Water, Independence and the renegotiation of customary relations

Date of publication
The post-independence renaissance of custom in Timor Leste is both vibrant and challenging. Examining the issues which confronted customary water governance in the late twentieth century and those that surround the independence era reassertion of ancestral identities and relationships, this paper sheds light on the multiple ways these worlds are being (re)negotiated. It argues that while substantial resources have been invested in building modern water governance regimes, consideration of the the dynamism, creativity and hold of custom on local people's lives, as well as the complex socio-ecological variables impacting on the use and management of these water resources, has been hazardously overlooked.

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