The IRD is involved in Timor Leste on maritime themes through several projects, such as the ANR POPEI (which aims to strengthen the dialogue between cultural policies, science and local heritage in the archipelago, 2019-2023), and the project SHELLFISH (European project of Marie Curie actions, MSCA-IF-GF, 2022-2025) focused on the sustainable management of marine resources.
The IRD currently has an MoU with the State Secretariat for Art and Culture (SEAC), and a scientific partnership agreement within the framework of the SHELLFISH project which was signed in 2022 with WorldFish, a CGIAR international fisheries and aquaculture research institution. To take stock of this cooperation, the IRD representative for Indonesia and Timor Leste, Mr. J.L. Le Pennec, visited the site in March 2023.
With Ariadna Burgos, researcher from the PALOC unit (IRD-MNHN Paris) expatriated in Dili, they met the Ambassador of the Delegation of the European Union (DUE) for Timor Leste, Mr. Fiedrich, as well as Mr. Mellac, committed to rural development, environment and climate change affairs. The discussions focused on the promotion of the research of the SHELLFISH project, in which Ms Burgos is involved: nutritional and economic values of traditional fishing activities, identification of resources and sectors that can be mobilized in the context of these activities, tourist potential, etc.
A meeting also took place with Mr. Manuel Smith, director of the SEAC, to pursue cooperation in the fields of archeology and ethnology, particularly in ethnomusicology, which is a pristine field of research in the country. Finally, the exchanges with Pr. Abilio da Fonseca, Director of the Department of Fisheries and Marine Sciences of the University of Timor Leste (UNTL) focused on the training needs at the master-doctorate level of young Timorese students engaged in the field of sea studies and maritime affairs.