March 22-23, 2023, Jakarta — AFoCO Secretariat and Implementing Agencies of AFoCO projects in Timor-Leste gathered in Jakarta to conduct the 3rd Project Steering Committee (PSC) Meeting for AFoCO/018/2020 and the 2nd PSC Meeiting for AFoCO/026/2021. The participants exchanged warm greetings with each other and the meeting began with the introduction of the provisional agendas.
The 2nd Project Steering Committee Meeting for the project on “Development of Agroforestry Models for Promotion of Reforestation in the Different Zones in Timor-Leste (AFoCO/018/2020)” discussed the activities involved in the later parts of the project, as the project will finish in early 2024. These mainly involve the development and finalization of the manual on the development of agroforestry-based reforestation models. Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), the project implementing partner commented that they will try their best to develop a manual that ensures sustainability of the project and to be used and spread widely throughout Timor-Leste. The Meeting tentatively approved the 2023 work and budget plan and agreed that the next PSC meeting should be held at the end of 2023 to discuss the final coordination and evaluation part of the project, including the financial audit.
The 3rd PSC Meeting for the project on “Re-greening the bare lands in Timor-Leste through promotion of locally customized restoration models (AFoCO/026/2021)” mainly discussed the upcoming planting activities in Manatuto and Aileu, while also discussing the limitations and assistance that the IA needs to proceed with the planting and capacity building programs planned in 2023. As agreed through a technical meeting with Indonesia, the meeting agreed that the IA will involve several Indonesian experts, all specializing in different fields including ecosystem goods and services, Forest Landscape Restoration (FLR), from different institutions in Indonesia including the IPB University, Gadjah Mada University, Research Center for Ecology and Ethnobiology. The meeting tentatively approved the 2023 work and budget plan and agreed that detailed matters regarding the experts should be further discussed bilaterally between Indonesia and Timor-Leste in due course.
The Secretariat ensured both IAs that they will assist in arranging the financial audits for both projects, and any other matters if necessary to successfully implement and finalize the projects in Timor-Leste. The meetings ended with hopes for future gatherings during the upcoming 8th Session of the AFoCO Assembly in Seoul, where the National Focal Point and Representative to the Assembly of Timor-Leste will attend in person.