Antonio Sabino Martins is one of the successful farmers of his village, he demonstrates how to produce Pure Coconut Oil or how to raise rabbits during Farmer Filed days with other farmers at Macalaco Village, Baucau Municipality in Timor Leste.
“Rural communities in Timor-Leste need to learn how to improve their livelihoods and agroforestry systems to increase and diversify income sources and reduce risks related with unpredicted climate events. My main effort as program manager and agronomist is to pass my knowledge to communities in order to help them to become more resilient using better agroforestry practices”, explains Hugo Trindade, programme mangager of the EU funded initiative Global Climate Change Alliance Plus.
Timor-Leste is a country with high dependence on subsistence agriculture, mountainous topography, food insecurity, and high rate of deforestation and degradation of natural resources. Unpredictable climate events that are intensified with effects of climate change, affect the coping mechanisms of rural communities in the country.
Since 2013, the Global Climate Change Alliance Program in Timor-Leste (GCCA-TL) aims to improve the capacity of the most vulnerable population to cope with climate change effects, through sustainable management of natural resources.
42 agro-forestry nurseries were implemented in the programme producing over 127,000 seedlings of 33 different species, including fruit trees like dragon fruit in the nursery program and dragon fruit plantation in Tokoluli, or pepper seeds in the agroforest plantation in Riheu.
Additionally, the project aims to improve the weather monitoring system in all 13 Municipalities of Timor-Leste where over 5,000 families in rural communities are able to enhance their resilience levels by identifying adapted responses to climate challenges.
From 2013 to 2018 the capacity of the Agriculture and Land Use Geographic Information System (ALGIS) to collect, analyse and share agro-met data expanded so that 10 out of 12 ALGIS weather stations are now operational.
GCCA+ in Timor Leste
The Climate Change Alliance Program in Timor Leste (GCCA-TL) is linked to the regional programme “Coping with Climate Change in the Pacific Island Region”. The programme in cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (MAF) demonstrates suitable climate change adaptation practices, following an integrated watershed management approach.
Having started with just four pilot projects in 2008, GCCA+ www.gcca.eu is a main climate initiative for vulnerable countries, funded by the European Union, that supports 70 support interventions of national, regional or global scope in more than 60 countries (of which 37 Least Developed Countries and 36 Small Island Developing States). By 2020, the GCCA+ total investments will raise to EUR 750 million, making it one of the largest climate initiatives in the world.