UNDP facilitates cooperation between Jeju and Timor-Leste

Dec 18, 2017

On 15 December 2017, UNDP Timor-Leste, Jeju Province of Korea and the Directorate of Forestry, Coffee and Industrial Plant of Timor-Leste launched "Jeju – Timor-Leste Friendship Forest" on after signing a Memorandum of Understanding between the three parties on 14 December 2017.

Jeju is the largest island off the southern coast of the Korean Peninsula, and is a Special Self-Governing Province of the Republic of Korea. With its beautiful volcanic scenery combined with unique culture, Jeju is one of the most attractive destinations in Korea for tourists.      

Jeju and Timor-Leste have many things in common. Both islands experienced tragic modern histories and now are trying to promote peace. Since Jeju declared the year of 2012 as the first year of international development cooperation, every year Jeju has supported Timor-Leste.

To ensure sustainability of Jeju’s contribution, this year UNDP, Jeju Island authority and the Forest Department came to an agreement to build a friendship forest in Lake Mubara area of Liquica Municipality to – promote sustainable forest management through community engagement and to support eco-tourism. The Jeju forest initiative is implemented through the ongoing UNDP-GoTL-GEF Promoting Sustainable Bio-energy Production from Biomass Project.

At the workshop held in UN House, Dili on 14 December, Mr. Claudio Providas, UNDP Country Director, Mr. Nam-Jin Kim, Director of Peace and International Affairs Division, Jeju Special Self-Governing Province and Mr. Manuel Mendes, Director General of Forestry, Coffee and Industrial Plantation signed a memorandum of understanding to facilitate the cooperation between the three parties through ‘Jeju – Timor-Leste Friendship Forest’. During the workshop, participants from Jeju and Timor-Leste shared knowledge and exchanged experiences in sustainable forest management and eco-tourism.

The following day, around 300 participants from local communities, the Directorate of Forestry, UNDP and Jeju Province planted trees at ‘Jeju – Timor-Leste Friendship Forest’ near Lake Maubara, Liquica Municipality. The friendship forest aims to reduce impacts of climate change, enhance livelihoods, promote ecotourism and strengthen friendship between Jeju and Timor-Leste.

It is expected that ‘Jeju – Timor-Leste Friendship Forest’ will play a bridging role in enhancing cooperation between the two beautiful islands which are inhabited by peace-loving people.

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