IKI Project: Community-Led Seagrass Conservation in Timor-Leste

As part of the Seagrass Ecosystem Services Project in Timor-Leste, our national partner, Blue Ventures, has been extremely busy promoting community-led seagrass conservation.

This article describes the variety of initiatives the local communities have recently participated in, with the aim of strengthening locally led marine management. At the heart of these activities has been the development of a participatory video exploring seagrass and marine management needs, challenges and solutions. Developed with the community, following a three-day interactive workshop led by Blue Ventures, the video is an inclusive and empowering way of enabling often under-represented groups “to identify and take action to solve their own problems and share their needs and ideas with decision-makers and other communities.” Set to be unveiled at a community screening event in September 2023, the short film will subsequently be tailored for external audiences, ensuring a broader dissemination of the community’s story.

The community also organized an awareness raising event on World Seagrass Day highlighting the importance of the ecosystem services seagrasses provide to coastal communities, and mapped the local seagrass meadows and fish groups to get a better picture of ecosystem health and which interventions might improve local fisheries.

This article details the outcomes of these actions and the impact they have had upon community-led conservation in Hera, Timor-Leste.

The full article is available to read here.