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.

07 August 2018

LH karta ba Parlamentu rua kona-ba Tratadu Fronteira Maritima

Iha loron 6 Marsu tinan 2018, Timor-Leste no Australia asina Tratadu foun atu estabelese sira nia fronteira maritima. Tratadu foun ne'e hein ratifikasaun husi nasaun rua. La'o Hamutuk haruka ona submisaun ida ba Parlamentu Australia iha fulan Abril.

Ami foin hakerek submisaun ida tan ba Parlamentu Nasional RDTL. PN sei debate ratifikasaun durante fulan ida ne'e. Ami nia pontu prinsipál mak ne'e:
  • La’o Hamutuk fó parabéns nasaun rua nia esforsu hodi define fronteira marítima hafoin luta tinan barak nia laran.
  • Ami enkoraja Governu atu ratifika lalais Tratadu ida ne’e.
  • Timor-Leste tenke mantén nafatin nia sistema governasaun ne’ebé efetivu hodi jere setór petrolíferu.
  • Presiza foka ba enerjia no rekursu nasaun ne’e nian hodi diversifika ekonomia atu nune’e hadook-an husi dependénsia petrolíferu.
  • Molok aumenta tan gastu ba Projetu Tasi Mane, Governu, Parlamentu no públiku tomak tenke estuda kle’an rezultadu husi avaliasaun fiskál, sosiál, ekonomiku no ambiental, hodi tetu kustu, benefísiu no risku sira. 
  • Sidadaun Timor-Leste no Australia sei kontinua ezije ba Governu Australia atu selu osan biliaun $5 husi rendimentu petrolíferu nian ne’ebé foti husi Timor-Leste nia territóriu marítima. 
Atu hetan informasaun kle’an liu iha Ingles, hare LH nia website.

LH letters to Parliaments on Maritime Boundary Treaty

On 6 March, Timor-Leste and Australia signed a Treaty to finally establish their maritime boundary, which is pending ratification by both countries. La'o Hamutuk made a submission to Australia's Parliament in April.  

We have just written a submission to Timor-Leste's National Parliament, which is expected to discuss ratification later this month. Our main points are:
  • We appreciate both nations’ success in defining our maritime boundary, after decades of struggle and frustration.
  • We encourage Timor-Leste and Australia to ratify the Treaty expeditiously.
  • Timor-Leste should maintain its effective, transparent system for managing petroleum activities.
  • Our nation needs to focus its energy and resources on diversifying our economy away from petroleum dependency.
  • Before spending more money on the Tasi Mane project, the Government, Parliament and the public should study a rigorous and objective assessment of its fiscal, social, economic and environmental costs, benefits and risks.
 For more information on this complex and critical issue, see La'o Hamutuk's website.

30 July 2018

La’o Hamutuk fó Hanoin ba Autór sira katak sira nia Hakerek iha Konsekuénsia

Liberdade espresaun mai ho responsabilidade. Maske La’o Hamutuk kontra medida legal ne’ebé bele limita diskusaun, ami atu bolu observadór polítiku sira - inklui jornalista, akadémiku, no hakerek na’in ba blogu sira, liuliu hirak ne’ebé la’ós Timoroan no hakerek husi rai li’ur de’it - atu tau iha neon katak, bainhira sira ezersísiu sira nia liberdade espresaun, presiza konsidera konsekuénsia negativu husi sira nia hakerek ba Timoroan sira.  La’o Hamutuk (Institutu Analiza Monitorizasaun ba Dezenvolvimentu Timor-Leste) harii iha prinsipiu ida katak ema sira internasionál ho nasionál servisu hamutuk hodi tane as justisa sosiál iha Timor-Leste, no ami hato’o sujestaun ba ami nia belun internasionál sira.

Blogu rua ne’ebé foin lalais publika kona-ba lideransa polítika balun, sirkula iha media sosiál, hanesan ezemplu rua kona-ba artigu hirak ne’ebé ladún konstrutivu no laiha responsabilidade.  Artigu ida kona-ba Prezidente Lu Olo, nakonu ho sensasionál kona-ba abuzu konstituisional, no artigu seluk ne’ebé kompara Xanana Gusmão nia relasaun ho feto sira ho Donald Trump.

Klaru, importante atu lideransa polítika sira banati tuir standard ne’ebé as, no laiha lideransa mak bele sees husi kritika sira.  Ho ida ne’e, komentáriu sira presiza bazeia ba evidénsia, konsistente ho prinsipiu étika jornalizmu nian, no konstrutivu. Spekulasaun, la uza fonte nia naran, ataka pesoál no uza liafuan manas sei la ajuda ema ida.  Debate kona-ba Timor-Leste presiza foka ba programa no implementasaun programa sira, la’ós foka ba personalidade. Ho situasaun polítika foin lalais, nasaun ida ne’e presiza komentadór, lideransa polítika no sidadaun sira ne’ebé foka ba programa ne’ebé bele servi hanesan matadalan ba nasaun ba tinan 5 tuir mai, no aban bainrua.

Perspetiva husi li’ur bele ajuda fornese debate no lori esperiénsia no informasaun adisionál; maibé mós bele lori konsekuénsia ne’ebé ita la hakarak.  Ema hirak ne’ebé lee artigu sira, presiza tetu katak artigu ne’e loos ka lae, no hanoin dala rua molok sirkula.

Ita hotu iha responsabilidade atu hamenus tensaun, ataka pesoál no debate partidáriu. Buat hirak ne’e, bele aumenta dezafiu ba dalan atu hadi’ak liu tan Timoroan nia moris, povu ida ne’ebé tinan barak nia laran sofre ho intervensaun husi nasaun li’ur sira.  Hakerek na’in sira iha rai li’ur sei la moris ho impaktu negativu sira, maibé Timoroan sira mak sei moris ho nia konsekuénsia sira ne’e.  Hakerek na’in sira ne’ebé hadomi rai doben ida ne’e, iha obrigasaun moral atu kontribui ho meius pozitivu no uza dalan konstrutivu. 

Nasaun estranjeiru sira ukun Timor-Leste iha tinan atus barak nia laran, no dala barak sira la tau matan ba interese povu nian.  Ohin loron Timor-Leste ukun rasik an, mai ita hotu tenke muda husi luta rezisténsia ida ne’e ba luta hodi enkoraja malu.  Mai tau neon hamutuk hodi kontribui ba debate ida konstrutivu, persuasivu, no kolabora ho espíritu ida atu lori nasaun ida ne’e ba oin.

La’o Hamutuk Reminds Authors that their Writing has Consequences


Freedom of speech comes with responsibility. Although La’o Hamutuk opposes legal measures which could restrict discussion, we urge all political observers - including journalists, academics and bloggers, particularly non-Timorese who write from a distance - to remember that they should consider the repercussions on the Timorese people when they use their freedom of speech.  La’o Hamutuk (the Timor-Leste Institute for Development Monitoring and Analysis) was founded on the principle that internationals and nationals work together to advance social justice in Timor-Leste, and we therefore offer this suggestion to the country’s international friends.

Two recent blog articles circulated on social media and focusing on political leaders exemplify unconstructive and irresponsible commentary.  One lambasts President Lu Olo with sensational accusations of constitutional abuse, while another compares Xanana Gusmão’s relationships with women to Donald Trump.

Political leaders should be held to a high standard, and no leader’s actions are above criticism. That said, commentary should be evidence-based, consistent with basic principles of journalistic ethics, and constructive.  Speculation, unnamed sources, personal attacks and inflammatory language are not helpful.  Additionally, debate about Timor-Leste should focus on policies, not personalities.  In the wake of recent political events, this country needs commentators, political leaders and citizens to focus on the programs that will shape the next five years and beyond.

Outside perspectives can improve debate by bringing in additional experiences and information; they also have consequences.  People who read these articles should also exercise judgment about their accuracy and helpfulness, and think twice before circulating or reposting them.

We all share responsibility to try to reduce polarization, personal attacks and counter-attacks, and partisanship.  These add unnecessary challenges to the difficult task of improving the lives of Timor-Leste’s people, who have already suffered greatly from outside intervention.  Overseas authors may not experience the negative impact of their writings, but the Timorese people will live with the consequences.  Authors who care about this beloved country have a moral obligation to contribute in a positive and constructive way.

For centuries, Timor-Leste was ruled by foreign governments who ignored the needs and desires of our people.  Now that we are independent, we need to change our approach from resistance to encouragement.  Please join us in the spirit of constructive debate, persuasion and collaboration which can move our country forward.

24 July 2018

Hamutuk ita bele! Fiar an, la’o ba oin!

Loron-sesta, 20 fulan-jullu mak sai loron okupadu ba Parlamentu no Governu foun.

Hafoin hadau malu no la ko’alia ho konstrutivu ba asuntu xave sira, Parlamentu aprova lei dahuluk (lia-portugés ka lia-inglés) husi mandatu foun lejizlativu nian. Nune’e sira autoriza transferénsia husi Fundu Petrolíferu hodi uza ba operasaun mákina governu to’o bele aprova Orsamentu Estadu tinan 2018 nian. Haree pájina web La’o Hamutuk nian hodi hetan informasaun tan.

Iha loron hanesan, Konsellu Ministru sira aprova Programa Governu ne’ebé fahe iha Parlamentu. Ami enkoraja Membru Parlamentu sira, sosiedade sivíl, sidadaun no observadór hotu atu lee no analiza dokumentu ne’e ho pájina 135, tanba programa no projetu sira ne’ebé hetan deskreve iha laran mak sei sai matadalan ba futuru Timor-Leste nian. La’o Hamutuk publika ona programa sira ne’e no bele hetan iha La’o Hamutuk nia pájina web ida-ne’e.

La’o Hamutuk espera katak diskusaun kona-ba programa ida-ne’e sei haree asuntu importante sira no sai konstrutivu liu kompara ho debate iha Parlamentu iha loron-sesta kotuk. Kuaze Timoroan hotu la’ós polítiku-na’in, maibé sira sidadaun baibain ne’ebé sei simu impaktu husi desizaun polítika, programa no asaun husi ofisiál sira-ne’ebé hetan fiar povu nian atu serbisu ba interese públiku. Programa Governu mak oportunidade atu ema hotu bele konsidera, diskute no deside ba dalan ne’ebé di’ak liu ba dezenvolvimentu ekitável no sustentável ba ita-nia nasaun tomak.
Hamutuk ita bele!  Fiar an, la’o ba oin!