Since November 2013 UNDP has been working alongside rural communities in the three municipalities of Baucau, Ermera and Liquica in Timor-Leste to improve their resilience to climate risks.
Through the Strengthening the Resilience of Small-Scale Rural Infrastructure and Local Government Systems to Climate Risk project, UNDP has developed the capacity of communities and local administrations to integrate climate resilience into the development of local infrastructure including water supply systems, roads, bridges, reservoirs and irrigation systems.
Four years later, 20 climate resilient rural infrastrucure projects have been implemented and benefitted over 100,000 people in the three municipalities.
In addition, the Ministry of State Administration (MSA) and Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Environment (MCIE) have been supported to achive important results on climate change adaptation in Timor-Leste, particularly safeguaring rural infrastruture from climate change hazards.
At the handover of project assets including vehicles and office equipment to the MSA and MCIE (now DoHPE) on 27 February 2018 Minister of State Administration Dr. Valentim Ximenes said:
“The water projects implemented provided good examples that should be replicated in other sucos. I am happy with the methodology used by UNDP for engaging communities in the project design and implementation.”
UNDP Country Director Mr. Claudio Providas said:
“Only three municipalities were targeted as part of this project and given the positive impacts and benefits, it is evident that expanding the project for the benefit of other municipalities and exploring the available opportunities for funding and implementation is a central focus.
“It is important that the results achieved are sustained and with respect to the gains and best practices from this project on how to better design and implement infrastructure to adapt to changing climate and the hazards.
“The project was intelligently designed and it provided an opportunity for communities to become involved through a “learning by doing” approach, where they could directly appreciate the benefits of the activities they were involved in and understand the cost of such interventions.”
Other key project activities include supporting 10 local NGOs to implement complementary watershed management and soil-bioengineering appraoches to strengthen existing rural infrastructure.