The Haburas Foundation was formed by a group of Timorese students in 1998 during the Indonesian occupation of Timor Leste. It is the oldest and most active national environmental group in the country.
Haburas uses a wide network of local community groups and relies on traditional Timorese culture to promote better environmental management practices that also respond to the developmental needs of local communities.
Haburas is at the forefront in promoting principles of equality of opportunity, equal access to resources, equal responsibility for the protection of peoples and the environment, and guaranteeing equality for the benefit of everyone.
Haburas’ goal is to achieve harmony between people and the environment by conserving and restoring the environment and ensuring that natural resources are managed responsibly and for the shared welfare and prosperity of the people of Timor Leste.
The objectives of Haburas are:
- to protect and regenerate the natural environment of Timor Leste;
- to educate and inform the people of Timor Leste about environmental issues;
- to advocate environmental concerns within East Timorese society and before the government and courts;
- to mediate and resolve environmental conflicts;
- to protect, nurture and advocate traditional cultural values that promote harmony between people and the environment;
- to develop an environmental ethic amongst all East Timorese;
- to monitor the use and management of natural resources and ensure that “development processes” do not impact negatively on the environment;
- to work towards a way of life that is not wasteful and is based on sustainable use of natural resources;
- to form links and co-operate with organizations which share our spirit both within Timor Leste and around the world.