The Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation supports Sandalwood Park in Oecussi, Timor-Leste
30 August 2011, Dili, Timor- Leste –This summer marks the commencement of a critical development project in Oecussi, Timor-Leste, where the generosity of the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation is making possible the creation of a Sandalwood Park and Environmental Protection Center. The Sandalwood Park, to be established in Lifau, Oecussi, has two components: a Sandalwood Park and Nursery, and an Environmental Protection Center that will be located within the Park. The Park will rest on 12 hectares of land that was generously donated by the Oecussi community.
Sandalwood trees play an important historical role in the history of Oecussi and of Timor- Leste. The Portuguese and the Dutch were attracted to the island of Timor during colonial times by its rich sandalwood forests. The “kingdom” of Oecussi was one of the centers of power for the region. Consequently, the first effective stronghold of European influence in the region was established along the north coast of the island at Lifau, now the capital of the Oecussi enclave that is geographically separated from but part of the Democratic Republic of Timor- Leste.
The Sandalwood Park will instill among the people a prideful recognition of the important historical role their homeland has played. Further, the Sandalwood Park will support the revival of sandalwood, demonstrate the benefits of reforestation, foster the development of forest-based industry, promote tourism, and educate about sound environmental practice and skills.
The Sandalwood Park and Nursery will take up five hectares. This portion is designed to include access trails, a pond, and facilities to support local and visitor enjoyment of and learning about the distinctiveness of sandalwood. A nursery will provide sandalwood seedling and host seedlings. Instruction will be held on site to support more widespread planting and cultivation of sandalwood and other high value tree species throughout Timor-Leste.
This project economically benefits both Oecussi and Timor- Leste as a whole by fostering forest-based industries and handicrafts, contributing to the revitalization of sandalwood, a Timorese national resource, and by attracting tourism to the area.Forest and tourist industries have been identified as objects for future investment, both of which these projects address.
The project is environmentally beneficial through its revitalization of sandalwood and its promotion of reforestation. The sale of sandalwood seedlings ensures the sustainability of the project as funds from the sale will feed back into the long term maintenance of the park.
The project also focuses on environmental education through the Environmental Protection Center. This Center will provide information and expertise on environmental issues critical to the development of Oecussi and its place in the regional and world environment, provide educational programming to foster and advocate environmentally responsible development, and cooperate with local schools to further promote environmental education.
The Foundation for Post Conflict Development will be responsible for project management. The FPCD’s role is to liaise between the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, who is providing initial funding for the project, and the Oecussi Park Commission, who will be using the funds to locally implement the project in a transparent and accountable process.
The Sandalwood Park and Environmental Protection Center may become a model for environmentally sound development practice around the world.
The FPCD and the Sandalwood Park Project benefit from the support of the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation. For more information on the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation please visit the Foundation’s website: http://www.fpa2.com.
The Foundation for Post Conflict Development (FPCD)is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization associated with the United Nations Department of Public Information dedicated to assisting post conflict countries with projects essential to their reconstruction, including projects concerning the environment, maternal health issues, youth, war veteran issues, and the creation of meaningful employment and cultural preservation. Through direct education, action and development (or the promotion of global partnership for such efforts), the FPCD’s mission is to fulfill the Millennium Development Goals set forth by the UN. The FPCD’s landmark project is the Prince Rainier III Maternity Clinic, the first of its kind in Timor-Leste.
The Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundationwas created by H.S.H. the Sovereign Prince in June 2006 and is dedicated to the protection of the environment and the promotion of sustainable development on a global scale. The Foundation’s efforts focus on three main areas: Climate Change and Renewable Energies, Biodiversity, Water and Desertification. The Foundation gives its support to projects in three main geographical zones: the Mediterranean Basin, the Polar Regions, and the least developed countries. The Foundation supports initiatives by public and private organizations, in the fields of research and studies, technological innovation and socially-aware practices.
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