Strong regulation of land use is critical in achieving development goals, RAEBIA Timor-Leste has told a national conference on the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) related to agriculture and nutrition in Dili this week.
Hosted by the Centre for Peace and Development Studies (CEPAD), a Dili-based non-government organisation currently working with Australia’s Charles Sturt University to consolidate and energise the Government of Timor-Leste’s efforts towards achieving the second SDG, the conference showcased the findings of a strategic review conducted by the researchers into the current food and nutrition situation in Timor-Leste.
Attendees heard CEPAD’s recommendations for hastening efforts to achieving the targets set out in the second SDG, “End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture,” and were invited to comment in working groups. RAEBIA Timor-Leste’s program director, Mateus Maia, highlighted the importance of developing and implementing strong regulations governing agricultural land use in his submission, outlining RAEBIA’s experience working with communities who haven’t regulated the use of their land. “It’s a big problem,” he told the group. “A lot of communities don’t have a plan for how they will use the land.”
RAEBIA uses community-written regulations to sustainably manage agricultural land use in the communities it works with in Timor-Leste, and has successfully seen communities follow regulations once implemented.
Sustainable land use planning is critical in Timor-Leste because traditional farming methods familiar to farmers, including free grazing of animals and slash-and-burn agriculture, are unsustainable against Timor-Leste’s growing population and vulnerability to climate change-related threats.
The Government of Timor-Leste has adopted the framework of the Sustainable Development Goals in its Strategic Development Plan 2011-2030 and environmental protection is mandated in the country’s constitution.
Photo: Attendees at the national validation conference to revise strategic situation of food and nutrition in Timor-Leste to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 2
Sophie Raynor | RAEBIA Timor-Leste