USAID East Timor
Small Grants Program
Program Highlights Archive
Environmental Awareness Goes on the Road
(June 16, 2004)
To celebrate World Environment Day on June 5, East Timor's Environmental Services Directorate launched its traveling environmental awareness expo with a video show and beach clean up in Dili. The expo will promote a better understanding of the negative impacts of pollution and teach people practical ways to clean and care for their environment.
Secretary of State for Tourism, Environment, Investment, and Mineral Resources Jose Teixeira opened the expo in the Bidau Santa Ana neighborhood of Dili where some of the video footage was shot. Dozens of community residents, including many children, came to watch the videos and help clean up their beach. Directorate staff will take the expo to four of East Timor's main cities: Dili, Ermera, Maliana, and Suai.
The expo features two videos. One explains the role of solid waste in the environment, and the second offers a range of solutions to the problems of trash and pollution, including recycling, composting, and cleaning wastewater channels. In addition to screening the videos, the expo will feature posters and brochures, games and activities, particularly for children, and public service announcements in the media. The expo will also address issues such as community empowerment, deforestation, and biodiversity. After the expo, the directorate will work with the Department of Education to show the videos in every school in the country.
"Pollution in Timor-Leste is a critical issue," Teixeira told his audience at the expo launch. "Plastics and other garbage that wash into the ocean can have devastating effects on coastal areas by killing marine life and covering our beautiful beaches with rubbish, and they can contribute to health problems. If we do not make an effort to dispose of our waste properly today, we are creating even greater problems for our grandchildren."
USAID supported the Environmental Services Directorate's work to create its environmental awareness campaign with a grant of $32,045. The campaign helps East Timor's residents become more involved in sustainable environmental practices that will mitigate the negative health, economic, and social impacts of pollution.
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