The IMF (2005) document mentions that because poor people in East Timor are engaged primarily in agriculture (including fisheries and forestry), improving productivity in this sector is a high priority.  Proposed initiatives include rehabilitation and construction of irrigation systems and their improved operation, introduction of water harvesting techniques, wider distribution of improved seeds of cereal crops, fruits and vegetables, improved livestock health, improved management of fishing, and sustainable management of forests and other natural resources.  These initiatives have to be undertaken with the participation of the communities that depend on them (IMF, 2005).

Fox (2003) indicates that natural resource development, environmental interventions, and the primary goals of poverty reduction and economic growth are directly linked to one another.  The author continues to say that the following sectors need to be addressed in the development of the country: (1) improvement in people’s health due to poor access to resources; (2) enhancement of the livelihoods of poor people, particularly in rural areas where they depend on land, water, forests and biodiversity; and (3) reduction of vulnerability to natural disasters such as violent storms, floods and fires (Fox, 2003).

Programs within the government plan needs to reflect environmental and resource priorities, and the need to encourage private development without exploitation.  This responsibility requires inter-ministry cooperation, particularly concerning oil and gas resources and the related infrastructure that is essential to support national development (UN, 2001).


From INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT PAPER for Concept of Community Development by Luc Sabot

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