The first National FMNR Conference in Timor-Leste marks start of land regeneration movement

Sunday, April 6, 2014

(Tetun version below)

World Vision Timor-Leste (WVTL) hosted the country’s first national conference on Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR) in Dili on Monday and Tuesday 7 and 8 April 2014.

The two-day conference included a field trip to Aileu on the second day.The conference is a landmark event not just for the country but also for South East Asia, says Tony Rinaudo, an Australian agricultural expert and pioneer of FMNR.

FMNR is a technique now being applied globally to restore trees and shrubs from the ‘underground forest’ of living tree stumps that remain in degraded forest areas.

Mr Rinaudo was at the last major FMNR conference in Nairobi, Kenya, in 2012, and he expects the conference in Dili to have a major impact, “It will start a land regeneration movement in Timor-Leste and across South East Asia. The result will be improved soil fertility, higher crop yields, reduction of landslides, floods and droughts, alternative income streams through sale of wood and non-timber forest products, and ongoing economic development for everyone.”

Timor-Leste’s vegetation cover is under tremendous pressure as the demand for food, fuel and income grows. Tree cutting, overgrazing, ‘slash and burn’ agriculture, and soil disturbance have led to severe erosion and land degradation, resulting in food insecurity and malnutrition.

Much attention went on a WVTL project in Aileu district that features FMNR. Around 200 participants visited the project on Tuesday 8 April to view its impact. WVTL Country Director Samaresh Nayak said the district has suffered from alternating flood and drought, landslides and low crop yields. It was accepted practice to burn the hills every year and most of the forest had been destroyed after centuries of colonial plunder, warfare and bush fire.

“But in just two years since the communities in Aileu started piloting FMNR, they have stopped burning the bush, and the country side is re-greening. It has given them hope,” Mr Nayak said. “They could see a future for themselves and their children, and that this emergence of hope has been the foundation for strong development. Now people have something to plan for and work towards with confidence.”

The conference, which is generously supported by Australian Aid, attracted over 260 participants including a range of agriculturalists, foresters, researchers and farmers from Timor-Leste and overseas, along with a strong presence from Timor Leste’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forests and Fisheries.

Vice-Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Sr Marcos da Cruz, gave a keynote address. Tony Rinaudo, World Agroforestry Center scientist Dr James Roshetko, and Director of Rainforest Rescue International Charith Senanayke were also on the speaking list.Sr Luis Mendez Ribeiro, MAF’s Forestry Directorate Head of Planning, looked at the role of Tara Bandu in community forest management and WVTL’s Agriculture and Climate Change Technical Specialist

Segenet Tessema looked at the challenges of applying FMNR to Timor-Leste.

Konferénsia Nasionál FMNR ba Dalahuluk iha Timor-Leste marka inísiu ba movimentu atu haburas fali rai

World Vision Timor-Leste (WVTL) sai na’in ba konferénsia nasionál ida kona-ba Rejenerasaun Naturál Maneja hosi Agrikultór sira (FMNR) iha Dili iha loron Segunda no Tersa, 7 no 8 Abríl 2014. Konferénsia loron rua ne’e inklui viajen ba terrenu to’o Aileu iha loron daruak.

Konferénsia ne’e nu’udar eventu importante ba rain ida-ne’e nomós ba rejiaun Ázia Sudeste, hatete Tony Rinaudo, peritu agrikultura Australianu no pioneiru ba FMNR.

FMNR nu’udar tékniku ne’ebé aplika globalmente atu restaura ai-horis sira hosi ‘ai-laran iha rai-okos’ hosi ai-tuuk ne’ebé moris hela iha área floresta degradada. Sr Rinaudo halo parte iha konferénsia boot FMNR foin liubá iha Nairobi, Kénia, iha tinan 2012, no nia antisipa katak konferénsia iha Dili ne’e sei halo impaktu boot:

“Ida-ne’e sei hahú movimentu haburas fali rai iha Timor-Leste no Ázia Sudeste nia laran tomak. Hanesan rezultadu sei hamosu fertilidade rai ne’ebé di’akliu, produtividade kulturas agríkolas boot liu, redusaun ba insidente rai-halai, inundasaun no períodu rai-maran naruk, rendimentu alternativu hosi atividade fa’an ai no produtus florestais seluk la’ós ai-kabelak no dezenvolvimentu ekonómiku kontinuozu ba ema hotu hotu.”

Timor-Leste nia kobertura ai-laran hasoru presaun maka’as tanba ezijénsia hosi ema sira ba ai-han, kombustivel no rendimentu ne’ebé haboot bá beibeik. Atividade tesi ai, husik balada sira atu han du’ut no ai to’o hotu tiha, agrikultura ‘lere no sunu’, no perturbasaun ba rai hamosu fali erozaun no degradasaun barak ba rai, ho rezultadu hanesan aumentu ba inseguransa alimentár no deznutrisaun.

Konferénsia ne’e fó atensaun ba projetu WVTL nian iha distritu Aileu ne’ebé utiliza FMNR. Maizumenus partisipante na’in-200 vizita fatin projetu nian iha loron Tersa 8 Abríl atu haree ninia impaktu.

Diretór Nasionál WVTL Sr Samaresh Nayak hatete katak distritu ne’e sofre inundasaun no tempu rai-maran naruk troka-malu beibeik, akontesimentu rai-halai barakliu no produtividade ai-han ne’ebé menus. Prátika baibain mak atu sunu foho-lolon sira tinan-tinan no maioria hosi ai-laran mak estraga tiha ona hanesan konsekuénsia hosi esplorasaun koloniál, funu no akontesimentu ahi-han ai-laran durante tinan atus-ba-atus nia laran.

“Maibé durante tinan rua nia laran hafoin liutiha komunidade sira iha Aileu hahú uza tékniku FMNR, sira la sunu ona ai-laran, no rai ne’e hahú sai matak fali. “Ida-ne’e fó esperansa ba sira,” hato’o Sr Nayak. “Sira bele haree futuru ba sira nia an rasik no sira-nia oan sira, no esperansa foin mosu ne’e sai fundasaun ba prosesu dezenvolvimentu ne’ebé forte. Agora daudaun ema sira iha buat ruma atu halo planu ba no atu serbisu bá oin ho fiar an.”

Konferénsia ne’ebé hetan apoiu laran-luak hosi Asisténsia Australiana, mak atrai hela tiha partisipante sira liu na’in-260 inklui ema agrónomu, floresta, peskizadór no to’os-na’in sira hosi Timor-Leste nomós hosi rai-li’ur, hamutuk ho partisipasaun boot hosi Timor-Leste nia Ministériu Agrikultura, Floresta no Peskas.

Vise-Ministru ba Agrikultura no Peskas, Sr Marcos da Cruz, fó palestra abertura. Tony Rinaudo, sientista Dr James Roshetko hosi Sentru Agroflorestál Mundiál, no Diretór Rainforest Rescue International Sr Charith Senanayke mós partisipa nu’udar oradór sira.

Sr Luis Mendez Ribeiro, MAF nia Xefe Diresaun Planeamentu Floresta, ko’alia kona-ba knaar Tara Bandu nian iha jestaun floresta komunitária no WVTL nia Peritu Tékniku Agrikultura no  Alterasaun Klimátika ko’alia kona-ba dezafiu sira iha aplikasaun FMNR iha kontestu Timor-Leste.