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Map of Timor-Leste


In 2002, Timor Leste emerged from a difficult colonial past under Portuguese and Indonesian rule. Since independence, the country has achieved substantial progress in combating poverty and facilitating economic growth, mostly through hydrocarbon extraction and oil revenues. Nonetheless, the country still ranks among the poorest in Southeast Asia. The population lives mostly in the countryside off subsistence farming.
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Planning for progress in Timor-Leste

16 November 2021

  After two decades of independence, development in Timor-Leste is exemplified by growing economic activity in Dili, the country’s capital city. Businesses are emerging on various corners, new infrastructure and public buildings are being constructed, and much improved information and communication…

MoPT sensitizes urban planning law to community leaders and relevant entities

26 October 2021

DILI, 26 october 2021 (TATOLI) – The Ministry of Planning and Territory (MoPT) sensitized urban planning law (Law No.6/2017) to community leaders and relevant entities of the Dili municipality. Urban planning is the art of giving shape, design, and structure to cities and towns. It involves…

Without the Enforcement of Environmental Laws, Petroleum Infrastructure Projects in Timor-Leste Come at a Cost

3 December 2019

Ignoring environmental laws in Timor-Leste to build a petroleum infrastructure project could mean serious problems for communities including environmental destruction, loss of land, and loss of livelihoods. Communities are already facing some of these problems because project proponents haven’t…



Timor Leste’s Land Law recognizes community property which has proved to be more resilient to political changes than statutory law. Customary land ownership is inseparable from questions of group identity and belonging.

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The link between microfinance and land loss: Country Insights Digest #4 - February 2022

14 February 2022

This Country Insights Digest discusses the topic of microfinance in relation to land loss. Daniel Hayward reviews three articles on the topic and adds some concluding thoughts and questions. Has microfinance merely warped into other forms of rural credit, where the profit margin trumps all other…