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Interdisciplinary Baseline Ecosystem Assessment Surveys to Inform Ecosystem-Based Management Planning in Timor-Leste

Cover - Interdisciplinary Baseline Ecosystem Assessment to Inform Ecosystem-Based Management Planning in Timor-Leste

This project describes activities performed by the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) from 2012 to 2016, through a partnership agreement with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Timor-Leste Mission, to support the Government of Timor-Leste—particularly the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (MAF). Based on consultative discussions between USAID, MAF, and NOAA, these activities provide essential baseline fisheries and marine resource information to inform ecosystem-based management of the nearshore waters of Timor-Leste. These efforts were funded primarily by the USAID Timor-Leste Mission, with significant in-kind contributions and support from NOAA, as part of the 5-year partnership between NOAA and USAID.

The Interdisciplinary Baseline Ecosystem Assessment Surveys to Inform Ecosystem-Based Management Planning in Timor-Leste: Final Report provides the basis for science-based management for fisheries conservation, which in turn can improve food security and strengthen climate change resilience for the benefit of the people of Timor-Leste. NOAA’s Coral Reef Ecosystem Program (CREP) provides high-quality data and information products to inform ecosystem-based management decisions and conservation actions.

Collectively, the chapters on Satellite Mapping of Nearshore Habitats (Chapter 2), Coral Reef Ecosystem Assessments (Chapter 3) and Establishing Ecological Baselines for Climate Change (Chapter 4) provide a baseline assessment of Timor-Leste’s nearshore habitats and coral reef ecosystems for the areas surveyed. As the survey methods described and used herein are also implemented as part of the NOAA Pacific Reef Assessment and Monitoring Program (Pacific RAMP)—an ecosystem-scale interdisciplinary coral reef monitoring program—the data from Timor-Leste are directly comparable to and informed by data collected by NOAA-CREP throughout the U.S. Pacific Islands and Territories. Furthermore, the methods used to establish ecological baselines for climate change in Timor-Leste (Appendix I) are being adopted and implemented at 21 sites across eight member states of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission within the Western Pacific (WESTPAC) region. These data provide a foundation from which to compare the ecological baselines under current and future stresses associated with climate change in the Coral Triangle region.

The data provided in this portal are organized according to Chapters 2–4.