After centuries of external oppression as well as civil war, the
Democratic Republic of East Timor is facing both challenges and
opportunities with regard to the country’s economic and environmental
sustainability.Politically, oppression has been suffered at the hands of
the Portuguese, Dutch, Japanese and Indonesians.The country has finally
overcome all these invasions and gained its independence under United
Nations mandate, to become a sovereign state on 20 May 2002.However, the
repercussions of poor governmental management along with other issues have
kept the East Timor wedged in its third-world status, with few resources to
promote either financial or environmental sustainability.
Combined with political difficulties, East Timor is furthermore
challenged by its geographic environment.The country is for example very
mountainous, which causes agricultural problems.Few crops will grow in
such a region.Developments such as roads and other modern infrastructure
are also difficult and expensive, due to the landscape structure.
The current situation of the people in East Timor is that the nation
comprises more or less four million inhabitants, relying mostly on crops
such as rice, coffee and coconuts.Poverty and unemployment are two of the
biggest social problems in the country.However, its recent gain of
independence has injected into the country and its people a sense of both
urgency and eagerness to rise above their situation.This paradigm should
then be used by the international community to help the country achieve its
ideal of becoming economically and environmentally sustainable.
Being representative of the global community, the United Nations
Development can make a significant contribution to improving East Timor’s
situation by means of its Environment and Natural Resources Unit.
Inherently, East Timor has the capacity to be both enviro…