Global Climate Change Alliance support programme to Timor-Leste

At a glance

2013-12-01 to 2018-12-01
Active programmes
Min. of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Min. of State Administration, National Directorate for Disaster Risk Management, Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Environment (MCIA), Instituto Camões, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)
Total budget
4,00 M€
GCCA priority area(s)
  • Involving up to 80% of the available workforce (and 94% of the population in rural areas), agriculture is the most important sector of Timor-Leste. It is majorly dominated by subsistence agriculture, with a high dependency on climate events. Traditional practices involve the slash and burn technique, which directly damages the environment.
  • Food insecurity adversely affects people's well-being as a whole: about 55% of the children under five suffer from moderate to severe stunting. Low outputs of staple foods (maize and rice) together with poor post-harvest and crop conservation technologies provoke food shortages for about 3.8 months each year (2 months for urban households).
  • Deforestation is also a major concern in Timor-Leste: it is estimated that forest cover has decreased by almost 30%, with 11 000 hectares of forest lost to deforestation and forest degradation annually, between 1990 and 2010(deforestation of about 1.27% a year)
  • The climate of Timor-Leste is characterised by its tropical monsoonal type climate given the geographical location of the island of Timor, coupled with its topographic relief.
  • Climate predictions in the medium term (2050) include expected raises in temperature between 1.25 and 1.75 °C, across all Timor-Leste.
  • Total annual rainfall for Timor-Leste is likely to increase by 7to 13% (average 10%) across all districts by 2050. Wetter conditions are likely to be more common and with extreme rainfall events more likely. While percentage rainfall increase is relatively uniform across the country, variability in any increases in absolute rainfall is likely to be large (60to 300mm/year) with higher altitudes generally receiving the greatest increase in precipitation.
  • The projections show increased rainfall intensity in the wet season, with most of this increase falling in just 3 months— January, February and May. The dry season is therefore projected to lengthen.
  • These are expected to have an important influence on food availability and security, with lower yields in primary and secondary crops, increased incidence of pests, and less manageable quantities of rainwater. This has strong implications on adapting agricultural practices and planning.

GCCA's action programme
Geographical scope
Country groups
Initial GCCA/GCCA+ contribution
4,000,000.00 €

Overall objective

Contribute to the sustainable well-being of rural communities in Timor-Leste.

Specific objective

to improve the capacity of populations living in selected sub-districts vulnerable to climate change risks to cope with climate change effects through the sustainable management of their natural resources and the improvement of their livelihood options, by using local development mechanisms and taking social inclusion and conflict management into account.

  • Result 1: Weather monitoring is made reliable in all 13 Districts, climate effects on the agricultural production and the environment are better known, the results of regular agro-meteorological analysis are made accessible to the rural producers, and the consequent findings support the definition of evidence-based national policies.
  • Result 2: Rural communities are able to identify adapted responses to climate challenges, which are incorporated in the suco (villages) development plans in at least 50% of sub-districts identified as vulnerable to climate change risks in a socially inclusive way.
  • Result 3: The resilience of rural communities living in at least 50% of sub-districts identified as vulnerable to climate change risks is enhanced through the restoration of their environment, the implementation of sustainable livelihood development activities, and improved social dialogue.

  • Result 1:

Activity 1.1. Improve the capacity of ALGIS (Agriculture and Land Use Geographic Information System) to collect and monitor climate data in all 13 Districts, analyse it through agro-ecological perspectives, and disseminate their interpretations.

Activity 1.2. Collect and share information on existing agricultural and conservation practices, which improve communities' adaptation and preparedness to the effects of climate change.

Activity 1.3. Use findings and results to support the updating of national policies and plans related to climate change and its consequences, notably on the incidence of poverty.

  • Result 2:

Activity 2.1. Develop and agree on a suitable and conflict sensitive watershed development concept and measures

Activity 2.2.Develop community awareness on forestry and agro-forestry activities, notably using forestry as a response to land degradation.

Activity 23. Support communities in assessing the best and conflict preventive climate-adapted options at local level in agriculture and (agro)forestry

Activity 2.4. Integrate activities within existing local strategic & participatory planning processes.

  • Result 3:

Activity 3.1. Support rural communities particularly women in the implementation of adapted agricultural practices

Activity 3.2. Promote forestry and agro-forestry activities, taking into account watershed management principles.

Activity 3.3. Implement conflict sensitive education and awareness activities on climate change consequences and preparing for adaptation activities

Activity 3.4. Enhance the capacity of the National Directorate of Forestry and other governmental GCCA stakeholders

Achievements to date

Delegation agreements signed with Camões, I.P.and GIZ in December 2013. Steering Committee and structure in place. Inception report and Annual report 2014 concluded by both implementing agencies. Target areas defined for both implementing agencies. Methodology for Vulnerability Assessment developed and implemented in one target area. Good practices in Climate Change Adaptation in Timor-Leste assessed and documented. First Timor-Leste Climate Change Adaptation Conference supported. Agro-meteorology management concept and strategic plan developed with the partner. Forestry and agro-forestry and agricultural demonstrations implemented in coordination with the National Directorate of Forestry and the extension service.

Implementation of an agro-forestry nursery network, continuation of the reforestation practices, the implementation of good agriculture practices demonstration plots and improve livelihood options taking into account climate change issues and watershed management principles.

Study and Data Base development of Forest and Agro-Forest species for Climate Change Adaptation in Timor-Leste.

Preparation of a set of recommendations and considerations to implement a certification system of seed and propagation material suppliers.

Latest achievements 2016 results areas:

Result area 1

I. Conducting the 1st Training of Trainers course on Climate Field School, in close coordination with National Directorate for Meteorology and Geophysics (NDMG) and Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysical Agency (BMKG) from Indonesia;

II. Regular activities of mentoring and backstopping to the ALGIS staff in the regular maintenance and the repair of weather station following the recommendations expressed in the Agro-met Management Concept;

III. Couching in the procurement and installation of 7 automatic weather stations (AWSs - Hobo model) for remote data monitoring via 3G network and replacement of sensors and instruments, in stock, on the existing AWS models CIMEL 405 and 420;

IV. Development of a Cloud data base, In coordination with Seeds of Life Program (SoL), for storing and sharing agro-met data;

V. Support provided to ALGIS in the development of the Agro-met bulletin;

Result 2, priority activities for this period were:

I. Installation of sign boards and the participation on different forums regarding the emergency response for El Niño;

II. Presentation and sharing of the vulnerability assessment and AP approach in the frame of Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries - Institutional Reform and Project (MIRT) project;

III. Participation on different forums to elaborate and discuss the forestry law (presentation of lessons learned).

In result 3, most of the activities were implemented in the respective watersheds (Loes for Camões, IP and Seiçal for GIZ), however in both areas the main focus was:

I. Implementation of an agro-forestry nursery network;

II. Continuation of the reforestation practices;

III. Implementation of good agriculture practices demonstration plots;

IV. Improve livelihood options taking in to account climate change issues and watershed management principles. Procurement of specialized software (Arc GIS) to strength ALGIS GIS capacity.

Challenges and lessons learned

Some lessons learned :

  • Interinstitutional coordination with an effective leadership from the government is a key of success. Having a clear and realistic plan is also important to materialize coordinated actions.
  • Sufficient resources allocated from the government side can guarantee the ownership of the achievements and it sustainability, especially regarding operational funds.
  • The implementation strategy should remain flexible to adapt the different changes in the context, especially regarding institutional changes.
  • Participatory process, promote social dialogue, and women inclusion.
  • Interest and necessity of community members to replicate adaptive practices.
  • Cross visits and exchange visits are good tools for introducing adaptive practices.
  • Involving community is a key factor for sustainability of the weather stations.
  • Good participatory planning system can guaranty the quality, sustainability and ownership.
  • To speed up implementation process GIZ employed local NG) with recognized capacity in different topic i.e. community dialogue
  • ROM mission concluded with a recommendation to revise the log frame and particularly indicators