Timor-Leste

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Timor-Leste

Dili – Timor-Leste – une vue aérienne de la statue de Jésus près de Dili. © AFP-photo Adek Berry

Timor-Leste (formerly East Timor) is a southeast Asia country that declared its independence in May 2002 and that covers the eastern part of the Timor island (15,000km2); twice the size of Corsica, this territory of 1 million inhabitants is located at the easternmost of the Lesser Indonesian Sunda Islands. The relief of the Timor island is mostly montainous, the highest point being mount Tatamailau which culminates to 3,000m. The maritime borders of Timor-Leste are still to be negotiated with the neighbour countries, Indonesia and Australia.

Issues

Deforestation: even though before the island was called the sandalwood island, 99% of this fragant wood disappeared today. Most of the vegetation was destroyed mostly because of the defoliant the Indonesian army used during the invasion and the 25 years occupation.

Natural resources: after the discovery of oilfields and off-shore gasfields, a government pension fund from petroleum incomes was created, based on the Norwegian model.

Biofuel: 100,000 hectares of lands – ie 1/6 arable lands of the country – were sold to an Indonesian industry to make sugar plantations and an ethanol plant.

Responsible tourism: it’s present on Autauro island, located about 30km away from Dili, the capital.

Protected areas: the country’s first national park, “Nino Konis Santana”, was inaugurated in 2007 and is 123,600 hectares. It intends to preserve primary forests and endangered animal species such as the cockatoo and the Timor green pigeon. The park also has a maritime area of 55,600 hectares that’s part of the “Coral Triangle”, which is covering more than 5,4 million square kilometers in the Indo-Pacific region and encompasses the greatest coral and fish diversity in the world.

Players

The FONGTIL is the East Timor NGO (national and international) Forum.

drapeau timor-leste
carte timor-leste
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