IOM Backs Timor-Leste Reforestation Initiative

Posted: 
02/22/10

IOM Dili yesterday deployed ten trucks to support a national
reforestation campaign launched as part of the government’s
Dili City of Peace programme.

The trucks were used to transport over 20,000 saplings and some
4,000 school children from Camea to Dili, where ten hillsides near
the capital are suffering from extensive deforestation. Up to
80,000 trees will be replanted in the areas. 

Timor-Leste President Jose Ramos-Horta launched the campaign at
a national event attended by over 10,000 people, including
representatives of the government, international organizations,
NGOs, local communities and school children – each of whom
planted a sapling in one of the ten areas.

The campaign aims to educate the public and raise awareness of
the need to protect the environment of Timor-Leste, as well as
providing opportunities to strengthen the unity of communities in
Dili.

Several Dili neighbourhoods suffer from flash floods during the
rainy season, when the run-off from surrounding hills flood homes
and damage crops. There have also been a number of land slides from
hillsides adjoining roads. Planting trees in these areas will
decrease the run-off and stabilise the soil.

The national reforestation campaign is just one initiative from
the President’s Dili City of Peace campaign. Its objective is
to foster peaceful conditions to support national stability in
Timor-Leste, following the civil unrest and displacement of
2006.

Other initiatives have included the successful cycle Tour de
Timor in October 2009, for which IOM also provided logistical
support, and the Dili Marathon, which will take place in June this
year.

For more information, please contact:

Katharine Bryant

IOM Dili

Tel. +670 723 0254

E-mail: "mailto:kbryant@iom.int">kbryant@iom.int