Kamis, 16 Februari 2012
August 2007. Timor-Leste (formerly East Timor), which only became an independent nation in 2002, has declared its first national park, a move which will protect a number of threatened endemic species. ‘This is an incredibly forward-thinking decision, made all the more spectacular by the fact that this is such a young nation,’ said Dr Mike Rands, Chief Executive of BirdLife. ‘We wholeheartedly congratulate the Timor-Leste government on this declaration, and their commitment to conservation in line with sustaining the livelihoods and heritage of local people.’ Timor-Leste became independent in 2002 and despite rich deposits of oil and gas it remains one of the world's poorest nations. The newly designated Nino Konis Santana National Park –at over 123,600 hectares- links together three of the island’s sixteen designated Important Bird Areas: Lore; Monte Paitchau and Lake Iralalara; and Jaco Island. ‘This is great progress by the government and communities of Timor-Leste. After five years work our first national park is born. It will help our nation to protect its national heritage, culture and history,’ said Manuel Mendes, Director of the Department of Protected Areas and National Parks, Timor-Leste. ‘The national park will protect globally significant biodiversity and the culture and socioeconomic livelihoods of communities living there.’ The largest threat facing the Yellow-crested Cockatoo Cacatua sulphurea is the wild bird trade. © Rosemary Low/Birdlife International. Marine Biodiversity The National Park will also include over 55,600 hectares of the ‘Coral Triangle’, a marine area with the greatest biodiversity of coral and reef fish in the world. 25 Endemic Bird Species The National Park includes 25 bird species endemic to Timor and neighbouring islands, and also the Critically Endangered Yellow-crested Cockatoo, whose population has been devastated worldwide by unsustainable exploitation for trade. In addition the Park is home to the endemic Timor Green-pigeon, listed as Endangered due to loss of monsoon-forest habitat on Timor island. The National Park is named in honour of Nino Konis Santana, national hero and former Commander of FALANTIL (Forcas Armadas da Libertacao Nacional de Timor-Leste), the armed wing of the resistance movement in the struggle for independence who was born in the village of Tutuala within the National Park.
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