Marine protection in Mozambique

Geographical location:

Africa/Madagascar > Southern Africa > Mozambique

Fishermen fishing off the coast of Bazaruto Island, Mozambique.
© WWF-Canon / Frederick J. WEYERHAEUSER

Summary

Mozambique’s 2,700km coastline is marked by a wide diversity of habitats that includes untouched mangrove forests and coral reefs. Five species of marine turtles nest along the country’s beaches and dugongs, dolphins and migrating whales are found off its waters. Mozambique’s marine environment, however, is threatened by overfishing, coastal development and pollution.

To combat these threats, WWF’s marine programme in Mozambique focuses on habitat and marine species conservation, the creation of protected areas and promoting responsible fisheries. The overall objective of the programme is to ensure a healthy marine and coastal environment for both wildlife and local communities that depend on the sea’s natural resources.

Background

WWF’s work in Mozambique was initiated in 1990 with support to Bazaruto National Park by WWF South Africa (then SANF). A WWF Country Coordination Office opened in Maputo in 1999. The Programme focuses on four themes – Forests, Freshwater, Marine and Species - and contributes to the implementation of four focal ecoregion programmes (EAME, Miombo, Coastal forests and Lake Malawi Niassa Nyasa). Marine conservation has been identified by partners as a priority area owing to the socioeconomic importance of marine and coastal resources as well as high biodiversity value.

The Mozambique Marine Programme was established in January 2004 with the support from WWF US. There is a need for the continuation of this support as the Marine Programme is now the largest funded component of WWF in Mozambique. In FY05, the support to specific projects in Marine and Freshwater Parks through WWF MCO is going to be at the level of USD 2 million per year. The support to the Marine Programme will fund two staff members (a Coordinator and an officer) and the expenses for these two officials to work on the projects in the field.

Objectives

The overall objective of this programme is “biodiversity and biological processes in Mozambique’s key coastal and marine ecosystems conserved while ensuring the management and equitable use of the country’s marine resources”.

The Programme represents WWF’s contribution in Mozambique to realization of the EAME Long Term Vision, “a healthy marine and coastal environment which provides sustainable benefits for present and future generations of both local and international communities, who also understand actively care for its biodiversity and ecological integrity”.

The Programme is structured around four related areas of intervention:

1) Conservation of priority areas.
2) Promotion of responsible fisheries.
3) Marine species conservation.
4) Habitats conservation.

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