|Subject: E. Timor Declares First National
Park [2 Reports]
also: East Timor designates first
national park to protect threatened wildlife
E. Timor declares 1st national park
TOKYO, Aug. 5 (Kyodo News) -- After five years as an independent
nation, East Timor has declared its first national park.
The government formally approved the declaration of Nino Konis Santana
National Park on July 27, according to a statement from the East Timorese
acting prime minister's office seen here Sunday.
The 123,600-hectare park incorporates the entire northeastern tip of
East Timor, comprising 68,000 hectares of land and 55,600 hectares of sea,
the statement said.
''It conserves an extensive range of land and seascapes and will
protect nationally and globally significant flora and fauna species and
habitats on both land and sea, including extensive coral reefs and one of
the largest remaining intact examples of tropical lowland and monsoon
rainforest in the region,'' it said.
According to BirdLife International, which has carried out numerous
biological surveys in East Timor, the park lies within the Coral Triangle,
an area with the greatest biodiversity of coral and reef fish in the
It is habitat for rare and threatened species including green sea
turtles, dugongs and saltwater crocodiles.
Particularly rich in bird life, it includes relatively large numbers of
three globally threatened species of pigeon, plus the critically
endangered Yellow-Crested Cockatoo, one of the world's rarest birds whose
populations have been devastated by trapping for trade as household pets.
The area is also rich in archaeological heritage with many sites from
the colonial Portuguese and World War II Japanese occupation periods.
The park was named in honor of Nino Konis Santana, a national hero and
former rebel commander in the struggle for independence, who was born in a
village within the national park's boundaries.
The area was a stronghold of the resistance movement during the
struggle that culminated in East Timor's separation from Indonesia in 1999
and its formal independence in 2002.
BirdLife International, a global alliance of conservation
organizations, helped the East Timor government set up the national park
with assistance from the New South Wales government in Australia and
funding from the Australian and British governments as well as Japan's
Keidanren Nature Conservation Fund.
East Timor designates first national park to protect threatened
DILI East Timor, Aug 5 (AP) -- East Timor has designated its first
national park as part of efforts to protect threatened bird species and
rich marine life, some of which can not be found anywhere else in the
world, wildlife officials said.
The 123,600-hectare (305,415 acres) Nino Konis Santana National Park is
home to the critically endangered Yellow-crested Cockatoo Cacatua
sulphurea, the endangered Green-pigeon Treron psittaceus, and nearly two
dozen other bird species unique to the country and neighboring islands.
It also spans 55,600 hectares (137,387 acres) of the 'Coral Triangle,'
which boasts some of the richest biodiversity of coral and reef fish.
"The national park will protect globally significant biodiversity
and the culture and socioeconomic livelihoods of communities living
there," Manuel Mendes, director of East Timor's Department of
Protected Areas and National Parks, said in a statement seen Sunday.
East Timor, which became Asia's newest nation five years ago after
breaking free from decades of often-brutal Indonesian rule, remains
desperately poor despite vast oil and gas reserves.
It descended into chaos last year when clashes between security forces
morphed into widespread gang warfare, looting and arson in the capital,
leaving dozens dead and sending more than 150,000 others fleeing their
Mike Rands, chief executive of the international conservation group,
BirdLife, praised the government's decision to designate the area a
national park as "incredibly forward-thinking" and "all the
more spectacular by the fact that this is such a young nation."
-------------------- Joyo Indonesia News Service
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