Sustainably improving nutrition outcomes and building food sovereignty is fundamental to the nation-building processes of Timor-Leste. As a small island state, coastal and ocean resources have the potential to contribute to this objective in a more significant way than they currently do. Environmentally-sustainable management of coastal resources in Timor-Leste, including reefs and fisheries, depends on: (1) the ecological sustainability of harvests; (2) the equitable distribution of access and benefits for men and women; (3) the development of new and alternative green livelihood and market opportunities; and (4) good governance that protects and builds the welfare functions of fisheries, and in which the voices of women and girls are heard.
The project is funded by PLAN UK and implemented by WorldFish, the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, and PLAN Timor-Leste. The project is focused on three complementary initiatives: (1) using participatory processes in two focus communities to help women and men choose and pilot sustainable livelihood interventions; (2) supporting communities to improve local governance of coastal and fisheries resources; and (3) conducting participatory research to better understand women’s fishing activities, and how these activities contribute to household food security and income. Through these, the project contributes directly to each of these areas in the pilot community and provides an important and timely set of case studies that will help inform the development of national coastal fisheries policy and overall environmental conservation and sustainability.