In the first of the two stories, Asiem Sanyal, Science Manager, describes how his deep love for the ocean has blossomed during his time in Timor-Leste and whilst working with the coastal communities that Blue Ventures supports. Recently, Asiem has been working to establish the first coral reef monitoring programme in Timor-Leste operated by Timorese divers, enabling local people to lead and participate in marine resource decision-making.
“The people of Timor-Leste have a strong connection with the seas around them, and in my experience, I have found them to be highly committed to conserving this wealth of biodiversity.”
In his story, Dedy Martins, Conservation Officer at Blue Ventures Timor-Leste, explores how tradition, culture and faith helps Timorese people to protect the ocean. Dedy, who is Timorese himself, explains how being able to work in marine conservation has offered him countless opportunities to explore the remarkably biodiverse waters of his home country – an experience that he wants all young Timorese people to experience. Despite the tumultuous history of the small island nation, Dedy believes that the younger generation will secure Timor-Leste’s future through sustainable tourism and community-led fisheries management.
“What keeps me hopeful is the strong cultural link with the ocean, and the desire among the communities to cultivate an awareness of the issues affecting Timor-Leste’s marine environment.”
Photo: Greg Duncan