Building shoreline resilience of Timor Leste to protect local communities and their livelihoods

Strengthen resilience of coastal communities by the introduction of nature-based approaches to coastal protection

Project background

The “Building Shoreline Resilience of Timor-Leste to Protect Local Communities and their Livelihoods” funded by the Global Environmental Facility (GEG) is being implemented in collaboration with the Government of Timor-Leste mainly through the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries and also working with other line ministries, local and international partners, NGOs and private enterprise. The project targets 7 out of the 13 municipalities of Timor-Leste and has identified 50 villages (sucos) for implementation of various activities contributing to climate change adaptation and resilience building.

The overall objective of the project is to protect local communities and their livelihoods and to strengthen resilience of coastal communities by the introduction of nature-based approaches to coastal protection; as well as support inter- and intra-ministerial coordination for collaborative development planning ensuring protection of coastal areas, as well as identify and research potential revenue streams for long term sustainability.

Timor-Leste has approximately 747km of coastline and an estimated two-thirds of the population live in coastal areas. Mangrove forests can be found in varying quantities in density and coverage in 11 coastal municipalities and offer a natural barrier between the sea and coastal communities. 

Total mangrove area of Timor-Leste has reduced significantly (~80%) from 9,000 to ~1,300ha since 1940 due to both climate and non-climate factors, including a rise in sea level, increased storm frequency, salt water intrusion, upstream sediment impacts, cutting and felling for fuel wood and building materials, coastal development and animal grazing; leaving the shoreline and coastal communities exposed to coastal risks of climate change. 

Project activities being implemented focus on: 

  I.   Formulation of policies and strategies and institutional capacity  strengthening for climate resilient coastal management

  II.   Extensive mangroves and coastal wetlands ecosystem protection and restoration interventions.

  III.   Strengthening alternative livelihoods options and integrated approaches to coastal adaptation to protect the coastal communities and productive lands. 

  IV.   Public awareness raising about the important role of coastal ecosystems in shoreline protection and climate change adaptation and mitigation.

Outcome 1: Policy framework and institutional capacity for climate resilient coastal management established

·  The Strategic Plan for Coastal Management and Adaptation in Timor-Leste developed and launched.

·  The final draft of coastal resilience strategy for infrastructure planning have been developed in consultation with stakeholders. It has been validated is currently under review for publication.

· 18 RSET equipment have been installed in 3 municipalities (Covalima, Dili, and Bobonaro) for sustainable mangrove ecosystem monitoring and management purposes

· In addressing the institutional capacity building purposes, more than 300 technical staff from government representative and local NGOs trained on project management, sustainable land management and way to RSET equipment.

·Final draft of the Zero Plastic Waste policy has been developed through extensive consultations with partners and stakeholders including private sectors. The policy has been validated and revised.

Outcome 2: Mangrove-supportive livelihoods established to incentivize mangrove rehabilitation and protection.

  • More than 1500 Hectares of mangrove and coastal ecosystem have been conserved and protected in 7 targeted municipalities in Timor-Leste through live and dry fencing establishment and local customary law, known as Tara Bandu. In Liquisa Municipality particularly, more than 300 Hectares of Mangrove and wetland ecosystem have been protected and conserved.
  • 1024 households (One representative each), of which 51 % are woman involved in the 70 community groups established with project support. They are currently engaged in various climate smart livelihood activities mainly fish farming, horticulture, agroforestry, handicraft, and livestock.

Outcome 3: Integrated approaches to coastal adaptation adopted to contribute to protection of coastal populations and productive lands

  • More than 20 Hectares of community productive land are protected and conserved through sustainable land management interventions mainly installation of check dams and afforestation that provide direct impact to more than 5000 rural community.
  • Trees planted in 7 hectares of land in Liquiça, Bobonaro, Viqueque, and Manatuto to conserve water benefiting more than 3000 people.
  • Around 20,000 people including community leaders, women, youth, and students participated in awareness raising activities mainly public lecture, conference, community workshop and training, etc.
  • 150,000 people reached through Facebook and Twitter.

Contact information

Project address

UNDP Timor-Leste

UN House, Caicoli Street ( Obrigado Barrack), P.O Box No. 008

Contact person

Devindranauth Bissoon (Project Manajer) /




Project start date:

August 2016

Estimated end date:

May 2021

Focus area:

  • eradicate poverty in all its forms and dimensions
  • Project office:

    UNDP in Timor-Leste

    Implementing partner:

    United Nations Development Programme

    Funding Support by

    Donor name

  • Global Environment Fund Truste
  • Amount contributed


    Delivery in previous fiscal year

    2020 $879,765

    2019 $1,381,749

    2018 $1,501,055

    2017 $1,126,410

    2016 $293,261

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