Dili, 20th March 2024, President and Nobel Peace Laureate, J. Ramos-Horta hosted the 2024 Presidential Lecture Series on Climate Change with the theme “Rise Up to Climate Threats,” at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation.

The lecture brought together senior politicians, academics, diplomats, development partners, private sector representatives and civil society to raise public awareness on the catastrophic impact of climate change facing Timor-Leste and advocate for climate actions across all sectors.

In his introductory remarks, President Ramos-Horta focused on Climate Change Warning, Awareness and Necessary Actions for Timor-Leste. The country has experienced first-hand the devastating effects of climate change including decreased agricultural production, increased food insecurity, water shortage, infrastructure destruction, loss of life and human displacement.

“Climate change is a global catastrophe requiring a global response,” stated the President. “But small nations like Timor-Leste cannot meet this existential challenge alone. We need strengthened international cooperation, technology transfer, capacity building and financial support to increase resilience, drive mitigation efforts and adapt to the unavoidable impacts ahead.”

President Ramos-Horta thanked the government of Timor-Leste for its active involvement in the UN climate change negotiation processes in order to defend interests and influence international decisions for combating climate change.

The President urged Timor-Leste to take further steps towards low-carbon development pathways by promoting renewable energy, expanding reforestation initiatives, conserving national parks, and supporting community forestry programs. He emphasized the need for a coordinated, all-of-society climate strategy in Timor-Leste, engaging government, development partners, civil society, academic, the private sector and communities to foster climate-resilient cities and infrastructure nationwide.

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