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East Timor



Conservation and community benefit: Reforestation of degraded coastal hills

Date Approved: 07.2001


This project protects forest, preventing the release of greenhouse gases and reducing erosion that damages coastal and ocean ecosystems.

Emerging from its turbulent history, East Timor, an island north of Australia, is one of the world’s youngest independent nations. While the country rejoices in its newfound freedom, it also faces serious environmental challenges.

The Haburas Foundation, established by a group of East Timorese students, is dedicated to reforesting degraded areas. One area in urgent need of rehabilitation includes the coastal hills of Fatucama, four miles from East Timor’s capital of Dili. Serious erosion is threatening the hills, which are an ancient sacred site of the East Timorese. With funding from Seacology, Haburas has established a participatory reforestation program. Residents are planting tree species that are of value to their communities, improving the environment as well as the local economy.

Project Updates

July 2004

In 2003, Haburas planted 1000 trees in addition to planting native grasses for erosion control. This year, Haburas is focusing their reforestation efforts along the coastline of the Fatucama hills and has already planted 500 native trees in the area. For his efforts in East Timor, the director of Haburas, Demetrio do Amaral de Carvalho, won the 2004 Goldman Environmental Prize.

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November 2003

Approximately one third of the 40-acre area to be revegetated had been planted as of early 2003.

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Full or partial funding for this project provided by Nu Skin Force for Good Foundation.