Community Based Coastal/Mangrove Ecosystem restoration : South- South Experience Sharing Visit between Timor Leste and Bangladesh

Dec 27, 2016

01 November 2016-Timor Leste delegates, UNDP Bangladesh, IUNC team and community representative at Sonadia West mangrove conservation site

The Building Shoreline Resilience of Timor-Leste to Protect Local Communities and Their Livelihoods (Coastal Resilience) project is designed to strengthen resilience of coastal communities through the introduction of nature-based restoration approaches to coastal ecosystem, mainly mangroves. As the issues of coastal areas are complex and cross-sectoral; the project is therefore designed to employ an integrated approach, while tailoring activities to address key resilience building factors of Timor-Leste’s coastal communities such as coastal ecosystem restoration, strengthening livelihoods and adopt appropriate climate change adaptation mechanisms.

The government of Timor-Leste has high commitment to climate change adaptation in order to bounce back the negative impacts of climate change and other hazards. There is strong understanding and political leadership that promote the rehabilitation and conservation of mangroves ecosystem as they use as natural defense to coastal erosion, seawater intrusion, and landslide in addition to their economic benefit to the community. Moreover, mangroves are climate regulators, have high capacity of GHG sequestration and breeding habitats for fishes and different animals’ species as well.

UNDP as one of the development partner of the government of Timor Leste, is closely working with all stakeholders to significantly contribute to the national sustainable development goals achievement through building the resilience of coastal vulnerable community.  

UNDP Timor-Leste in collaboration of Bangladesh UNDP Country Office organized an experience sharing visit to Bangladesh for 10 relevant government and municipal officials and key experts on community based coastal ecosystem conservation mainly mangroves restoration. It is expected that by the end of this project, institutional capacity enhanced for ecological conservation of coastal ecosystem and climate change adaptation.

This pillar identified South-South cooperation as one of the best learning and sharing platform for knowledge transfer and to replication of best practices from countries who have similar contexts and successes in coastal adaptation practices.

Accordingly, Bangladesh is selected for the recorded best practice in coastal management and mangrove ecosystem conservation for their multiple benefit. The delegates accompanied by UNDP team, conducted exchange visit from 31 Oct to 04 Nov, 2016. The visit includes on the site observation of community based conservation of Mangrove Ecosystem, alternative livelihoods activities for forest dependent communities, interactive discussion with community conservation groups, NGOs, experts, conservators and local leaders in different sites and also experience sharing workshop held with larger stakeholders and partners on the same.

The visit includes, Nuniachara, Cox’s Bazar, the site covers a restored mangrove forest of nearly 120 ha; Majher Dar, Sonadia Island which is declared as an Ecologically Critical Area(ECA) in 1999 and supports the major portion remaining mangrove forest of the south eastern part of Bangladesh with 27 mangrove species.  West Para, Sonadia Island: the site is featured by mangrove and sand bars. It supports habitat for significant migratory bird species including the critically endangered Spoon Billed Sandpiper and provides nesting ground for vulnerable sea turtle species Olive ridley and the last site visited by the team was Moddha Khunia palaong, Ramu, Cox’s Bazar.

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