Timor-Leste: Maubere tribes revive customary law to protect the ocean

first_imgTraditional laws governing the management of natural resources known as tara bandu were outlawed during the Indonesian occupation of Timor-Leste. Since the country gained independence in 2002, it has been reviving the tradition in an attempt to control the exploitation of its forests and oceans.There are signs tara bandu has had a positive effect on some local forest, mangrove and coral reef ecosystems.Esteem for tradition seems to outweigh the adverse effects tara bandu has had on some people’s livelihoods, encouraging respect for the law.This is the first story in Mongabay’s three-part profile of the Maubere’s revival of tara bandu. Read the other stories in Mongabay’s three-part profile of the Maubere’s revival of tara bandu:Timor-Leste: Q&A with a Maubere fisherman on reviving depleted fisheriesTimor-Leste: With sacrifice and ceremony, tribe sets eco rules Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored BIACOU, Timor-Leste — In October of 2012, 43-year-old Buru-Bara and four of his fellow villagers went to fish in the turquoise waters that break gently on the northern coast of Timor-Leste. They had a good catch that day, and on their way back home they sat down under an old tamarind tree, where they kindled a fire to grill some fish and started drinking palm wine.“A few hours later, while leaving the place, we forgot to stamp out the fire,” Buru-Bara told Mongabay. “The fire soon spread to the tamarind tree and burned it to ashes.”The burning of the tree, although unintentional, would cost the five men the equivalent of $60 each, about the average monthly wage for the country. The tree had been declared sacred, and damaging it was prohibited under tara bandu, a customary law common to Timor-Leste’s various indigenous ethnic groups, who collectively refer to themselves as Maubere.A few days after the incident, at a gathering in the churchyard of their village of Biacou, village leaders handed down the penalty. The five men unhesitatingly paid the fine, Buru-Bara said, because violating tara bandu is sacrilegious in Maubere tradition. “It’s a grave disrespect to Rai na’in [a land spirit] and the community, and one must redress it at any cost,” said Buru-Bara.Tara bandu was outlawed during the two and a half decades of Indonesian occupation of Timor-Leste. But since the country became independent in 2002, it has been reviving the tradition in an attempt to control the exploitation of its marine and terrestrial resources. There are signs tara bandu has had a positive effect on the mangroves, forests and reefs of Biacou. However, not everyone there is happy with the outcome because some people’s livelihoods have been adversely affected: reef gleaners, salt makers, and fishermen. Even so, for many in Biacou and elsewhere in the fledgling nation, the customary law of tara bandu offers a path toward developing a sustainable, community-led model of natural resource use.Canoe fishers in the district of Viqueque, Timor-Leste. Image by Alex Tilley/WorldFish.A native natural resources management systemPedro Rodrigues, a Maubere tribesman and fisheries expert with Timor-Leste’s Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (MAF), advised Biacou’s community leaders in formulating tara bandu. He described the law as a customary natural resources management system that “governs the relationships among humans and between human and non-human entities — seas, forests, spaces, objects, animals, crops, the state.”Tara bandu can include a wide array of restrictions, as determined by a particular community. It could prohibit access to certain spaces, fishing in particular spots, catching particular species, cutting down particular trees, or for that matter damaging anything declared lulik, which means sacred in the Tetum and Kemak languages. The system is localized, so places and objects identified as lulik and accorded protection vary from village to village depending on local needs, preferences and beliefs.“In our village, tara bandu rules prohibit cutting down of tamarind, cajeput and sandalwood trees, catching and killing of sea turtles, and causing damage to the coral reefs in the Tasi Feto waters,” said Buru-Bara, using the local term, meaning “mother sea,” for the waters off Timor-Leste’s northern shore.Some 30 kilometers (18 miles) off that shore, the village of Suco Makili on Atauro Island has its own tara bandu. “We’ve a belief that our avó feto [grandmother, ancestor] was a descendent of turtle. So we consider sea turtles lulik and our tara bandu prohibits catching or killing of sea turtles,” Zanuari Carvalho, a 65-year-old local fisherman, told Mongabay.Local leaders display a special object called a horok, often a bamboo post wrapped in traditional Maubere cloth and coconut leaves, to notify locals and passersby that a tara bandu restriction is in place. Violations incur fines that the communities determine when they declare tara bandu at a special ceremony.Maubere elders participate in a ceremony establishing tara bandu regulations to protect community-owned forests in Suco Hera, a village about 100 kilometers (62 miles) east of Biacou. Image by Bikash Kumar Bhattacharya.Outlawed, then revivedTara bandu was more or less in practice across Timor-Leste well into the sunset of Portuguese colonial rule, which permitted indigenous laws and rituals so long as they didn’t affront government interests. On Dec. 7, 1975, nine days after the revolutionary Fretilin movement made a unilateral declaration of independence from the Portuguese, Indonesian armed forces occupied the island and soon banned any Maubere practice that involved people gathering, including tara bandu declaration ceremony.“They replaced the traditional-customary mechanisms of regulating natural resources with the Indonesian national forestry system,” said Rodrigues. It proved to be a disaster, he said, as Indonesian forestry officials had a poor understanding of Timor-Leste’s ecosystems.By many accounts, the Indonesian occupation brought ruinous plunder of the country’s precious forests and exceptionally rich marine resources. Over the last decade of Indonesian rule, deforestation in the western part of the country was around 18 percent, potentially in part due to logging by Indonesian companies, according to a 2004 study in the journal Natural Resources Forum. The Indonesian occupation authorities opened the sea to large-scale commercial exploitation, bringing in fleets that employed destructive fishing techniques, damaging coral reefs and other marine ecosystems, and overfished, according to Rodrigues.When the Indonesian occupation forces withdrew in 1999, they left behind a trail of destruction. “The Indonesians removed and burned down vast patches of forests across the island. They bombed the coral reefs and the coastal fisheries,” said Carvalho. “I still remember the deeply disturbing sight of thousands of dead fish washing ashore after such bombings.”Since Timor-Leste attained independence in 2002, local and national efforts have been underway to figure out how to sustainably tap the country’s marine resources. Reviving tara bandu in coastal Maubere communities like Biacou, Manatuto, and Atauro Island has been part of that. Tara bandu has yet to receive formal legal sanction under the Timor-Leste Constitution, but the government encourages local communities and NGOs to use it to improve natural-resource management, according to Rodrigues. “The country has yet a long way to go in making the formal justice system available in the rural areas,” and tara bandu helps fill the gap, he said.Buru-Bara’s village of Biacou practiced tara bandu until Indonesian occupation authorities banned it in late 1975. Nearly 40 years later, in 2012, the village reintroduced tara bandu, expanding its domain to focus on the sea.“Before the Indonesians came, our forefathers practiced tara bandu to save forests and water sources,” said Sergio Pedroco, Biacou’s chief at the time. “However, they didn’t include marine resources, coral reefs, and mangroves under tara bandu protection. But the present tara bandu declares coral reefs, sea turtles, and mangroves in the Tasi Feto waters lulik and protected.”Maps show the island of Timor, shared by Timor-Leste to the east and Indonesia to the west, and the location of Biacou in Timor-Leste. Maps courtesy of Google Maps.Toward a new marine economyAn island nation of 1.29 million people, Timor-Leste sits in the heart of the Coral Triangle, a 6-million-square-kilometer (2.32-million-square-mile) area of the western Pacific Ocean endowed with the world’s richest marine biodiversity, according to the NGO World Wide Fund for Nature. The area is home to about three-quarters of the world’s coral species, more than one-third of coral reef fish species, and six of the world’s seven marine turtle species. It also sustains at least 120 million people, 2.25 million of whom are fishers.A 2016 survey by the NGO Conservation International found that Atauro Island has the most biodiverse reef fish community in the world. Mangrove forests dot the country’s rocky coralline coasts, providing essential services, such as filtering pollutants, providing critical habitat for some coral reef fish species, sequestering carbon andprotecting against rising seas and tsunamis.A spearfisher fishing on the reef near the village of Suco Adara on Atauro Island, Timor-Leste. In 2016, the village enacted a tara bandu designating no-fishing zones. Image by Alex Tilley/WorldFish.With Timor-Leste’s oil reserves, the nation’s main source of income, predicted to be exhausted in a few years, many think the country could find an alternative economic lifeline in its breathtakingly beautiful seascapes.“The coral reefs and marine resources under Timor-Leste waters, if managed properly, have tremendous potential to fuel a sustainable marine ecotourism industry in the country,” said Alex Tilley, a British fisheries biologist with the Malaysia-based NGO WorldFish in Timor-Leste.Rodrigues and others see the revival of tara bandu as a way to make that vision a reality. “Coastal communities here have been tapping the Triangle’s resources for ages without causing damage to the ecosystem,” said Rodrigues. “Now, they’re also harnessing tara bandu in a bid to better manage their marine resources.”A sea star in the waters of Timor-Leste. Image by Johannes Zielcke via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).Tara bandu to rehabilitate the sea Six years have passed since Biacou revived tara bandu. Four hours’ drive from the capital city of Dili, the village sits in a valley located right in the coastal fringe of forest. To the north a mangrove forest divides it from the Tasi Feto waters; to the south squat the Biacou Mountains.Villagers make their living from a mix of fishing, reef gleaning, salt production and crop and livestock farming. Fish is both a major source of food and the community’s primary source of income. There are 44 registered fishing boats in the village, most of them small canoes for solo fishing, per records from the country’s National Directorate of Fisheries and Aquaculture.Local tara bandu law specifically protects coral reefs, sea turtles and mangroves, and prohibits fish bombing, fish poisoning and interference in certain saline areas. “The coastal and marine resources are critical for the livelihoods of the villagers,” said Pedroco, the former village chief. “Tara bandu has helped us sustainably exploit our fish stock,” he added, in particular by curtailing villagers’ practice of fish bombing and poisoning, which harm the ecosystem.In early 2012, Biacou’s traditional leaders, in consultation with government and United Nations fisheries experts, conducted a survey identifying certain spots in the Tasi Feto where tara bandu enacted later that year restricted certain fishing activities and declared no-fishing zones. “These no-fishing zones have allowed fish regeneration and are thus keeping a balance in the fish stock in the coastal fisheries,” said Rodrigues, at the time an employee of the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization’s Regional Fisheries Livelihood Programfor South and Southeast Asia (RFLP).One of the no-fishing zones faces Alor Island, which the community considers especially sacred. “We believe a lulik ancestral stone with magical powers from the neighboring island of Alor lies in the bottom of the sea in that area. Our tara bandu law strictly prohibits fishing over it,” said Pedroco.For Pedroco and Rodrigues, Biacou’s tara bandu has been a clear success. Rodrigues said that in 2014 he and his colleagues from the RFLP informally assessed the tara bandu’s effect in Biacou with a study that primarily relied on changes observed by villagers. It found an overall positive impact on coastal and forest resources, recording growth of mangroves and forests, Rodrigues said.Pedroco echoed these claims: “As a result of tara bandu restrictions, the mangrove area has grown denser than earlier, less coral is extracted for the production of lime than before, and the forests around the village are thriving.”Vegetation extends between the coastal mangrove forest and the sea near Biacou. Image by Bikash Kumar Bhattacharya.Economic ripples However, not everybody in Biacou is so positive. Village residents told Mongabay that since the revival of tara bandu, the average monthly household expenditure has risen by $8 to $10, as they must now procure firewood, lime, fruits, and seafood from outside the protected areas. Moreover, they said that tara bandu has adversely affected people who make their living from the sea, pushing some to turn to farming, animal rearing or temporary construction work in urban centers away from home.Fishermen, for instance, have been forced farther out to sea, as the tara bandu restricts fishing near the shore — a riskier prospect that took some getting used to, according to Fernando da Costa, a fisherman in Biacou.Da Costa said he hopes once the fish stocks near shore are rebuilt, restrictions on fishing them will be relaxed by convening a nahe biti, a traditional ceremony of reconciliation and reconsideration, on the current tara bandu rules. Before that can happen, however, leaders must verify that the stocks have recovered, and they have yet to do so. “I just hope the wise village elders involved in enacting tara bandu will deliberate on this soon,” Da Costa said.Men and women fish together in Suco Adara on Atauro Island, where a tara band has been in place since 2016. Image by David Mills/WorldFish.Salt makers also grumble about the tara bandu because it prohibits gathering the firewood they use, to boil saltwater and separate the salt from it, in nearby mangroves and coastal forests. Now they must travel beyond the protected area for firewood.“Once the tara bandu law came, the work’s become too heavy,” a 64-year old salt maker from Biacou named Celestina da Costa told Mongabay. “So much so that at times I feel like giving up. Many of my neighbors have already given up salt making,” she said.Reef gleaners are also finding it harder to earn a living. Across the country, the gleaners, mainly women, walk out to a reef at low tide to gather edibles and chunks of coral. They wrap the latter in palm leaves and then dry over a fire until it disintegrates into lime powder, an indispensable ingredient in the Maubere’s beloved areca-nut and betel-leaf chew.Crucially, one of the aims of Biacou’s tara bandu is to protect the reef situated right in front of the village, and gleaning there is now prohibited. That has strained the personal finances of women like Melinda da Costa, a 42-year-old reef gleaner who told Mongabay she not only lost her modest yet meaningful income from lime, but now must purchase what her family consumes.Even so, esteem for Maubere tradition seems to outweigh such hardships for Melinda da Costa and others.“We have to conserve the reef as the tara bandu mandates so. We can’t offend Rai na’in and the village community,” she said.Maubere elders in the village of Suco Fatumea draft tara bandu regulations to protect local forests and water sources. Image by Egrilio Ferreira Vincente.Bikash Kumar Bhattacharya is an independent journalist based in Assam, northeastern India. In addition to Mongabay, he has written for The Diplomat, Buzzfeed India, Scroll.in, Down To Earth, The NewsLens International, EarthIsland Journal, and other publications.Editor’s note: Reporting for this story was funded by a Reporting Right Livelihood grant from the Sweden-based Right Livelihood Award Foundation in 2017.Correction 10/31/18: The original version of this story incorrectly referred to the village of Biacou by its former name, Suco Biacou. Suco is an administrative term referring to a village-like locality; Biacou was recently incorporated into a neighboring suco and lost that official designation. We regret the error.  CitationsBouma, G.A., Kobryn, H.T. (2004). Change in vegetation cover in East Timor, 1989–1999. Natural Resources Forum28:1–12.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the editor of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Coastal Ecosystems, Community Forestry, Community Forests, Community-based Conservation, Development, Environment, Featured, Fish, Fisheries, Fishing, Forests, Happy-upbeat Environmental, Human Rights, Indigenous Communities, Indigenous Groups, Indigenous Peoples, Indigenous Rights, Land Rights, Law Enforcement, Mangroves, Marine Biodiversity, Marine Conservation, Overfishing, Tropical Forests Article published by Rebecca Kesslerlast_img read more

Redick’s 3s, Simmons’ triple-double lift 76ers over Pacers

first_imgAfter Redick’s 3 made it 113-110, Domantas Sabonis was called for a charge at the other end and fouled out. After two empty possessions that included Joel Embiid missing a dunk, Simmons slipped and it appeared Philadelphia was going to turn it over.But Redick ended up with the ball and drilled an off-balance 3 as the shot clock expired.“Believe it or not, it is something that I occasionally practice,” Redick said.Each team led by nine points in an up-tempo game before the Sixers took control behind Redick, who signed a free-agent deal with Philadelphia in the offseason.Turner hadn’t played since sustaining a concussion in Indiana’s season-opening win against Brooklyn on Oct. 18. McMillan had Turner come off the bench, and after a rusty start, he helped Indiana dominate inside in the first half.Turner had a thunderous dunk over Dario Saric late in the first quarter and blocked Embiid’s jumper early in the second. His 3-pointer ignited a late 9-0 run that helped Indiana to a 63-56 halftime lead.But Turner struggled with his shot in the second half and Embiid got the better of him late.“He was a little rusty,” McMillan said. “He had to play more minutes than we probably would have liked. Sabonis got in foul trouble. He missed some shots that he’s capable of knocking down, and just timing.”Embiid had 18 points and nine rebounds. Robert Covington scored 22 for the 76ers, who shot 50 percent from the field.TIP-INS Malditas save PH from shutout View comments MOST READ Pacers: F T.J. Leaf didn’t return after spraining his left ankle early in the second quarter. McMillan said X-rays were negative. . Damien Wilkins (personal reasons) was inactive.76ers: Richaun Holmes had several loud dunks during an effective third-quarter stint in his season debut. The center had been out since breaking his left wrist in the preseason. . Furkan Kormaz was assigned to Delaware of the G-League after the game.ROUGHHOUSINGEmbiid was called for a Flagrant 1 foul late in the first quarter when he swatted Thaddeus Young on the head on Young’s dunk.UP NEXTThe Pacers visit the New York Knicks on Sunday night.The 76ers have three days off before starting a five-game trip out West on Tuesday night at Utah.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next The Fatted Calf and Ayutthaya: New restos worth the drive to Tagaytay Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim LATEST STORIES ‘A complete lie:’ Drilon refutes ‘blabbermouth’ Salo’s claims Palace: Robredo back to ‘groping with a blind vision’ Redick scored 31 points and hit three decisive 3-pointers late, Ben Simmons had a triple-double and the 76ers moved above .500 for the first time in nearly four years with a 121-110 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Friday night.Redick said he had “goosebumps” hearing the ear-splitting sellout crowd finally get a chance to celebrate success.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games opening“We all recognize the significance of tonight and getting over .500 for the first time in a long time,” Redick said. “My focus was more on winning. Obviously I had a good third quarter there where I got hot and then the three 3s down the stretch were more about, let’s just get a win.”Redick was 8 of 12 from 3-point range, including the go-ahead jumper with 2:06 left, another 3 to barely beat the shot clock with 1:08 remaining and a third from the left corner to make it 119-110 with 46 seconds to go. MRT 7 on track for partial opening in 2021 “He’s amazing,” Simmons said.Simmons was pretty good, too. He had 14 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists for his second triple-double in a rookie season delayed a year because of injury.The Sixers (5-4) last had a winning record when they were also 5-4 on Nov. 13, 2013, but their painful rebuild appears near an end as they won their fourth straight game.Victor Oladipo shook off a slow start to score 31 points, Bojan Bogdanovic added 21 and Myles Turner had 11 points and nine rebounds in his return from a concussion for the Pacers. They were outscored 11-0 to close the game as their three-game winning streak was snapped.“We had a couple possessions where we had open looks,” coach Nate McMillan said. “You have to knock those shots down.”ADVERTISEMENT Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Philadelphia 76ers’ Ben Simmons, right, of Australia, blocks the shot attempt by Indiana Pacers’ Darren Collison during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Friday, Nov. 3, 2017, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)PHILADELPHIA — J.J. Redick has seen plenty in his 12 NBA seasons, yet he insists he’s never heard a louder regular-season crowd.Those fans in Philadelphia were going bonkers over their new sharpshooter.ADVERTISEMENT After 30 years, Johnlu Koa still doing ‘hard-to-make’ quality breads Porzingis has 37, leads Knicks over Sunslast_img read more