Timor-Leste and Indonesia cooperate on forest and water management

25 August 2015

Timor-Leste (East Timor) and Indonesia have agreed to cooperate on managing forest and water resources along their common border, two of the matters considered at a meeting of the respective ministers from the two countries.

Estanislau da Silva, Timor-Leste’s coordinating minister for the Economy and for Agriculture and Fisheries, met this week in Jakarta with Siti Nurbaya Bakar, Indonesia’s minister for the Environment and Forests, to examine various bilateral issues.

Bakar announced after the meeting that the two countries had agreed to begin a cross-border water management plan for around ten joint water resource zones.

The project will begin by gathering data and information about the basins of common rivers, some originating in Indonesia and others in Timor-Leste.

Preliminary information indicates that conditions are deficient in half of those areas, with a need for urgent intervention and restoration.

The two ministers also agreed to begin patrolling operations meant to curb illegal hunting as well as illegal felling and sale of trees and plants along the border.

Da Silva recalled that forest development is one of his ministry’s priority areas.

The two countries will also cooperate on training programmes for young people in areas such as forest and botanical management, especially at Indonesia’s Senior and Professional Forest School (SMKK). (Macauhub/TL)