Rede ba Rai Timor-Leste Secretariat iha Fundasaun Haburas Rua Celestina da Silva Farol Dili Timor-Leste
Dr. Lucia Lobato,
Minister for Justice,
Justice Ministry building,
10th June 2009
We write regarding the draft transitional land law which will be released this Friday (12th). This law will decide a structure to determine who owns land in Timor-Leste, in order to resolve confusion over land ownership after years of colonialism and conflict. It is critical to the land rights of all of Timor-Leste's people. For this reason we write to offer the attached recommendations. The NGO Forum Land Network is a group of civil society organizations working on women's, refugee, environment, agriculture and justice issues in Timor-Leste — all of which are effected by land policy. Our network works to promote informed public discussion, debate and participation on issues related to land.
We have listed what we believe to be the minimum measures needed to ensure a public consultation that truly incorporates the ideas of Timor-Leste’s people in the development of this law, and that ensures their voice is heard. These measures are based on the experience of some of our members, as well as informal discussions with others on effective participation processes. Effective and inclusive public consultation will minimize the likelihood of resistance to this law, and help to promote an effective land regime that is best suited to the needs of the people of Timor-Leste. We hope these recommendations will assist the development of an effective public consultation.
We are happy to discuss these measures further, as well as additional ideas we have about the strengthening of the public consultation process, and the involvement of civil society and NGO’s in this process. We can be reached via the Land Network Coordinator Meabh Cryan on 730 7800.
Meabh Cryan, Ines Martins, Jose Amaral
Coordinator, Agriculture Researcher Advocacy Coordinator
Land Network La'o Hamutuk NGO Forum
Representatives of the Land Network Legislative Working Group
CC: Mr. Antonio Verdial de Sousa, Director of the National Directorate of Land, Property and Cadastral Services
Mr. Nigel Thomson, Director, Ita Nia Rai
Ms. Fernanda Mesquita Borges, President, Commission A, RDTL National Parliament
See also: Minimum Requirements for Effective Public Participation on the Draft Transitional Land Law