Timor-Leste is a country endowed with natural beauty, including magnificent coral reefs, pristine coastal waters, and megafauna assemblages including whales, dolphines, whale sharks, orcas and mantas. It is also a young country that is in the process of rebuilding its physical, governance and institutional structures, with primary focus on poverty reduction and promotion of equitable and sustainable economic growth. The National Development Plan (2004) recognizes the inextricable link between these goals and natural resource management, and promotes sound management and utilization of natural resources together with development of alternative sources of livelihood.
In 2007, Timor-Leste declared the Nino Konis Santana National Park in order to conserve 123,600ha of land and seascapes which are home to nationally and globally significant species and habitats, including 55,600ha of the "Coral Triangle" and 25 endemic bird species. Timor-Leste has also undertaken coastal resource and habitat assessment and mapping and various activities in the watershed areas in collaboration with various experts and donors. Capacity development activities for alternative livelihood to reduce poverty and protect marine and coastal resources have also been undertaken in selected local areas. Various efforts are also underway to develop plans and enabling policies and legislations for natural resource conservation and sustainable development, including the implementation of the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP) and preparation of a National Adaptation Programme of Action.