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Community / Land projects / Oxfam Timor-Leste Loss and Damage

Oxfam Timor-Leste Loss and Damage


08/22 - 03/23


This project is part of


This project will conduct research into loss and damage on community land as a result of climatic disasters, which is an under researched area in Timor-Leste. Through conducting focus groups in three Municipalities with local land experts, interviews with climatechange impacted community members and local Government, the research will serve as a catalyst for future projects to lobby the Timor-Leste Government to develop mechanisms to support community members impacted by climatic disasters on community land, as well as support influencing at COP27. This project contributes to the Oxfam International outcome of: “Civil society in at least one country are mobilized to advocate for secure land rights of local communities using improved knowledge of the interrelations between land inequality, climate change and food security”. Timor-Leste is particularly vulnerable to climate-related hazards including floods, drought, cyclones, and earthquakes, with forecasts suggesting these are likely to increase in severity and frequency due to climate change. Flooding between the 29th of March and the 4th of April in 2021 resulted in an estimated US$307.7 million in loss and damage, affecting over 31,000 households, as well as damage to community land that was being depended on by local communities for farming andlivelihoods (Source: Household and Building Damage Assessment of Floods in Timor-Leste”, UNDP, Timor-Leste, 30 November 2021). Thisevent followed flooding in 2020 that impacted 9,131 individuals and drought in 2016 that impacted 120,000 individuals (source: Timor-Leste Country Profile, Climate Change Knowledge Portal, World Bank Group). Many communities depend on community land for agriculture to sustain their livelihoods, but there is currently no Government mechanism in Timor-Leste that provides support in response to loss and damage for impacted communities as a result of climatic disasters, and whilst land use surveys have been conducted in the past, the extent of the damage from the floods in 2021 has still not been fully assessed. This project will conduct research in threeMunicipalities in Timor-Leste including Dili (community land), Covalima (community land) and Lautem (national park land) which havebeen chosen as representing the West, Central and Eastern regions. A consultant will be recruited to identify community members with knowledge on community land use and loss and damage in each Municipality, to participate in focus group discussions to identify community land use changes between January 2018 and December 2021. In order to raise awareness of loss and damage as a result of climate change on community land and its implications on community members, interviews will also be conducted with affected community members to develop case studies. The consultant will also conduct interviews with local government stakeholders in each Municipality (Minister of Justice, Land and Property, Civil Protection, Ministry of Agriculture) to assess existing laws related to the community land (including land titles) early warning systems employed as well as existing policies related to loss and damage.

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