Community-based Initiatives in Conservation Areas in Mozambique
As per a tripartite agreement signed in 2016, the World Bank is supporting a programmatic South-South collaboration between Mozambique and Brazil. Within the framework of this agreement, a knowledge exchange with Brazil was organized in October 2018 to help address the numerous challenges facing the conservation areas in Mozambique. The objectives of the knowledge exchange included:
- Sharing of experiences and knowledge on successful models for the management of protected areas (PAs) including design, planning, management and results -based monitoring
- Connecting participants to key stakeholders engaged in conservation to establish further collaboration and partnerships
- Sharing of knowledge and practical approaches to establishing effective partnerships with private operators, NGO’s and communities that lead to improved management and biodiversity conservation results
- Supporting the preparation and implementation of several initiatives related to improving the management of conservation area landscapes and enhancing the living conditions of communities in and around these areas.
Mozambique is internationally recognized for its rich and unique natural resources and outstanding terrestrial, freshwater, marine and coastal biodiversity. Mozambique has a network of Conservation Areas (CAs) that cover about 26% of the country’s territory. The CAs are meant to preserve biodiversity and the ecosystem as well contribute to the development and socio-economic well-being of Mozambicans. The CAs and their surroundings provide vital ecosystem goods and services such as freshwater, food and fuel sources to rural populations within and around CAs. They can also generate income for the national economy through activities such as nature-based tourism development. CAs face numerous challenges and are currently not generating income for the national economy and local communities at the projected levels. Poverty rates are high across the populations living within and around CAs.
The Government of Mozambique defined a policy of participation in management of biodiversity and recognizes that it can contribute to the national economy mainly serving as a tourism product. By engaging communities in alternative livelihood options through tourism income- generating activities, the GoM seeks to create incentives towards conservation while improving living standards. The South-South knowledge exchange sought to strengthen the skills and capacity of the government officials to design and implement successful community-based approaches in conservation to expand opportunities for local employment and income generation through nature-based tourism.
The knowledge exchange was structured around an expert visit by representatives of Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation (ICMBio), Brazil’s most renowned training institution in conservation, and a Training of Trainers on improved conservation areas management and community involvement. A team of technical experts from ICMBio were the lead knowledge facilitators and trainers. The technical assistance was practically oriented and focused on:
- The institutional framework for the management of conservation areas
- The linkages among various stakeholders, including institutional systems and capacity strenghtening
- Field visits to experience and understand how community-private sector partnerships and park management are implemented
- Public Private Partnerships models (PPPs) in the management of parks
The opening session was chaired by Mr. Mateus Mutemba, the Director General of the Mozambique National Administration for Conservation Areas (ANAC) followed by Mr. Agostinho Nazare from the Mozambique National Sustainable Development Fund (FNDS). During this session, presentations were made outlining the Brazilian experience and approaches to managing conservation areas. Participants were familiarized with the policies, strategies and how stakeholder participation had helped to democratize the conservation efforts guided by the Government of Brazil.
During their presentations, the Mozambican officials shared the institutional framework and legislation established to manage conservation and provides for management councils which are not yet operational. There were further discussions on financing mechanisms as well as on public-private partnerships.
The following two days were dedicated to field visits to the Maputo Special Reserve and the Ponta do Ouro Marine Partial Reserve. The ICMBio experts visited the headquarters of the reserves and had meetings with staff from the Maputo Special Reserve and representatives of local communities. There was an overnight stay at the Anvyl Bay Lodge in Chemunace, a facility jointly owned by the local communities and a private investor through a commercial partnership. During discussions and game viewing, the Brazilian experts were able to understand how the CAs management approaches include local communities, tourism development in both reserves and the business opportunities available in these areas.
Upon returning to Maputo, the ANAC team made presentations focusing on the transfrontier perspective of the creation and management of the Limpompo National Park. In this presentation, they also discussed resettlement and cross- border collaboration in preventing poaching. The ICMBio team presented how federal environmental compensation is designed and implemented in Brazil. The teams discussed and identified thematic areas for a continued partnership and collaboration between ICMBio and ANAC. These discussions resulted in an expression of interest by ANAC officials about Brazilian programs for conditional transfers such as “Bolsa Verde” and “Bolsa Familia”.
On the final day of the visit, the teams met to evaluate the results of the knowledge exchange and outline conservation activities proposed under the continued cooperation between the two countries.
The Brazilian and ANAC officials paid courtesy visits to the:
- Honorable Ambassador of Brazil, Mr. Rodrigo Baena
- Honorable Vice Minister of Land, Environment and Rural Development, Ms. Celmira da Silva
- BIOFUND offices
The courtesy visits provided an important opportunity for high-level government officials to re-affirm the importance of the programmatic South-South collaboration and lend their support to the proposed areas of collaboration.
The technical staff from ANAC, FNDS and BIOFUND gained good practice and knowledge needed to design and implement partnerships with private and community stakeholders to promote productive nature-based tourism in CAs. Going forward, the process will be more inclusive and participatory to ensure wider stakeholder engagement. The teams learned how to implement integrated community initiatives covering the whole chain of events. These range from inclusively identifying community needs, generating productive livelihood opportunities and working with stakeholders to promote conservation and the rehabilitation of wildlife habitats.
The good practices and knowledge gained will be integrated as MozBio 2 is being implemented to promote more productive models of nature-based tourism in the CAs with high potential. The Sustena Bio mechanism in MozBio 2 will be implemented in a manner that promotes rural businesses linking them to productive chains and viable tourism models.
Beneficiaries / Participants
- ANAC Technical, National Administration for Conservation Areas - ANAC
- ANAC Technical, National Sustainable Development Fund- ANAC
- Executive Secretary of the Director General of ANAC
- Tourism Specialist, National Administration for Conservation Areas
- MozBio Project Management, National Sustainable Development Fund -FNDS
- Social and Community Development Specialist, FNDS
- Tourism Specialist, FNDS
- Conservation Specialist, FNDS
- Director of Administration and Finance, Foundation for Biodiversity Conservation, BIOFUND
- Program Director, BIOFUND
- Technical Advisor, BIOFUND
- Project Coordinator, BIOFUND
- Coordinator General for Territorial Consolidation, ICMBio
- General Coordinator for Creation, Planning and Evaluation of Conservation Areas – ICMBio
- Public Policy and Governmental Management Specialist, ICMBio
- Corporate Education Coordinator, ICMBio
World Bank Contribution
As part of the tripartite collaboration agreement between the World Bank, Brazil and Mozambique, this knowledge exchange was funded the South-South Facility.
Below is a table that outlines the proposed next steps and thematic areas of knowledge exchange and collaboration between ANAC, Mozambique and ICMBio, Brazil.
Both countries are interested in establishing environmental education exchange and training programs for students and teachers. These programs would be facilitated by ICMBio through the Corporate Education school – ACADEBio and the Gorongosa National Park, Mozambique.
Based on the field visits and expression of interest, ICMBio will design and training programs using their existing modules and adapt them to the Mozambican context as part of the continued technical assistance and knowledge exchange activities. Other follow-up activities suggested were for CAs in both countries to collaborate in specific research projects of mutual interest such as restoration of degraded fauna, exchanges between staff, students and volunteers in community projects.
Representatives from Brazil and Mozambique reaffirmed their commitment to continue working together to establish concrete follow-up collaboration activities that can boost progress in conservation related initiatives.
New knowledge: The knowledge and lessons gained will feed directly into the implementation of the Mozambique Conservation Areas for Biodiversity and Development Project phase 2 - MozBio 2, in which similar activities to those taking place in Brazil will be piloted. An example is the operationalization of the management councils ensuring they are more inclusive of multi-stakeholders. Mozambique is interested in having representatives of the management councils, once constituted, visit Brazil and learn the effective management practices firsthand.
Improved actions: Under the MozBio Project, a mechanism called Sustenta Bio has been established to promote rural businesses in conservation areas. Lessons from Brazil on how to link these businesses with conservation will be applied to develop productive chains and establish multi-stakeholder management agreements.
The Brazilian experts benefitted from Mozambique’s experience in Transfrontier conservation areas. The Lubombo and the Great Limpopo transfrontier areas are jointly managed by partner countries (Eswatini, South Africa and Zimbabwe) through collaborative planning, marketing and management of the biodiversity while reinforcing strong community ties.
Enhanced coordination: Based on the knowledge and experience gained from Brazil, a Conservation Leadership Program will be established in Mozambique. The program is intended to increase the cohort of skilled professionals in biodiversity conservation who are expected to work for the different institutions in the Conservation Areas system. One of the main features of the program will be to continue facilitating South-South knowledge exchanges, training and technical support between ANAC and ICMBio.
Author: Twity Mueni Musuva Uzele