Profile: Cintia Gillam (2nd Project)

Coastal and Marine Conservation in Timor-Leste: Assessing the Contribution of Tara Bandu Community Conservation

In Timor-Leste, tara bandu is the customary law that manages the relationship between humans and between humans and natural resources. Local communities use traditional conservation practices through tara bandu rules to implement fishing, hunting and harvesting closures in certain areas. The purpose of this research is to analyze if community conservation practices (i.e. tara bandu) help to meet ecological and human community wellbeing goals. Some of these outcomes are measured by indicators of governance, and ecological and human community wellbeing. This research will draw lessons for traditional conservation analysis through a focus on (1) How tara bandu practices lead to marine and coastal conservation in three Timorese communities on Atauro Island, (2) how tara bandu practices interact with governmental science and management, and (3) the potential applications of the indicators developed in this research to decision-making and management.