on the Government’s existing efforts, whale watching and eco-tourism have the potential to bring significant economic benefits to local communities. There is an urgent need to diversify our economy, to bolster and expand non-petroleum sectors such as agriculture and fishing, small productive industries and tourism. And these must be developed with a strong commitment to sustainable policies that will safeguard our fragile natural environmental heritage. Our territorial waters are already a sanctuary for whales and dolphins (see Joint Ministerial Order No.18/MAP/MCIA/II/2017, also English), and this offers a unique and special draw for tourists.

Recent articles by international academics and media point to Timor-Leste’s potential as a haven for eco-tourism, particularly for whale and dolphin watching. While limited, our waters are deep and hold within them an estimated 1/3 of all identified species of whales and dolphins (scientifically identified together as “cetacean”). International media companies have already done extensive work highlighting and marketing Timor-Leste’s marine eco-tourism potential through photos and videos highlighting Timor-Leste as a perfect place to see blue whales on their southern migration, swim with sperm whales and see some of the highest concentrated populations of whales and dolphins in the world.  Whale and dolphin watching is recognized around the world as one of the fastest growing tourist sectors; there is also serious interest among marine biologists to study and photograph these beautiful mammals of the sea.  Alongside our largely organic agricultural surroundings, permaculture gardens, beautiful beaches and vibrant coral reefs, whales and dolphins are part of our national treasure, marking Timor-Leste as unique in the world and increasing possibilities to bolster both national and international tourism. By comparison, Sri Lanka has built a strong tourism industry based around whale-watching, and the concentration of whales and dolphins there is far less than in Timor-Leste.

Marine eco-tourism, however, can only flourish if we are able to manage our resources properly and protect our whales and dolphins from the various threats they face such as commercial hunting, shipping strikes and plastic debris entanglement and digestion. These threats, which according to international environmental groups like Greenpeace are increasing, were highlighted in the recent International Whaling Commission (IWC) meeting in Florianopolis, Brazil last month. The IWC was formed in 1946 and is currently made up of 89 member nations charged with the conservation of whales and management of whaling. In 1986, the IWC introduced a ban on commercial whaling, which is still in place. At this recent meeting, Japan introduced a highly controversial proposal, supported by 25 other members, which sought to remove the long-term ban, promoting instead a “coexistence” between conservation and commercial whaling. Following a bitter and heated debate, a majority of voting members rejected the Japanese proposal and confirmed the Florianopolis Declaration supporting the existing international ban on commercial whaling. Those defending this position say there is no need for endangering the whale population.

At the recent IWC meeting, fellow CPLP member Brazil proposed a measure to create a whale sanctuary in the South Atlantic Ocean, but the proposal failed to secure the 2/3 majority it needed to pass. By maintaining our waters as a sanctuary for whales and dolphins, we not only protect our national treasure, but we also offer the world a unique and special place to see these creatures.

As affirmed in Article 61.3 of our Constitution, "The State should promote actions aimed at protecting the environment and safeguarding the sustainable development of the economy." Timor-Leste has ratified the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS 1982) which outlines state responsibilities for the management of marine resources, and we are a member of the International Maritime Organization (IMO). In 2007, Timor-Leste ratified the International Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), and has since developed a National Biodiversity Strategic and Action Plan of Timor-Leste (2011-2020) which includes protection of our marine habitat.

Timor-Leste’s globally significant marine biodiversity needs and deserves careful protection and restoration through new marine national parks and heritage areas. Our Government and Ministry of Tourism need to develop the important necessary regulations, infrastructure, tourism training, accreditation and baseline monitoring to ensure the development of a sustainable industry which will benefit local communities while also ensuring the protection of whales and dolphins.

Timor-Leste must stand in solidarity with those members of the IWC who sought to protect whales and dolphins. We must oppose so-called “sustainable whale fishing” because there is in fact no such thing; Whales and dolphins are mammals, not fish, and are hunted, not fished. We need to ensure that our national policies counter the strong pro-whaling lobby.

Together, we the undersigned commit to protecting our oceans, protected areas, whales and dolphins from those who threaten them.
  • La’o Hamutuk
  • Haburas Foundation, Friends of the Earth TL
  • PERMATIL
  • HASATIL Network
  • Movimentu Hadomi Natureza (Mohana)
  • Conservation Flora and Fauna
  • Tafon Green Association
  • HAK Association
  • Rede ba Rai – Land Network
  • Kdadalak Sulimutu Institute
  • Movimentu Tasi Moos – Clean Ocean Movement
  • Oxfam in Timor-Leste
  • RENETIL

05 October 2018

Sosa Partisipasaun iha Greater Sunrise husi ConocoPhillips

Signifika saida mai Timor-Leste? Signifika saida kona-ba kadoras?
Semana kotuk, negosiadór husi Governu Timor-Leste ho kompañia mina internasionál ConocoPhillips konkorda katak Timor-Leste sei sosa ConocoPhillips nia partisipasaun husi Konsórsiu (Joint Venture) kompañia mina haat nian ne’ebé hetan kontratu atu dezenvolve kampu mina no gás Greater Sunrise. Bainhira sosa ho osan hamutuk tokon $350, Timor-Leste sei sai na’in ba 30% husi projetu ne’e, hamutuk ho Woodside (33%), Shell (27%) no Osaka Gas (10%). Se prosesu sosa ne’e liu husi TimorGAP nudár Timor-Leste nia kompañia mina nasionál, TimorGAP sei partisipa iha prosesu foti desizaun ba projetu, iha responsabilidade atu kontribui 30% husi investimentu, no iha direitu atu simu 30% husi projetu nia lukru.

Artigu ne’e sei responde ba konfuzaun balu no informasaun laloos ne’ebé sirkula iha Timor-Leste no media internasionál kona-ba sosa partisipasaun no Projetu Sunrise. La’o Hamutuk akompaña asuntu ne’e iha tinan barak nia laran. Ami publika livru Sunrise LNG iha Timor-Leste, Mehi, Realidade no Dezafiu iha 2008, no ami kontinua enkoraja desizaun hirak ne’ebé bazeia ba faktu no loloos ne’ebé klaru atu responde ba povu Timor-Leste nia interese. Ami hein katak artigu ida ne’e sei ajuda imi hotu atu kompriende aspetu legál, ekonómiku, sosiál no ambientál husi projetu ne’e, ne’ebé potensiálmente lori benefísiu signifikante ka lakon boot ba ita nia povu. Atu fó hanoin katak, buat importante liu bainhira halo desizaun la’ós atu manán kadoras ka manán opiniaun husi nasaun seluk no kompañia sira, maibé saida mak sei sai benefísiu liu ba povu Timor-Leste iha tempu naruk.

Antesedente

Kampu mina no gás iha tasi okos Greater Sunrise deskobre iha 1974, maibé seidauk dezenvolve tanba okupasaun Indonesia, disputa ba fronteira maritima ho Austrália (ne’ebé foin lalais mak rezolvidu), no seidauk iha konkordánsia kona-ba prosesu gás sei halo iha ne’ebé. Analista balun estimatiza katak mina no gás iha Greater Sunrise sei fa’an ho folin hamutuk biliaun $50. Hafoin selu ba investimentu kapitál, kustu operasaun no kompañia nia lukru, Timor-Leste bele hetan reseita husi impostus no taxas ba produsaun biliaun $8-20. Se karik Timor-Leste sai na’in sorin balu, ita sei fahe osan lukru, no mós hetan responsabilidade ba investimentu.

Iha tinan barak nia laran Sunrise nia projetu paradu tan de’it Governu Timor-Leste insiste katak kadoras husi gás natural tenke kanaliza mai Timor-Leste hodi gás hirak ne’e sei sai malirin liu no sei hafoin nabeen transforma ba LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) nune’e bele hatama iha ró tanke boot sira no bele fa’an ba konsumidór sira iha rai li’ur. Maske nune’e, kompañia mina haat iha Konsórsiu fiar katak meius ba produsaun LNG – liuhosi kadoras ba Australia (Darwin LNG ka DLNG) ka uza plataforma namlele (Floating LNG) – sei fó lukru ne’ebé barak liu no nia risku sei ki’ik liu. Governu Timor-Leste fiar katak kriasaun servisu lubun, kontratu no dezenvolve ekonomia lokál husi projetu Tasi Mane iha Kosta súl sei lori kompensasaun aas liu fali kustu no risku husi lori gás mai iha ne’e, Governu Australia, Konsórsiu Sunrise nian, no Komisaun Konsiliasaun ONU ne’ebé fasilita Tratadu Fronteira la iha fiar ne’e hanesan Governu Timor-Leste. La’o Hamutuk no peritu hirak ne’ebé ami konsulta tiha ona la konvensidu katak benefísiu ba Timor-Leste sei boot liu fali nia kustu, no ami ezije beibeik ba jestór husi projetu ne’e atu fahe dadus no asumsaun sira ne’ebé mak halo sira sai optimístiku tebes ba projetu ne’e.

Fulan Marsu foin lalais, Timor-Leste no Australia asina Tratadu istóriku atu estabelese fronteira maritima, no nia ratifikasaun ne’ebé pendente hela iha nasaun rua. La’o Hamutuk selebra susesu boot ida ne’e nudár aspetu signifikante ida atu avansa Timor-Leste nia soberania nasionál. Maske negosiadór sira iha esperansa katak bele rezolve kestaun Sunrise nian molok Tratadu ne’e asina, sira seidauk bele atinje ida ne’e. Tanba kampu Sunrise la’ós iha sorin ida de’it husi fronteira ne’ebé fixu husi tratadu foun, Timor-Leste sei simu 70% husi rendimentu governu nian husi mina no gás Sunrise nian bainhira prosesamentu gás akontese iha Timor-Leste, no 80% se prosesamentu gás akontese iha Australia.

Sosa Partisipasaun husi ConocoPhillips

ConocoPhillips nia partisipasaun iha Konsórsiu Greater Sunrise mak 30% husi projetu tomak. Timor-Leste sosa partisipasaun ne’e nudár pasu ida iha prosesu naruk atu lori kadoras husi kampu Sunrise ba Beaçu iha parte kosta-súl. Povu Timoroan barak mak orgullu ba ita nia lider polítika sira nia abilidade hodi konvense ka selu Australia no kompañia mina sira atu simu pozisaun ida ne’e. Maibé, kestaun ida ne’e sei iha konsekuénsia boot tebes ba orsamentu, ekonomia, ambiente no sosiedade ne’ebé bele afeta ema barak nia moris iha jerasaun ba jerasaun. Konsekuénsia sira ne’e sei fixu iha tempu naruk no importante liu fali duke emosaun patriotismu ne’ebé temporáriu. Seidauk klaru katak kadoras husi Sunrise nudár dalan ida di’ak ba povu Timor-Leste.

Nasaun presiza no merese hetan análiza detallu no loloos, ho informasaun públiku, kona-ba kustu, benefísiu risku no impaktu husi projetu sira Greater Sunrise no Tasi Mane nian, molok uza hotu osan biliaun dolares husi povu nia osan ba selu kompañia mina, kontraktór sira, indivíduu sira no kompañia sira seluk ne’ebé laiha kompromisu naruk ba nasaun ka obrigasaun atu serve interese públiku.

La’o Hamutuk iha duvida boot katak estudu ne’ebé presiza halo duni sei prova katak benefísiu husi lori kadoras Sunrise mai Timor-Leste sei nato’on atu justifika kustu, risku no impaktu sosiál ne’ebé boot. Karik estudu ida sei bele prova duni, akordu foin lalais atu sosa partisipasaun husi ConocoPhillips la sufisiente atu garante katak kadoras sei mai duni Timor-Leste.

Saida de’it mak sei presiza akontese atu bele lori kadoras mai Timor-Leste??

  1. Tuir regulasaun Konsórsiu Sunrise nian, parseiru idak-idak - Woodside, Shell no Osaka Gas - iha direitu atu “pre-empt” entidade ne’ebé atu sosa. Signifika katak se ConocoPhillips hakarak atu fa’an ninia partisipasaun, kompañia ida husi kompañia hirak ne’e bele sosa fali atu prevene interese ne’e monu fali ba entidade seluk nia liman. Notísia iha mídia indika katak Woodside karik uza podér ida ne’e, no bele prevene Timor-Leste atu sosa partisipasaun husi ConocoPhillips.

  2. Reguladór sira husi Governu Australia no Timor-Leste sei presiza aprova prosesu sosa no fa’an ida ne’e. Konkordánsia husi kontratu fa’an no konkordánsia husi Konsórsiu presiza aprova husi Konsellu Ministru no hetan revizaun husi Tribunal de Contas.

  3. Timor-Leste sei selu tokon $350 ba ConocoPhillips iha inísiu tinan oin nudár kustu avansu no obrigasaun finanseiru ba kustu osan ne’ebé boot liután iha futuru (haree #5 iha okos). Tokon $350 – liu fali dobru husi saida mak Timor-Leste hasai kada tinan atu eduka ita nia labarik sira – sei hasai husi Fundu Petróleu, karik mós bele sai parte ida husi OJE 2019 ne’ebé governu sei proposta ba Parlamentu iha Novembru. Ami hein katak debate iha Parlamentu kona-bá OJE sei hakle’an liután diskusaun kona-ba kestaun sira ne’e hotu, inklui mós obrigasaun finanseira no buat seluk ne’ebé asume kona-ba Timor-Leste nia partisipasaun iha Konsórsiu ne’e.

  4. Bainhira Timor-Leste sai na’in ba 30% partisipasaun husi Greater Sunrise, Governu Timor-Leste mós presiza atu konvense ho Shell no Woodside atu aprova katak kadoras dada mai Timor-Leste, ne’ebé posibilidade sei hamenus rendimentu husi projetu. Baibain iha konsórsiu hanesan ne’e, presiza iha konkordánsia ho unidade (aprovasaun husi parte ida-idak) atu deside asuntu boot hanesan ne’e.
         ConocoPhillips hakarak prosesa gás iha Darwin, karik tanba nia mak sai na’in prinsipál husi planta LNG ne’ebé prosesa ona gás husi Bayu-Undan (ne’ebé lakleur remata no halo planta ne’e la uza), no sira enkoraja Shell no Woodside atu suporta sira nia pozisaun. Molok ida ne’e, Konsórsiu hakarak liu plataforma namlele (Floating LNG); Timor nia LNG ne’e sempre sai preferénsia datoluk ba parseiru sira hotu.
         Se laiha ConocoPhillips, Konsórsiu Sunrise sei menus rekursu finanseiru no tékniku profisionál no administrativu, no parseiru sira seluk sei husu kompensasaun ba kustu no risku tékniku no seguransa husi liña kadoras iha tasi kle’an ba planta LNG foun iha Beaçu. Nune’e mós sei iha infrastrutura adisionál atu suporta regulamentu ne’ebé nesesáriu.
         Entidade ne’ebé sei sosa LNG ne’e mós presiza aprova opsaun dezenvolvimentu no sira sei hakarak garantia katak presu, kontinuidade ba fornesimentu no seguransa operasaun bele responde ba sira nia nesesidade.

  5. Timor-Leste sei presiza selu 30% ba leten husi kustu kapitál atu dezenvolve kampu Sunrise, ne’ebé sei aumenta dolares biliaun balun. Investimentu ne’e la’ós de’it ba kadoras no planta LNG, maibé mós ba perfurasaun ba posu sira hodi halo peskiza no produsaun, harii infrastrutura atu prosesa mina no gás iha kampu (karik inklui mós prosesamentu namlele (Floating Production Storage and Offloading Vessel, armazenamento iha ró ne’ebé lori atu rezerva no fa’an mina husi Sunrise), infrastrutura operasionál, no ba kustu sira seluk. Karik osan hirak ne’e mai husi empréstimu, Timor-Leste tenke selu fali ho tomak osan inan ho nia funan. Mezmu ema hotu espera katak investimentu ne’e sei rekupera fila fali hafoin kampu ne’e komesa prodús iha tinan 6-12, osan hirak ne’e tenke selu lalais, no laiha serteza atu rekupera.

  6. Hafoin parseiru no governu sira aseita, no finansiamentu ba investimentu kapitál garante ona, Konsórsiu tenke dezeña no harii projetu, no kumpre regulamentu sira no konkordánsia ba prátika di’ak ambientál nian.

Protesaun

Indústria mina no gás sei kauza poluisaun, fakar, asidente, ahi han no esplozaun iha mundu tomak, no ita presiza atu hare medida apropriadu atu proteje ita nia rai doben ida ne’e. Seidauk iha buat boot hanesan ne’e harii husi Timor-Leste nia istória, no seidauk iha ema ida mak esperiénsia ona dezastre ambientál ne’ebé bele mosu husi ida ne’e.

Ita nia ajénsia reguladór sira no autoridade ambientál seidauk iha koñesimentu, kompriensaun ka perspetiva atu jere rasik projetu hanesan ne’e, no sira dala barak susar atu kontra presaun polítika. Mezmu nune’e, kapasidade sientífiku no administrativa bele dezenvolve iha tempu naruk – ho apoiu husi ema sira ne’ebé iha ona responsabilidade boot ba projetu sira ne’ebé hanesan. Prosesu aprende sei naruk no konsekuénsia karik sala boot tebes. “Aprende husi pratika” sei la bele atu simu bainhira lori biliaun dolar no ema rihun nia vida mak sai risku.

Indústria petróleu nudár indústria ida ho lala’ok segredu no projetu boot sira ne’e iha mundu tomak, ne’ebé inklui mós selu rihun atus dolar too dúzia husi entidade, dala barak sei fó fatin atu mosu korrupsaun. Hafoin Timor-Leste sai na’in ba Sunrise, ita nia nasaun no osan sei sai maninga ba na’ok-teen no bosok-teen sira ne’ebé hakarak sai parte husi asaun, no ita mós karik sei selu barak liu fali duké saida ita espera atu selu. Ho projetu boot no kompleksu hanesan ne’e, Timor-Leste presiza atu implementa ho transparénsia, iha supervizaun, akontabilidade no kontrolu no balansu de podér durante ninia implementasaun Ita seidauk iha protesaun di’ak ne’ebé presiza, no ita tenke dezenvolve lalais.

Konkluzaun

Nudár sumáriu, ema hotu iha Timor-Leste presiza iha serteza katak viajen ba tempu naruk ida ne’e mak sei lori ita ba hetan fatin di’ak. Timor-Leste hasai tiha ona maizumenus tokon $250 ba projetu Tasi Mane, no barak liu ba aeroportu Suai no Auto-Estrada Suai-Fatukai. Ita agora sei gasta tan tokon $350 liu atu sosa ba iha Greater Sunrise, ne’ebé tuirmai sei hasai tan biliaun lubun ba preparasaun atu hasai mina no gás. Karik ita sei hasai biliaun $5 too $10 atu dezenvolve restu husi projetu Tasi Mane.

Ho liafuan seluk katak, posibilidade katak estadu sei hasai maioria husi Fundu Petróleu biliaun $17 – ne’ebé atu finansia ba edukasaun, saúde, estrada, bee, eletrisidade, veteranu, PNTL, F-FDTL no buat barak tan – duni atu hetan gás husi Greater Sunrise. Ida ne’e seidauk tarde atu tetu ninia kustu no benefísiu ho sériu, no atu haree se liuhosi mina mak dalan ne’ebé garantido, prátiku, no produtivo atu uza rekursu ekonómiku nasaun nian ne’ebé limitadu no naun renovável. Karik ita investe tempu, osan, kapitál polítika, no abilidade administrativa iha projetu Sunrise no Tasi Mane – ka karik ita tenke foti dalan ne’ebé seguru no klaru liu no menus perigozu atu diversifika ita nia ekonomia, harii rekursu umanu no agríkola?

Se bainhira ita foti desizaun ne’ebé sala ohin loron, sei difisil atu muda iha futuru, no ita bele kontinua fakar osan ba buat hirak ne’ebé la lori lukru barak, ka tau fini ba aifuan ne’ebe sei la lori fuan barak.

04 October 2018

Buying part of Greater Sunrise from ConocoPhillips

What does it mean for Timor-Leste and the Pipeline?

Last week, negotiators from the Timor-Leste government and the ConocoPhillips international oil company agreed that Timor-Leste will purchase ConocoPhillips’ share in the Joint Venture (consortium or JV) of four oil companies who hold the contract to develop the Greater Sunrise oil and gas field. By paying $350 million, Timor-Leste will become the owner of 30% of this project, together with Woodside (33%), Shell (27%) and Osaka Gas (10%). If the sale goes through, TimorGAP, as Timor-Leste’s national oil company, will participate in making decisions about the project, be responsible to contribute 30% of the investment, and be entitled to 30% of the profit.

This article will address some confusion and misinformation that is circulating in Timor-Leste and international media about the purchase and the Sunrise project.  La’o Hamutuk has followed this issue for many years (we published the book Sunrise LNG in Timor-Leste: Dreams, Realities and Challenges in 2008), and we continue to encourage fact-based, objective decisions to serve the best interests of Timor-Leste’s people. We hope that this article will help you understand legal, economic, social and environmental aspects of the project, which has the potential to bring significant benefits or huge losses to our people. Decisions should not be primarily motivated by “winning” a pipeline or overcoming the opinions of countries and companies, but by what will give the most benefit to Timor-Leste’s people over the long term.

Background

The Greater Sunrise undersea gas and oil field was discovered in 1974, but it has not yet been developed because of the Indonesian occupation, the (recently resolved) maritime boundary dispute with Australia, and disagreement about where the gas should be processed. Some analysts estimate that its gas and oil will sell for about $50 billion. After paying for capital investment, operating costs and company profit, this could generate $8-20 billion in tax and royalty revenue to Timor-Leste. If Timor-Leste becomes a part-owner, we will share in the profits, as well as in the responsibility for investment.

For many years, Sunrise has been stalled because Timor-Leste’s government has insisted that its natural gas be piped to Timor-Leste, where it will be cooled until it becomes a liquid (Liquefied Natural Gas – LNG) that can be loaded onto tanker ships and sold to overseas customers.  However, the four oil companies in the Joint Venture believe that other ways of making LNG – either through a pipeline to Australia (Darwin LNG or DLNG) or on a floating platform above the field (FLNG) – will be more profitable and less risky. Timor-Leste’s government believes that spinoff jobs, contracts and local economic development on the Tasi Mane coast will more than compensate for the higher costs and risks of bringing the gas here, but this view is not shared by Australia, the Sunrise Joint Venture, or the UN Conciliation Commission that facilitated the Boundary Treaty. La’o Hamutuk and experts we have consulted are not convinced that the benefits to Timor-Leste are greater than the costs, and we have repeatedly asked the managers of the project for the assumptions and data that make them so optimistic.

Last March, Timor-Leste and Australia signed an historic treaty to establish their maritime boundary, and it is pending ratification in both countries.  La’o Hamutuk celebrates this achievement as a significant advance for Timor-Leste’s national sovereignty. Although the negotiators had hoped to resolve the Sunrise question before the Treaty was signed, they were unable to. Because Sunrise straddles the boundary established by the new treaty, Timor-Leste will receive 70% of the government revenues for extracting Sunrise oil and gas if the gas is processed in Timor-Leste, and 80% if it is processed in Australia.

Buying out ConocoPhillips

Timor-Leste’s purchase of ConocoPhillips' 30% share of Greater Sunrise is one step in a long process which may eventually bring a gas pipeline from the Sunrise field to Beaçu on the south coast. Many Timorese citizens are proud of our political leaders for persuading or paying Australia and the oil companies to accept this position. However, this issue has financial, economic, environmental and social consequences which could affect people’s lives for many generations, and will be longer-lasting and more consequential than temporary patriotic emotion.  It is not yet clear that the Sunrise pipeline will be good for the people of Timor-Leste.

The nation needs and deserves a detailed, objective analysis, with complete public information, about the costs, benefits, risks, and impacts of the entire Greater Sunrise and Tasi Mane projects before billions of dollars of public funds are disbursed to oil companies, contractors, brokers and other individuals and companies who don’t have any long-term commitment to the nation or obligation to serve the public interest.

La’o Hamutuk has serious doubts that such an analysis will prove that the benefits of bringing the Sunrise pipeline to Timor-Leste are enough to justify its huge costs, risks and social impacts.  But even if it does, the recent agreement to purchase ConocoPhillips’ 30% share is insufficient to ensure that the pipeline will come here. 

What else has to happen to bring the pipeline to Timor-Leste?

  1. Under the Sunrise Joint Venture rules, each other partner – Woodside, Shell, or Osaka Gas – has the right to “pre-empt” another buyer. In other words, if ConocoPhillips intends to sell its 30% share, one of these companies could purchase it to prevent it from going to someone else. Media reports indicate that Woodside may exercise this power, which would prevent Timor-Leste from buying the share from ConocoPhillips.

  2. Australian and Timor-Leste government regulators will have to approve the purchase. The sales contract and Joint Venture agreement must also be approved by the Council of Ministers and reviewed by the Audit Court.

  3. Timor-Leste will have to pay $350 million to ConocoPhillips early next year, sort of a down payment on much larger financial obligations in the future (see #5 below).  The $350 million – more than twice as much as Timor-Leste spends each year to educate our children – will be taken out of the Petroleum Fund, probably as part of the 2019 State Budget which the Government will propose to Parliament in November. We hope that Parliament’s debate on the Budget will fully explore this issue, including financial and other obligations that Timor-Leste assumes by joining the Joint Venture.

  4. Even after Timor-Leste owns  a 30% share of Greater Sunrise, it will need to persuade Shell and Woodside to approve a pipeline to Timor-Leste, which may reduce the profitability of the project. Most Joint Ventures require unanimous approval for a major decision like this one.
         ConocoPhillips wanted to process the gas in Darwin, perhaps because it is the principal owner of the soon-to-be-idle LNG plant there that has been processing gas from Bayu-Undan. They persuaded Shell and Woodside to support their position. Before that, the Joint Venture had preferred Floating LNG; Timor LNG was always the third choice for all the partners.
         Without ConocoPhillips, the Sunrise JV will have less financial resources and technical and administrative expertise, and other partners may ask for compensation to accept the increased cost and technical and security risks of a deep-water pipeline to a new LNG plant in Beaçu, as well as the additional infrastructure and regulatory support that it will require.
         Potential buyers for the LNG will also have to approve the development option and will want assurance that the price, continuity of supply, and security of operation meet their needs.
  5. Timor-Leste will need to pay at least 30% of the capital cost to develop the Sunrise field, which will be several billion dollars. This investment is not only for the pipeline and LNG plant, but for drilling exploratory and production wells, building the infrastructure to process oil and gas at the field (probably including  a Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel to store and sell oil from Sunrise), operational infrastructure, and other costs. If this money is borrowed, Timor-Leste will have to pay it back with interest.  Although everyone hopes that this investment can be recovered a few years after the field starts production in 6-12 years, the money will need to be paid up front, and recovery is not certain.
  6. After the partners and governments agree and the capital investment financing has been secured, the Joint Venture has to design and build the project, subject to regulatory and environmental approval and best practice.

Safeguards

The oil and gas industry has caused pollution, spills, accidents, fires and explosions all over the world, and we need to take appropriate measures to protect our beloved country. Nothing anywhere near this scale has ever been built in Timor-Leste, and virtually nobody here has ever experienced the potential environmental disasters it comes with.

Our regulatory agencies and environmental authorities do not yet have the knowledge, understanding, or perspective to manage a project like this, and they often find it difficult to stand up to political pressure. Although this scientific and administrative capacity could be developed over time – with support from people who have already had major responsibilities on similar projects – the learning curve is long and the consequences of mistakes are huge. “Learning by doing” is not acceptable when billions of dollars and thousands of lives are at risk.

The oil industry is secretive by nature, and projects of this magnitude all over the globe, involving payments of hundreds of millions of dollars to dozens of entities, are often riddled with corruption.  After Timor-Leste becomes an owner of Sunrise, our country and our money will be a magnet for thieves and scammers who want a piece of the action, and we may end up paying much more than we should or expect to.  With a project of this size and complexity, Timor-Leste needs to implement transparency, oversight, accountability, and checks and balances all along the way. We do not yet have the necessary safeguards in place, and we need to develop them immediately.

Conclusion

In summary, everyone in Timor-Leste needs to be certain that this long journey is one which will lead to a good place. Timor-Leste has already spent more than $250 million on the Tasi Mane project, mostly for Suai airport and the Suai-Fatukai highway. We are about to spend $350 million more to buy into Greater Sunrise, to be followed by several billion to prepare to extract its oil and gas. We may spend another $5-$10 billion to build the rest of the Tasi Mane project.

In other words, the country will spend most of our $17 billion Petroleum Fund – which finances education, health care, roads, water, electricity, veterans, PNTL, F-FDTL and many other things – to pursue the gas from Greater Sunrise. It is not too late to seriously consider its costs and benefits, and to see if the petroleum path is the most promising, practical and productive way to use the nation’s finite economic resources.  Should we invest our time, money, political capital and administrative skills in the Sunrise and Tasi Mane projects – or should we take the more certain, less dangerous path of diversifying our economy, building on our human and agricultural resources?

If we make the wrong decision now, it will be even harder to change course in the future, and we may continue to throw good money after bad.

19 September 2018

Sé mak bele emite Lisensa Ambientál ba petróleu no mineiru?

Objetivu fundamentál Estadu nian mak atu: “proteje didi’ak meiu-ambiente no preserva nafatin riku-soin rai nian” (Artigu 6(f) husi Konstituisaun RDTL). Provisaun seluk husi Konstituisaun temi katak: “Estado tenke fó-sai buat ne’ebé mak sei halo atu defende natureza maibé sei hodi dezenvolve ninia ekonomia iha maneira sustentável” (Artigu 61.3), no “Aproveitamentu rekursu naturál sira tenke haree didi’ak mós ba ekilíbriu ekolójiku no sees husi destruisaun ba ekosistema sira” (Artigu 139.3).

Artigu 33.1(o) husi Dekretu-Lei 14/2018 de 17 Agostu, fó kompeténsia ba Ministériu Petróleu no Minerais (MPM, uluk MPRM) atu hala’o prosesu lisensamentu ambientál, no mós aprova lisensa ambientál sira, iha setór petróleu no mineiru. Kompeténsia seluk MPM nian ne’ebé temi iha Dekretu-Lei ne’e mak garante partisipasaun másimu husi Timor-Leste nia atividade iha setór petróleu no mineiru, no promove oportunidade sira iha setór ne’e atu atrai no asegura investimentu husi li’ur.

Ho liman ida MPM hetan tarefa atu maximiza dezenvolvimentu iha setór ida ne’e, no ho liman ida tan sira hetan kbiit atu prosesa dokumentu no fó lisensa ambientál  ba atividade projetu iha indústria estrativa ne’ebé sira rasik mak lidera. Husi perspectiva indústria nian, fó kompeténsia ne’e ba MPM bele habadak no asegura prosesu hodi atinje objetivu indústria nian ho lalais. Husi perspetiva ambientál, fó kompeténsia ne’e ba MPM posivelmente hamosu dezastre boot, inklui estraga rai, bee bele kontaminadu ho tóksiku no hafo’er anin. Ita tenke kuidadu no proteje ita-nia ambiente husi konflitu interese ida-ne’e.

Iha dékada ikus ne’e, MPM haboot, ho harii instituisaun boot oioin iha ninia kraik, inklui entidade reguladór (ANP-ANPM), kompañia nasionál ba mina no gas (TimorGAP), sentru peskiza jeolojiku (IPG), no kompañia nasionál foun ba mineiru (MT). MPM, ne’ebé reprezenta Governu Timor-Leste, mós promove no jere Inisiativa ba Transparénsia iha Indústria Estrativa (Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative - EITI), ne’ebé foka ba transparénsia no boa governasaun tuir padraun internasionál. Aumenta tan entidade ba halo prosesu Lisensamentu ambientál ba projetu liga ho petróleu no mineiru viola prinsipiu báziku kona-ba boa governasaun, no mós hatudu ambisaun sektorál ne’ebé presiza kontrolu independente hodi proteje ita-nia ambiente.

Objetivu husi Lisensamentu Ambientál mak maneira importante Estadu nian atu asegura ita bele proteje ita nia ambiente nia kondisaun moos no saudavel agora no ba futuru jerasaun Timoroan sira nian.  Nudár ezemplu: molok governu halo konstrusaun ba dalan, aeroportu ka edifísiu boot ruma, no molok kompañia privadu halo fábrika, otél boot, planu turizmu iha foho ka tasi ibun, tuir lei sira tenke aprezenta sira-nia dokumentu projetu sira hodi iha avaliasaun hafoin hetan lisensa husi Autoridade Ambientál. Nune’e, Autoridade Ambientál bele kontrola prosesu dezenvolvimentu hodi asegura projetu sira la’o tuir planu ne’ebé di’ak, sustentável no minimiza impaktu negativu ba ema nia ambiente no moris.

Regulamentu ambientál iha ona ninia prinsípiu ne’ebé forte, mekanizmu no prosesu, hanesan bele hetan iha Lei Base ba Ambiente (Dekretu-Lei No. 26/2012) no Dekretu-Lei No. 5/2011 kona-ba Lisensamentu Ambientál. Lei sira ne’e define papél Autoridade Ambientál mak atu lidera prosedimentu sira liga ho Avaliasaun Impaktu Ambientál, halo Jestaun Ambientál no emite Lisensa Ambientál ba projetu sira - inklui iha setór petrolíferu no mineiru. Lei sira-ne’e, no diploma ministeriál sira ne’ebé komplementar, insiste tenke iha transparénsia no prinsipiu báziku ba boa governasaun, no ba projetu multi annual sira, inklui rekerimentu halo diálogu no planeamentu hamutuk ho komunidade lokál.

Hodi regulasaun ambientál ba projetu dezenvolvimentu boot sira bele la’o no sai efetivu, tenke lidera husi entidade ne’ebé independente no la’ós entidade ne’ebé promove no implementa projetu sira rasik. Nune’e bele asegura prosesu kontabilidade (checks and balances), transparénsia no asegura atu laiha intervensaun polítiku ba implementasaun lei sira ne’e tanba iha konflitu interese.

Diresaun Nasionál Kontrolu Poluisaun no Impaktu Ambientál (DNCPIA), iha Sekretáriadu Estadu ba Ambiente nia okos, mak Autoridade Ambientál atuál nian ho kompeténsia atu regula no lidera prosesu avaliasaun no prosesu aprova lisensa ambientál. La’o Hamutuk enkoraja Governu atu utiliza matenek, esperiénsia no kapasidade ne’ebé eziste ona iha Autoridade Ambientál, no hasoru limitasaun espesífiku sira tuir nesesidade. Nune’e bele asegura Lei Ambientál sira sei implementa loloos no sustentável.

Ita hotu depende ba rai, bee no ár Timor-Leste nian; hamutuk ita presiza defende no proteje ambiente ne’ebé furak no frajil ida ne’e. Ho razaun ida ne’e, ita hamutuk tenke ezije atu Governu hasai Artigu 33.1(o) husi Dekretu-Lei 14/2018.

Ita nia situasaun ambiente ohin loron presiza ema hotu nia atensaun no responsabilidade atu promove , no ami bolu ita-nia ukun-na’in sira iha Governu no iha Parlamentu no sidadaun hotu atu ko’alia maka’as kontra implikasaun sériu sira husi Artigu 33.1(o) Dekretu-Lei ne’e nian. Se la muda Dekretu-Lei ne’e, sei mosu konsekuénsia boot no aat ba ema nia moris no rikusoin natureza hotu ne’ebé ohin loron ita iha atu prezerva no kuidadu ba ita nia jerasaun futuru nian.

Who should grant environmental licenses for mining and petroleum?

One of the State’s fundamental objectives is: “to protect the environment and to preserve natural resources.” (Article 6(f) of the RDTL Constitution). The Constitution continues: “The State should promote actions aimed at protecting the environment and safeguarding the sustainable development of the economy” (Article 61.3), and “The exploitation of the natural resources shall preserve the ecological balance and prevent destruction of ecosystems.” (Article 139.3).

Article 33.1(o) of Decree-Law 14/2018 of 17 August assigns to the Ministry of Petroleum and Mining (MPM, previously MPRM) the responsibility to carry out the environmental licensing process for petroleum and mining, including granting of licenses. This law also assigns MPM the tasks of guaranteeing maximum participation in Timor-Leste’s petroleum and mining sector activities and promoting sectoral opportunities by attracting and ensuring foreign investment.

With one hand MPM is meant to maximize growth in the sector, and with the other hand they are given the power to issue environmental licenses. From an industry perspective, having the MPM in charge would help to streamline and secure the process to meet industry goals.  From an environmental perspective, having the MPM in change could spell massive disaster, including the destruction of land, poisoning of water and polluting of air. We must protect our environment from this conflict of interest.

Over the last decade, the MPM has grown, and now has several large institutions under its umbrella, including a regulatory body (ANPM), a national oil company (TimorGAP), a geological research center (IPG), and a nascent national mining company (MT). MPM, representing the Timor-Leste Government, also promotes and manages the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), whose focus is on transparency at an international standard. To add environmental licensing responsibilities for petroleum and mining to this list not only violates basic principles of good governance; it points to sectoral ambitions which, for the sake of our environment, need independent control.

Environmental licensing is intended to guarantee sustainable use of our natural resources and to ensure a clean and healthy environment for current and future generations of Timorese people. For example, before the government builds a power plant, road, airport or large building, or before a private company builds a factory, oil well, refinery or tourist resort, they must, by law, present project documents, including an Environmental Impact Assessment and an Environment Management Plan, to the Environmental Authority. The Authority evaluates and suggests changes to these documents before it issues an environmental license, which is required before a major project can be built. In this way, the Environmental Authority can help ensure that large development projects are carried out properly, sustainably, and minimizing negative impacts on the environment and people’s lives.

Timor-Leste’s existing environmental regulations have strong principles, mechanisms and processes, as described in the Base Law on the Environment (Decree-Law 26/2012) and the Environmental Licensing Law (Decree-Law 5/2011).  These laws define the role of the Environmental Authority to lead procedures relating to environmental impact evaluations and issuing environmental licenses for development projects with significant environmental risks and impacts, including in the petroleum and mining sector. These laws and their complementary policies require transparency and basic principles of good governance, and for the largest projects, they require consultation and planning with the local community.

For environmental regulation of large development projects to be effective, it must be led by an independent entity, not one whose goals include the promotion and implementation of these same projects. This ensures accountability (checks and balances), transparency and shields against political interventions in the implementation of the law due to conflicts of interest.

The National Directorate for Pollution Control and Environmental Impact (DNCPIA), under the Secretary of State for the Environment, is the existing Environmental Authority with the mandate to regulate and lead the evaluation and approval process for environmental licensing. According to La’o Hamutuk’s observations, DNCPIA has the experience and technical skills to implement policies and laws related to environmental licensing. La’o Hamutuk encourages the Government to build on and invest in the knowledge, experience and technical skills which already exist within the Environmental Authority, and to address any specific limitations as needed. This will ensure proper and sustainable implementation of the environmental laws.

We all depend on Timor-Leste’s land, water and air; together, we must defend and protect this precious and fragile environment. For that reason, we must together insist that Article 33.1(o) be removed from Decree-Law 14/2018.

Our environment needs all the advocates it can get right now, and we call on decision makers in Government and Parliament and all citizens to raise your voice against the dangerous implications of article 33.1(o) of the Decree-Law.  If this Decree-Law is not changed, there will be huge and devastating consequences for people and the living things around us for many generations to come.

On 11 September, La’o Hamutuk wrote a letter to the Prime Minister urging him to reconsider this issue, which we also described in a press release.