Reef Check News
Reef Check in Timor-Leste
By Shane Penny
Since independence in 2002, Timor-Leste has continued to juggle a sudden influx of income from natural energy resources and persistent wide spread poverty, whilst until recently, neglecting marine and coastal resource management and science. Timor-Leste lies within a hotspot area of marine biodiversity known as the Coral Triangle with reefs along the northern and eastern coasts of the country, as well as Ataúro Island. Coastal villages rely heavily on seafood from the nearby coral reefs for protein and as a source of material for construction and curios. The only assessments of marine and coastal habitats in Timor-Leste were a single FAO funded project (2002), Timor-Leste's first Reef Check survey (conducted at Ataúro Island in 2004 by a Singaporen team), and a PhD project researching the management and use of coral reef resources by communities on Ataúro Island (2006).
Leo and Shane would like to congratulate the following divers and snorkelers for completing the Reef Check EcoDiver course: Mr. Carlos A. de Jesus, Mr. Anselmo L. Amaral, Mr. Celestino B. da Cunha, Mr. Wayne Lovell (Free Flow Diving), Mr. Narciso Carvalho, Mr. Constâncio S Silva, Mr. José Nunes, Mr. Lucas Fernandes, Mr. Benedito Trindade and Mr. José Monteiro.