Mark Gately, WCS Regional Director for East Africa, Madagascar and Western Indian Ocean, recently visited Mozambique, from October 26th to November 6th, as part of the monitoring of WCS Mozambique activities, interaction with national entities and also to evaluate WCS repositioning in the post-Covid period.
During his stay in Maputo, Gately held meetings with national entities and WCS partners, both from the Niassa Special Reserve Program, as well as the Marine Program and the Program to Support the Combating of Illegal Wildlife Trafficking (CWT).
In the meeting with the Minister of Sea, Inland Waters and Fisheries (MIMAIP), Augusta Maita, issues related to the Marine Program were addressed, and on the occasion WCS was invited to participate in the 2nd Edition of Crescendo Azul, which will be held in the City of Vilankulo. The minister expressed satisfaction with the collaboration with WCS and reinforced the need to accelerate the implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding signed between WCS and MIPAIP last June, and also stressed the vital importance that WCS has for the technical component and has been giving to MIMAIP.
Another important milestone in this visit was the meeting held with USAID. USAID was represented at this meeting by Ms. Mary Hobbs (Economic Growth Office Director at USAID/Mozambique) and Mr. Nathan Sange (Environment and Natural Resources Management Team Leader at USAID/Mozambique). An update on WCS's work in Mozambique was given and the strengthening of cooperation between WCS and USAID was discussed. In this meeting, USAID expressed its openness to support WCS to interact with Mozambican government entities, if necessary, and reiterated the need and intervention in the implementation of activities as a team.
Working meetings were also held with other cooperation partners, specifically the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). In the meeting with JICA, represented by Mr. Nakata Hiroshi, the mechanisms of implementation of REDD+ projects were discussed, and it was agreed that for the success of this mechanism, coordination between the actors of the process is vital, both in the public sector and other stakeholders.
In his courtesy meeting with Mr. Francisco Roquette, Deputy Resident Representative of UNDP in Mozambique, the GEF project was updated and mechanisms to overcome implementation difficulties were discussed, with a commitment to operationalization actions between the parties.
Mark Gately met with the Director General of the National Administration of Conservation Areas (ANAC) where they reviewed the implementation actions of the Co-Management Agreement of the Niassa Special Reserve. Subsequently, the two led teams from WCS and ANAC in the second meeting of the Supervisory Committee of the Co-Management Agreement of the Niassa Special Reserve, where the activity reports were approved, the activity plan for the year 2022, and even appreciated the process of recruitment of specialized staff under the same agreement.
During his visit to Mozambique, Mark Gately also met the Mozambique Wildlife Alliance (MWA) and had a courtesy meeting with the team led by Dr. João de Almeida.
WCS and MWA meeting
We conclude that it was a very productive visit, especially considering that it was the first after the outbreak of the pandemic, which caused travel restrictions. During his visit Mark Gately was always accompanied by the Country Director of WCS Mozambique, Afonso Madope.
Afonso Madope and Mark Gately