Regarding the Project “Red List of Threatened Species, Identification and Mapping of Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs) in Mozambique”, the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), working together with SPEED+ (USAID Program), the National Red List Working Group and the Government (MITADER), namely the National Directorate for Environment (DINAB) are conducting the process of establishing the national coordination group (NCG) for KBAs which will also represent the current national red list working group.
The NCG will fulfil the role of coordinating the KBA identification process at the national level through bringing together relevant stakeholders and data in a bottom-up, participatory and efficient way, and to liaise with the KBA Secretariat, KBA Regional Focal Point, and KBA Community. The KBA Global Standards (IUCN 2016) contemplates the KBA identification process to be largely driven by local organizations and experts to secure buy-in and ownership, which are essential for the future safeguard and conservation of these sites
For the specific case of Mozambique, because the Red Listing process is underway and does not have an official engagement group with the Government (MITADER/DINAB), the KBA NCG will be used as a mechanism of engagement with the government for both the KBA and Red Listing processes to guarantee that these are formally recognized. The National Red List Working Group is already created and led by IIAM, therefore it will be formalized it under the same NCG, creating synergies between the activities and optimizing the time of the involved institutions and its members. This means that the Red List community would be represented in the NCG. This strategy has been used before by WCS, namely in Uganda, which allowed for resource and time optimization.
The role of the NCG is to coordinate the experts, other national initiatives, data collection, the KBA review process, and review proposals from external proposers, in order to identify, document and delineate the most robust network of KBAs in Mozambique. The NCG will also play an important role in promoting the conservation, management, monitoring and protection of KBAs in Mozambique through the appropriate mainstreaming into policy, reporting and spatial planning. This group will also include members of the current National Red List Working Group, to guarantee that the Red List is taken up by the Government and relevant stakeholders in Mozambique.
As a member of the KBA partnership, WCS is mandated to play an important leading role in the establishment of the national NCG, and to liaise with the KBA Secretariat to enable support for this project in Mozambique. The objective is that the current project creates the foundations which allow the group to undertake these roles in the near future. DINAB is the responsible for the coordination of the activities under the NBSAP and the achievement of the targets defined in the CBD, therefore building the capacity within this institution to report compliance to the KBA Secretariat and to the CBD Secretariat will be of extreme importance for Mozambique.
The Government (MITADER) namely, DINAB has already created a large biodiversity working group for assessing related issues under the international conventions for which the institution is responsible. Therefore, the NCG will be nested in this working group acting as a sub-group focused on KBAs and Red Listing.
The NCG will have a good mix of government, academic and NGO representation, but also remains effective at making decisions. Therefore, not only this group will consist of various taxa and ecosystem experts, representing the biodiversity elements for which the KBA and Red List criteria may be applied in Mozambique, but it will also consist of institutions that can promote advocacy within the Government to make these conservation tools effective.
Three meetings were held to approve the NCG ToR. The first meeting was held on 28 May at DINAB attended by the Head of KBAs Secretariat Dr. Andrew Plumptre, the second was held on July 18 at SPEED + offices, and the third where the ToR review was finalized, was held at WCS Mozambique Offices, on 06 August. In each meeting there was a good mix of government, academic and NGO representation.
Meeting of Red List of Threatened Species, Identification and Mapping of Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs) in Mozambique, 6th August in Maputo City, WCS Mozambique Headquarters. Credit: Eleutério Duarte