Selected postings from east-timor (reg.easttimor)

Subject: PROTEST NOTE AGAINST CUTTING TREES IN DILI CITY

Feb. 19, 2008

HABURAS FOUNDATION
Rua Celestino da Silva, Farol, Dili, Timor-Leste
P.O. Box 390,  Telp: +670-3310103

 
PROTEST NOTE AGAINST CUTTING TREES IN DILI CITY

Once again, with grave concern, Haburas Foundation would like to point out the preoccupation of many people about environmental management in and around Dili which continues to disrespect the principle of sustainable ecological development.
RDTL Government has not given importance and just lets continue the pedestrian pavement project which cuts trees on the side of the road. The protest conducted by civil society on 10 August 2007, and brought to the National Parliament and RDTL Government has not been able to go against the attitude of companies that violate the ecological principle.

A phenomenon like this, shows that companies do not respect the worries expressed by members of Parliament (representatives of the people) about stopping cutting trees in Dili.

We also hear from the small and powerless (people) about the situation on side of the streets is becoming increasingly hot for them because trees that used to give shade to them when conducting small business activities or walking on the street have all gone. New trees recently planted are [actually] not appropriate for planting on the sidewalks in Timor-Leste’s tropical climate, because these planted trees are trees with vertical canopies and do not give much shade for people. From an ecological aspect it shows that trees with small canopies have difficulty absorbing carbon dioxide (CO2) and other gasses emitted by transport systems, thus what is emitted accumulates as poisonous gas in Dili in the future. Once again, a green belt system should develop not only from an esthetical aspect according to human perspectives, but it is important that it follows ecological principles.

Development processes like construction or rehabilitation of roads should not only be viewed as the job of the Department of Public Works, but also be viewed as an interconnected process with responsibility and competence of other Departments [as well]. With good coordination we can conduct integrated development, holistically and according to sustainable ecological development principles.

The Government has recently signed up to the Kyoto Protocol which gives the obligation to Timor-Leste to do development according to the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). Based on [this] principle there are three conventions in connection to the environment that Timor-Leste has ratified as well as the Kyoto Protocol, so we urgently ask once again from the National Parliament, RDTL Government, and companies the following:

To the Parliament:

1.      Call upon the Minister of Public Works to give an explanation about this problem in the National Parliament

2.      Put priority on quickly putting in place Timor-Leste’s environmental laws

To the RDTL Government:

1.             Conduct an evaluation for contracts with companies and give sanctions to companies that do not follow regulations or their contract

2.             Prioritize ecologic development through the development of proposed laws that have a connection with environment and also realize a practice of sustainable development principles

3.             Intensively monitor the development processes in order to avoid steps that would result in negative impact to the environment, like this pavement rehabilitation [will cause] in the future

4.             Conduct a judiciary process (according to law) if there are indications of ecological crime conducted by companies in this pavement rehabilitation process

To the companies

1.             Also assume social and ecological responsibility, from [besides] your economic interest

2.             [You] should follow the principle of the Clean Development Mechanism which Timor-Leste adheres to
 
 
Dili, 18 February 2008
 
Expressed by:
 
Hortencio Pedro Vieira
Manager Advocacy Division and
Environmental Campaign
 
Acknowledged by:
Demetrio do Amaral de Carvalho
Executive Director
 


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