08 December 2022

COP27 Conference outcome: Loss and Damage Fund established, but emissions continue unabated

The establishment of a Loss and Damage Fund for destruction caused by climate change was a key issue at the recent COP27 conference. Why did this topic emerge, and why are some countries demanding such a fund?

In November, representatives from 140 nations, including Timor-Leste, met at COP27 in Egypt. COP27 was the latest annual UN Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The conference’s mandate was to decide on processes or mechanisms to respond to the climate crisis. The conference concluded on 20 November with an historical agreement to create a special fund to pay for the impacts of climate-related disasters in developing countries.

Prior to the conference, representatives of some developing countries promoted the idea of a fund to pay for losses and damages. Since COP26 last year, the world has observed increasing impacts from climate change - including floods in Pakistan that killed more than 1,700 people, and floods in Nigeria that displaced more than 1.3 million. Timor-Leste is also being hit by climate change - for example, unstable rain patterns have damaged coffee harvests and many farmers have observed the impact on agricultural cycles. Farmers in Los Palos and Viqueque recently told La’o Hamutuk researchers that rising water levels in rice field was hurting harvests. The impacts we see today will become more serious in the future, as greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise.

At the same time, the UN has observed that wealthy nations that have contributed most to the climate crisis have failed to take sufficient action to limit climate change in the future. As a result it has become nearly impossible to limit climate change to 1.5°C, which means that the impacts of climate change will became extremely severe. Who will be responsible to help the victims?

This is why some countries proposed to create a loss and damage fund at the conference. At last year’s COP26, the US and EU blocked such a fund from being started, replacing it with a ‘dialogue’ without a clear objective. At the COP27 conference, proponents again put the fund on the agenda.

In 2022, the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) published a report on the economic impacts of climate change in 55 highly vulnerable nations (including Timor-Leste), concluding that their GDPs were reduced by 20% over the last two decades because of climate change, leading to a combined loss of $525 billion. Many of the most vulnerable countries do not have adequate resources to deal with these impacts, even though many other nations have gotten wealthy through industries and lifestyles that produce nearly all the atmospheric changes that are causing climate change.

For a long time, the climate movement, including La’o Hamutuk in Timor-Leste, have insisted that the climate crisis needs to be resolved in a way that is just. Climate justice means that wealthy nations which have caused most of the changes in climate should bear the greatest share of responsibility for the impacts experienced by developing countries. It is unjust for developing countries to face a dual crisis, firstly because of the direct impacts of climate change on people and the environment, and secondly from the economic burden of managing or responding to those impacts – widening and reinforcing global inequality.

CVF launched the “Payment Overdue” campaign to raise awareness about this issue. They point out that climate catastrophe has become a permanent reality, and therefore wealthy nations need to pay their debt. Proponents of a Loss and Damage Fund argue that humanity cannot adapt to all of the impacts of climate change, and that many of the countries facing the most serious impacts have not caused the problem. They demand compensation from wealthy nations who have contributed the most to causing the problem, to pay the costs of responding to impacts can we cannot adapt to. Nabeel Munir, Pakistan’s representative to COP27, said that “loss and damage is not charity - it’s justice.” 

In their final agreement, COP27 participants decided to create a Loss and Damage Fund. Important details, such as which countries will be obliged to pay into the fund, will be determined in the future, and it is important for civil society to continue to monitor this process.

Unfortunately, although developing countries won a loss and damages fund, COP27 failed to agree on urgent measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. As La’o Hamutuk has long pointed out, the world cannot continually adapt to ever-worsening conditions. Adaptation programs and a Loss and Damage Fund can help vulnerable people respond to impacts of climate change that are already unavoidable, but there is only one genuine solution to climate change: stopping greenhouse gas emissions. Some high-emissions countries succeeding in removing key parts of the final COP27 agreement, leaving the agreement with no strong obligation for those nations to immediately stop emitting greenhouse gases. 

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said that “Our planet is still in the emergency room. We need to drastically reduce emissions now – and this is an issue this COP did not address.” COP27 failed to make progress on lessening the causes of climate change. However, the example of the Loss and Damage Fund demonstrates that developing countries, working together, can force wealthy nations to act. In the future we need to increase pressure on those nations that continue to exacerbate the climate crisis.

Resources from La'o Hamutuk about climate change in English (more Tetum resources here - scroll to end):

Rezultadu husi COP27: Fundu Indenizasaun sei realiza, maibé emisaun gás estufa sei kontinua nafatin

Fundu indenizasaun (Loss and Damage Fund) ba buat ne’ebé lakon ka hetan estragu nudár rezultadu mudansa klimátika sai ona tópiku manas ida iha konferénsia COP27 ne’ebé foin remata. Tanba sá mak asuntu ne’e mosu, no razaun saida mak nasaun balun ezije hela ba fundu espesiál ida?

Iha fulan Novembru, reprezentante husi nasaun 140 liu hasoru malu iha konferénsia COP27 iha nasaun Ejitu. COP27 mak hanesan konferénsia alto nivel Nasoins Unidas nian, no membru ba konferénsia ne’e kompostu husi governu hirak ne’ebé asina no sai ona membru UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change), inklui Timor-Leste. Mandatu husi Konferénsia ne’e atu deside prosesu ka mekanizmu sira atu responde ba krize klimátika. Konferénsia ida ne’e remata iha dia 20 de Novembru ho konkordánsia istóriku ida, atu kria fundu espesiál atu selu kustu impaktu dezastre ne’ebé akontese nudár rezultadu mudansa klimátika iha nasaun sira ne’ebé foin dezenvolve-an.

Molok konferénsia ida ne’e komesa, reprezentante husi nasaun foin dezenvolve-an balun promove ideia indenizasaun ba buat ne’ebé lakon ka hetan estragu. Dezde konferénsia COP26 tinan kotuk, mundu tomak observa duni impaktu maka’as husi mudansa klimátika - inklui inundasaun iha Pakistaun oho liu husi ema na’in 1,700, no inundasaun iha Nigeria ne’ebé dezloka ema na’in 1,300,000. Iha Timor-Leste bele observa nafatin impaktu husi mudansa klimátika iha rai laran - ezemplu ida mak katak udan ne’ebé la tuir tempo fó impaktu ba produsaun kafé no ai-han, no toos na’in barak haree impaktu ba sira nia siklu agríkola. Peskizadór La’o Hamutuk foin lalais ne’e rona husi toos na’in iha Los Palos no Viqueque katak bee sa’e iha natar laran halo produsaun la’o la di’ak. Impaktu ne’ebé ita bele observa hela, se sai aat liu ba iha futuru tanba emisaun gás estufa sa’e nafatin.

Iha tempu hanesan, Nasoins Unidas observa katak nasaun riku sira ne’ebé kontribui maka’as liu ba krize klimátika ida ne’e, falta atu foti asaun nato’on atu limita mudansa klimátika iha futuru. Ho nune’e, kuaze la iha posibilidade katak ita bele limita hamanas iha atmosfera ba grau 1.5°C, entaun impaktu husi mudansa klimátika sei sai grave tebes. Se mak sei responsabiliza atu ajuda vítima sira husi impaktu?

Ho nune’e, nasaun balun hakarak diskute asuntu indenizasaun iha konferénsia ida ne’e. Iha konferénsia COP26 tinan kotuk, EUA no Uniaun Eropa konsege prevene kriasaun fundu indenizasaun, sira konkorda de’it atu hala’o ‘diálogu’ ida la ho objetivu klaru ida. Ba konferénsia ida ne’e, iha esforsu tan atu hatama asuntu ida ne’e ba iha ajenda.

Relatóriu ida husi Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) ne’ebé publika tinan ne’e, kona ba impaktu ekonómiku husi mudansa klimátika ba nasaun 55 ne’ebé vulneravel tebes (inklui Timor-Leste), evidénsia hatudu katak impaktu husi mudansa klimátika halakon 20% husi PIB (Produtu Internu Brutu) nasaun sira nian durante dékada rua liu ba. Totálmente, nasaun sira ne’e lakon ona biliaun $525 tanba impaktu mudansa klimátika. Barak husi nasaun vulneravel hirak ne’e, laiha rekursu adekuadu atu hasoru impaktu mudansa klimátika, maske nasaun dezenvolvidu sira nia riku soin liu indústria sira ne’ebé kria emisaun gás estufa barak no kria problema mudansa klimátika ba mundu tomak.

Kleur ona, movimentu ba justisa klimátika iha mundu tomak, inklui mós La’o Hamutuk iha Timor-Leste, ezije katak ita presiza resolve krize mudansa klimátika ho maneira ne’ebé justu. Prinsípiu justisa klimátika nian katak, nasaun riku sira ne’ebé kontribui maka’as liu emisaun no estraga klima, tenke simu responsabilidade maka’as liu no mós responsabiliza impaktu aat ne’ebé nasaun foin dezenvolve-an sira hasoru nudár rezultadu husi mudansa klimátika ne’e. La justu se nasaun foin dezenvolve-an hasoru krize duplu, primeiru tanba impaktu diretamente husi mudansa klimátika ba ema no ambiente, no daruak todan ekonómiku atu selu kustu jere ka resolve impaktu husi mudansa klimátika sira. Tendénsia ida ne’e bele haluan no hametin tan dezigualdade mundiál ba futuru.

CVF lansa kampaña hanaran “Pagamentu Tarde” (Payment Overdue), ne’ebé iha objetivu atu hasa’e koñesimentu kona-ba asuntu ida ne’e; tuir CVF, katástrofe klima sai ona realidade permanente, no nasaun riku sira ne’ebé kria emisaun barak tenke selu sira nia ‘deve’. Proponente sistema indenizasaun haree katak ita la bele adapta aan ba kada impaktu husi mudansa klimátika. Sira observa mós katak nasaun barak ne’ebé hasoru impaktu maka’as husi mudansa klimátika, la halo asaun signifikante ne’ebé kria problema ida ne’e. Sira ezije indenizasaun husi nasaun riku sira, ne’ebé kontribui maka’as ba problema ida ne’e, hodi bele selu kustu responde impaktu sira ne’ebé la bele prevene ka adapta-aan ba. Nabeel Munir, nudár reprezentante Pakistaun nian ba COP27 dehan “indenizasaun la’ós karidade - ne’e justisa.”

Afinál, iha konkordánsia finál husi COP27, partisipante sira konkorda duni atu kria fundu espesiál. Aspetu no detallu importante, hanesan nasaun saida mak sei iha obrigasaun atu kontribui ba fundu ne’e, sei determina iha periodu tuir mai no importante katak sosiedade sivíl bele tau matan nafatin ba negosiasaun ne’e.

Infelizmente, maske nasaun foin dezenvolve-an sira manán Fundu Indenizasaun, husi perspetiva seluk COP27 falta atu hamosu konkordánsia forte kona ba urjénsia atu hamenus emisaun gás estufa. Hanesan La’o Hamutuk kleur ona hatudu, mundu la bele adapta-an ba klima ne’ebé sai nafatin aat liu. Programa adaptasaun no Fundu Indenizasaun bele ajuda populasaun vulneravel atu responde ba impaktu husi mudansa klimátika ne’ebé la bele evita, maibé iha solusaun ida de’it ba mudansa klimátika: hapara emisaun gás estufa. Nasaun balun ho nivel emisaun ne’ebé aas liu konsege halakon liafuan husi konkordánsia finál COP27 nian, ho rezultadu katak la iha obrigasaun forte ba nasaun sira atu hamenus kedas emisaun gás estufa.

Antonio Guterres nudár Sekretáriu Jerál ONU nian, dehan “ita nia planeta sei iha sala emerjénsia hela. Ita presiza tebes atu hamenus emisaun agora - asuntu ida ne’e COP ida ne’e falta atu konsidera.” Ho nune’e, husi perspetiva emisaun, COP27 la oferese solusaun. Maibé ita bele aprende husi ezemplu Fundu Indenizasaun, katak nasaun ki’ik sira bele luta hamutuk atu konvense nasaun boot no riku atu foti asaun ne’ebé nesesáriu. Ba oin ita tenke aumenta presaun ba nasaun sira ne’ebé falta atu hamenus ho loloos sira nia emisaun gás estufa no kontribui maka’as ba krize klima ne’ebé ita hasoru hela.

Le'e informasaun tan husi La'o Hamutuk kona-ba Mudansa Klimatika:

22 October 2022

LH Konsidera Proposta Orsamentu Estadu ba 2023 Ignora Realidade Situasaun Finansas Estadu

 Link to this blog in English 

Iha loron 18 Outubru 2022, ONG La’o Hamutuk hato'o submisaun ida  ba Deputadu/a sira iha Parlamentu Nasionál (PN) kona-ba proposta Orsamentu Jeral Estadu (OJE) ba tinan 2023. Ho submisaun ida ne’e, ami hakarak atu kontribui ba avaliasaun no diskusaun kona ba OJE 2023 hodi bele realiza orsamentu ne’ebé sustentável no haktuir nesesidade povu nian.

Debate Parlamentár durante periodu orsamentál kada tinan, tenke sai hanesan oportunidade polítika atu Membru PN, Governu no públiku uza ba avalia, diskute no dezeña planeamentu ne’ebé estratéjiku no nesesáriu hodi hatán ba problema sira ne’ebé Povu no Nasaun enfrenta tinan barak.

Pontu importante sira ne’ebé La’o Hamutuk hato’o liu husi submisaun hanesan tuir mai:


Realidade situasaun finansiamentu estadu iha perigu nia laran, no La’o Hamutuk fó ona avizu iha tinan barak nia laran. Iha proposta OJE 2023, Governu aprezenta senáriu ida hodi prolonga vida util hosi Fundu Petrolíferu ate 2045. Signifika sei iha oportunidade boot ba governu atu diversifika ekonomia hodi adia krize ne’ebé bele mosu bainhira hasoru rai naruk fiskál (fiscal cliff) ne’ebe bainhira Fundu Petrolíferu mamuk ona, bele akontese iha tinan 2034 tuir predisaun Ministeriu Finansas nian. Tuir modelu sustentável liu ida ne’ebé governu aprezenta iha Livru Relatóriu Proposta OJE 2023, atu prolonga Fundu Petrolíferu to’o 2045, presiza redús despeza kada tinan 3% to’o 2034.

Maibé iha tabela balun iha livru OJE hatudu despeza inklui levantamentu Fundu Petrolíferu sei sa’e kada tinan to’o 2027. Nune’e ami hanoin katak maske governu rekoñese nasaun ne’e iha perigu ba monu iha rai naruk fiskal, maibé kontinua la fó importánsia no falta atu responde ba realidade ida ne’e. La iha valór atu diskute de’it modelu sustentável se la implementa.

Ami mós observa katak projesaun jerál ne’ebé Governu konsege fornese la iha konsisténsia, no sujere atu fornese ba PN no públiku projesaun loloos kona ba despeza globál no kustu ba kada program ba tinan haat ba oin, atu ajuda kada Deputadu/a foti desizaun matenek.

Dependénsia ba Petróleu

Iha submisaun ba PN, La’o Hamutuk nota katak agora daudaun Timor-Leste depende de’it ona ba investimentu Fundu Petrolíferu iha merkadu finanseiru internasionál, ne’ebé ita kuaze sofre ka lakon ona biliaun $2 resin iha tinan ne’e. Infelizmente, livru OJE falta atu deskreve ho loos risku sira, no senáriu sira kona ba Fundu Petrolíferu kontinua asume retornu 4.1% ba futuru no falta atu konsidera posibilidade ba retornu investimentu negativu ka ki'ik ba futuru.

Maske iha tinan barak nia laran, Fundu Petrolíferu finansia programa no atividade estadu durante ne’e, maibé infelizmente ita la konsege kaer oportunidade atu harii sistema ekonómiku ida ne’ebé produtivu, sustentável no diversifikadu. Governu kontinua mehi katak reseita indústria mina no gas sei ajuda nasaun ne’e nian ekonomia ba tempu naruk hodi ignora dezenvolve setór produtivu no sustentável. Ho nune’e, ami husu Deputadu/a atu rekoñese katak setór petróleu ho hanoin katak setór ida ne’e sei la resolve problema sira ne’ebé ita hasoru hela no sei falta atu lori benefísiu ba povu.

Transparénsia no Akontabilidade

Transparénsia no akontabilidade tenke kontinua sai prioridade iha governasaun no estadu ida ne’e. Infelizmente, ami observa frakeza balun iha implementasaun transparénsia iha prosesu orsamentál ida ne’e.

Por ezemplu, website hosi Parlamentu Nasionál ne’ebé la funsiona, no kona-ba 'audiénsia públiku‘ ne’ebé iha realidade la loke ba públiku. La’o Hamutuk mós sujere atu mantén pratika di’ak balun ne’ebé liu ona hodi prodús livru proposta OJE iha lingua Tetun no Ingles, la’os Portugés de‘it.

Hanesan sosiedade sivíl, triste tebes katak la hetan oportunidade atu fó testemuña iha audiénsia ne’ebé Komisaun C PN realiza. Ami hanoin katak prosesu orsamentál sai forte liu ho partisipasaun husi sosiedade sivíl, no enkoraja atu PN bele hadi'ak liu tan espasu ba ami no públiku hodi fornese analiza no hariku liu tan idea antes debate ho Governu.

Ministériu Finansas presiza klarifika orsamentu FCLN, no tenke konsidera FCLN re-apropria hosi 2022 ba OJE 2023 atu la halo konfuzaun ba públiku.

Prioridade no Estratéjia

La’o Hamutuk kestiona kapasidade Governu atu realiza medida 275 ho kualidade, konsidera nivel ezekusaun iha pasadu no mós realidade katak tinan oin Membru Governu barak no mós sira nia staff sei ba halo kampaña polítika. Di’ak liu fó prioridade ba programa ne’ebé realistíku tuir kbiit no rekursu umanu ne’ebé iha atu garante duni ezekusaun no kualidade.

Alokasaun ba setór sira ne’ebé liga diretamente ba dezenvolvimentu rekursu umanu (edukasaun, saúde, bee mós no agrikultura) hetan de’it 16% husi OJE tomak. Nune’e ami enkoraja Deputadu/a sira atu diskute ho kle’an ho Governu durante debate orsamentu.

Atu realiza orsamentu ne’ebé efikás, PN bele hametin fali prosesu avaliasaun programa atu asegura iha duni benefísiu ba povu, no atu revee fali alokasaun orsamentu balun ne’ebé seidauk iha evidénsia kona ba benefísiu. 

LH Considers that the Proposed 2023 State Budget Ignores the State’s Actual Financial Situation

 Liga ba artigu ida ne'e iha Tetum 

On 18 October 2022, the NGO La’o Hamutuk sent a submission to the Deputies in National Parliament about the proposed General State Budget for 2023. With this submission, La’o Hamutuk wants to contribute to the debate on the 2023 budget so that it will be more sustainable and responsive to people’s needs.

The annual Parliamentary debate about the budget is an opportunity for Members of Parliament, Government and the public to evaluate, discuss and design plans which are strategic and necessary to address the problems which have confronted our nation for years.

Our submission includes the following main points:


The real situation of state finances is already precarious, as La’o Hamutuk has advised for many years. The Ministry of Finance Report on the proposed 2023 budget presents one scenario to extend the life of the Petroleum Fund until 2045. This would give more time for the government to diversify the economy to delay the crisis which will come when we encounter a fiscal cliff because the Petroleum Fund is used up, which the Ministry of Finance projects will happen in 2034. According to the most sustainable model which maintains the Petroleum Fund until 2045, spending needs to be reduced by 3% every year through 2034. But tables in the budget books show spending, including withdrawals from the Petroleum Fund, increasing every year through 2027 (with no information after that). 

Therefore we think that even though Government knows that we are in danger of falling over a fiscal cliff, it continues not to see it as important, and fails to respond to this reality. There’s no value in discussing a sustainable model if it is not implemented.

We also observe that Government projections are inconsistent and suggest that they provide Parliament and the public with more accurate projections of total spending and the cost of each program for the next four years.

Petroleum Dependency

Timor-Leste now depends mainly on the investment of the Petroleum Fund in international financial markets, where it has lost more than $2 billion already this year. Unfortunately, the budget books fail to describe this risk accurately, and their scenarios about the Petroleum Fund continue to assume future returns of 4.1%/year, while failing to consider the possibility of lower or negative returns. 

Although the Petroleum Fund has financed state programs and activities for many years, unfortunately Timor-Leste's leaders did not use that opportunity to build an economy which is productive, sustainable and diversified. Government continues to dream that revenues from the oil and gas industry will support the economy for the long term, while ignoring the development of sustainable and productive sectors. Therefore, La’o Hamutuk asks the Deputies to recognize that petroleum will not resolve the problems which we confront, and is failing to bring benefits to our people.

Transparency and Accountability

Transparency and accountability should continue to be  priorities for this country. Unfortunately, we see weaknesses in implementing transparency in this budget process.

For example, Parliament’s website does not function, and ‘public’ hearings are not open to the public. We also suggest maintaining past good practices, such as producing budget books in Tetum and English, not only in Portuguese.

As civil society, we were very disappointed not to get the opportunity to testify in a hearing of Parliament Committee C. The budget process is stronger with the participation of civil society, and we encourage Parliament to improve space for us and the public to provide analysis which can further enrich ideas before the debate with the Government.

We also suggest that the Ministry of Finance should clarify the budget of the National Liberation Combatants Fund (FCLN), because the repetition of the appropriation to FCLN in both the 2022 and 2023 budgets causes confusion.

Priority and Strategy

La’o Hamutuk doubts that the Government can carry out the budget's 275 measures with quality, considering past execution levels and that many Government members and staff will be engaged in political campaigns next year. It would be better to prioritize programs which are realistic, according to abilities and human resources, and which can really be delivered with execution and quality.

The sectors directly linked to strengthening human resources – education, health, clean water and agriculture – receive only 16% of the allocations in the entire 2023 budget. Therefore, we encourage the Deputies to discuss this in-depth with the Government during the budget debate.

To create an efficient budget, Parliament should tighten evaluation processes for new programs to ensure that they really benefit the people, and should reassess budget allocations which have not yet proven their benefits.

La’o Hamutuk’s submission made seven specific recommendations to Parliament and Government to improve the 2023 budget and the budgeting process.

Click here for information on the 2023 State Budget, including documents, presentations schedules, analyses and graphics.

16 August 2022

Transparénsia Ezije Informasaun, La’ós De'it Imajen Furak

 Link to this article in English 

Foin lalais iha fulan balu nia laran, Governu Timor-Leste promove ‘e-governasaun’ no ho orgullu fó sai mudansa di’ak iha valor transparénsia. Sira implementa hela meius tékniku nian atu mantén lista eleitor, no sistema “Unique ID” hodi bele verifika identidade sidadaun sira.

Maske nune’e, mudansa ne’ebé akontese foin lalais ne’e hatudu formatu ka imagen sira hetan atensaun barak liu kompara ho asuntu substantivu. Website balun ba ajénsia Governu nian hetan ona dezeñu foun, ne’ebé nia rezultadu hatudu katak transparénsia menus no sai susar liu (ka la posivel duni) atu asesu ba informasaun atuál ka informasaun sira antes. Tuir mai iha ezemplu balun:

Website tomak Ministériu Finansas nian antes muda hotu, no versaun foun https://www.mof.gov.tl/ iha hela durante fulan balun. Website foun ne’e ladún kompletu no susar liu atu uza. Ligasaun hotu ba dokumentu sira iha website uluk taka ona. Ligasaun barak husi website foun lakon ka la funsiona. Labele identifika informasaun foun, no website ne’e uza gráfiku no coding barak ne’ebé halo susar atu halo ligasaun ba webpage espesífiku ka atu download iha website ida. Mákina atu buka informasaun (search engines) hanesan Google labele ajuda hetan matérias sira husi webpage ida ne’e, no la bele buka dokumentu espesífiku iha website ne’e rasik.

TimorGAP, nudár kompañia mina estadu nian ne’ebé simu ona subsídiu públiku ho valor kuaze to’o dolar biliaun ida, foin lalais ne’e implementa dezeñu foun ba ninia website https://www.timorgap.com/. Maioria husi informasaun sira antes ne’e iha, agora lakon, no website foun ne’e disponivel iha lian ingles de’it. Iha website refere laiha informasaun seluk, iha de’it mak informasaun kona ba staff sira no esperansa ba kampu Greater Sunrise - maske kompañia ida ne’e asina tiha ona kontratu atu hala’o esplorasaun ba iha fatin hitu iha rai laran no tasi laran. Informasaun kona ba sira nia relatóriu anuál, finansas, tender, kontratu, konsultasaun públiku, no komunikasaun imprensa sira laiha hotu ona.

Website ofisiál seluk, inklui Primeiru Ministru nian https://www.gpm.gov.tl/tl/ no Autoridade Nasionál Petroleum no Minerais (ANPM) http://www.anpm.tl/ sei kontinua la’o, maibé dala ruma lori fulan balun atu atualiza no publika informasaun sira. ANPM nian laiha lingua Tetum.

Website Parlamentu Nasionál https://www.parlamento.tl normálmente funsiona, maibé la fornese informasaun importante. Presiza tebes atu inklui informasaun sira hanesan ezbosu lei sira, komisaun sira nia relatóriu, no agenda sira tuir mai, aléinde informasaun istória no jerál sira ne’ebé iha ona. 

Nune’e mós ba iha website Ministériu Obras Públika nian https://mop.gov.tl/, ne’ebé la atualiza dezde kedas Agostu 2021, fó sai de’it kona ba reuniaun ofisiál sira, maibé laiha liu kedas informasaun kona ba konsultasaun públiku ka informasaun kona ba projetu espesífiku haktuir ba sira nia mandatu. Ministériu Petróleu no Minerais nia website: http://mpm.gov.tl/ mós fornese informasaun barak kona ba enkontru sira duke substánsia sira.

Jerálmente, pajina online sira iha leten, hanesan mós sira seluk ne’ebé Governu mantén, la fornese informasaun relevante ka liga ba sira nia relatóriu ka dokumentu ruma. Sira nia komunikadu imprensa la ajuda lee na’in sira atu hetan informasaun konkretu ka informasaun espesífiku, hanesan lei sira ka dokumentu sira. Barak liu, Governu hakarak hatudu katak sira okupadu, maibé lakohi fahe sira nia informasaun kona ba programa no projetu sira. Hare ezemplu atuál ne’ebé fó sai husi pajina ofisiál Governu nian iha website:
Ajénsia balu fó sai sira nia komunikadu foun ka iha pajina iha Facebook. Maske hirak ne’e util, liu-liu bainhira ita konsidera katak ema barak mak uza liu Facebook iha Timor-Leste, maibé la signifika katak ida ne’e troka fali importánsia husi website ofisiál. Ita labele liga direta saida mak tau ona iha FB liga link ne’ebé la’ós FB, no informasaun sira ne’e mós la’ós permanente, ka estruturadu ho lójiku liu no labele hetan liu husi Search Engines (ez. Google). Hirak ne’e mós inklui dokumentu sira – so de’it imajen. Atu governa nasaun ne’e knaar importante tebes, no fornese informasaun ba sidadaun sira mós esensiál duni, no labele depende ba media sosiál sira de’it. 

Ba notas sira ne’ebé pozitivu liu mak hanesan:

Atu halo informasaun importante sira disponivel liu ba iha públiku, La’o Hamutuk koleta dokumentu barak no matériais barak ne’ebé loloos mantén no públika iha Governu nia website rasik, maibé barak liu mak laiha. Ami fornese kópia barak iha ami nia pajina website (duke tau ligasaun ba iha fatin seluk) atu nune’e sira la lakon bainhira website seluk muda ka la eziste ona. Tuir mai mak ligasaun importante balu iha ami nia website:

Transparency requires information, not just pretty pictures

 Liga ba artigu ida ne'e iha lingua Tetum 

In recent months, Timor-Leste officials have promoted “E-government” and boasted of improved transparency scores. They are instituting technical means for maintaining the electoral rolls, as well as a “Unique ID” system for citizen identification.

However, recent developments indicate that more attention is being given to form than to substance. Several websites for government agencies have been redesigned, resulting in less transparency and making it more difficult (or impossible) to access current and/or historic information. Here are a few examples: 

The entire Ministry of Finance website was deleted, and a new version https://www.mof.gov.tl/ is being assembled over several months. The new one is less complete and more difficult to use. All links to documents on the previous site no longer work. Many links in the new version are either missing or nonfunctional.  Newly released material is not identifiable, and the extensive use of graphics and coding makes it virtually impossible to identify materials, link to a page or download the site with a web spider. Search engines cannot find its material, and the search in the site itself doesn’t work.

TimorGAP, the national oil company which has received nearly a billion dollars in subsidies from public money, also just redesigned its website https://www.timorgap.com/. Most previous information has evaporated, and the new site is in English only. It has no information about anything other than TimorGAP’s staff and its hopes for Greater Sunrise – although the company has signed contracts to explore seven other areas. All information about annual reports, finances, tenders, contracts, public consultations and press releases has been removed.

Other official websites, including those of the Prime Minister https://www.gpm.gov.tl/en/ and the National Petroleum and Minerals Authority (ANPM) http://www.anpm.tl/ still work as well as they have, but it often takes months before current information is posted (example at left).

The National Parliament’s website https://www.parlamento.tl usually functions, but does not contain much useful information. It should have draft laws, committee reports and upcoming agendas, in addition to the historic and general information which is already there.

Similarly, the Ministry of Public Works website https://mop.gov.tl/, which hasn’t been updated since August 2021, has a lot about meetings with officials, but almost nothing about public consultations or specific projects under its mandate. The Ministry of Petroleum and Minerals site http://mpm.gov.tl/en/ also has more about meetings than about substance.

More generally, most of the above sites, as well as others maintained by the government, do not contain or link to relevant reports or documents. Their vacuous press releases do not help the reader find more concrete or specific information, such as laws or other documents. Often, the government appears to want to look busy, but declines to post information about its programs and projects. Here’s a recent example from the main Government website.

Some agencies post news releases or have pages on Facebook. Although this can be useful (especially considering the number of Facebook users in Timor-Leste), it is not a substitute for a website. You cannot link to a FB posting from outside FB, and the postings are not permanent, logically structured or indexed by search engines. They cannot include documents – only images. Governing a nation is too important a responsibility, and providing information to citizens is too essential, to rely solely on a “social network.” 

On a more positive note: 

To make important information more available to the public, La’o Hamutuk collects many documents and materials that should be accessible on government websites, but often aren’t. We put copies on our own site (rather than linking to them elsewhere) so that they don’t disappear when another website is deleted. Here are some key links on our site:

13 July 2022

La’o Hamutuk Congratulates Australia for Ending the Prosecution of Bernard Collaery and Urges them to Continue to Respect Timor-Leste’s Sovereignty

 Liga ba blog ida ne'e iha Tetum ka PDF iha lingua rua 

La’o Hamutuk appreciates the decision of Australia’s Attorney-General to end the prosecution against Bernard Collaery. This overdue decision cannot undo the shameful history of Australia’s bugging Timor-Leste’s Government Palace in 2004, during the negotiations which led to the 2006 CMATS Treaty dividing oil revenues and delaying discussion of the maritime boundary between the two countries. The 2004 spying was done by Australian intelligence agents, one whom, known as “Witness K”, was also prosecuted, along with his attorney Bernard Collaery, when he blew the whistle on the illegal espionage.

To rebuild good neighborly relations between Australia and Timor-Leste, the Australian government should recognize that it has blatantly violated Timor-Leste’s sovereignty, and return to policies of mutual respect between the two nations. Healthy diplomacy needs to address past transgressions, and Australia should return more than $5 billion it took in from oil and gas fields that it now agrees are in Timor-Leste’s territory.

We also think that mutual respect as neighbors means supporting each other as partners, not taking advantage of Timor-Leste’s weaker economy, less experienced administration, and limited human resources to obtain benefits for Australia at the expense of Timor-Leste’s people. This should be reflected by cancelling some future projects, including the planned Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) at Bayu-Undan which would exploit Timor-Leste’s vulnerability to enable the carbon-intensive Barossa project in Australia, further damaging the global and local climate.

In addition, we suggest that Australia should pardon “Witness K”, who was pressured into pleading guilty to a crime he did not commit. “Witness K” used proper channels to report an inappropriate action he was ordered to carry out, and should be unconditionally exonerated. Both he and Bernard Collaery have been good and honorable friends to Timor-Leste, and Australia should compensate them for the harm that unjust prosecution has already inflicted on them.

As a Timorese civil society organization, the Timor-Leste Institute for Development Monitoring and Analysis (La’o Hamutuk) has studied and advocated on the maritime boundary, petroleum development, and other aspects of the relationship between Timor-Leste and Australia for more than two decades, sometimes alone and often in collaboration with the Independent Information Center for the Timor Sea (CIITT), the Movement Against the Occupation of the Timor Sea (MKOTT) and the international Timor Sea Justice Campaign (TSJC). 

As we applaud the 2019 Maritime Boundary Treaty and the dropping of the charges against Bernard Collaery, we continue to struggle for a mutually respectful relationship.