Representatives from across the Arafura and Timor seas have come together this week to share ideas about sustainable activities for the conservation and management of marine and coastal resources.
Hosted by the Research Institute for the Environment and Livelihoods at Charles Darwin University and the North Australian Indigenous Land and Sea Management Alliance (NAILSMA) the study tour will run from October 7 to 11.
Participants from Rote Island (Indonesia) and Timor-Leste will visit Darwin and eastern Arnhem Land, to meet with Indigenous groups, environmental managers and conservation professionals. Together they will share knowledge, skills and experiences related to coastal and marine management, livelihoods and biodiversity conservation.
CDU Senior Research Fellow Dr Natasha Stacey said the Arafura and Timor seas were a pristine region and contained some of the most highly threatened coastal and marine ecosystems in the world.
“The region is extremely rich in marine resources,” Dr Stacey said. “Valuable fisheries resources are vital to many communities in the region and support economic and livelihood activities that stretch across the region’s international borders.”
NAILSMA CEO Joe Morrison said that while there were vast differences in the socio-economic characteristics and conditions within and between the countries bordering the Arafura and Timor seas, many communities shared common issues, challenges and concerns.
“Some of these issues include physical remoteness, cultural and linguistic diversity, community poverty, mobility and migration, and shared responsibilities for marine resources,” Mr Morrison said.
“The exchange will generate ideas, innovations and partnerships that contribute to strengthening community capacity for sustainable livelihoods through improved coastal management and aquaculture.”
The visit is being conducted as part of the Arafura and Timor Seas Ecosystem Action regional exchange program, which seeks to improve shared understanding of community-based marine and coastal management and livelihood issues between the three countries which border the Arafura-Timor Seas region.
The Community-based management planning for marine and coastal related livelihoods and biodiversity conservation Northern Australia Study Tour was made possible with funding support from the Global Environment Facility International Waters Program and the Australian Commonwealth Department of the Environment. The group will be meeting with representatives from Nature Conservancy, the Northern Territory Government’s Darwin Aquaculture Centre, Dhimurru Aboriginal Corporation and the Yirralka Rangers.
Source: CDU Newsroom