The Government of Mozambique through the Ministry of Sea, Inland Waters and Fisheries (MIMAIP), held on 18th and 19th November, in the city of Vilankulo, Inhambane Province, the 2nd Edition of the Crescendo Azul International Conference under the theme: "Investing in the ocean's health is investing in the future of the planet". The event had the participation of more than 7382 national and foreign people among which 382 in the presential format, among members of the Government, decision makers, private sector, cooperation partners, donors, educational institutions, civil society organizations and individuals with interest in blue economy and governance of the sea.
WCS was invited by MIMAIP to participate in this event national and international scope. Erwan Sola, WCS Mozambique's coral specialist, moderated the parallel session on Biodiversity and Conservation, which also had as one of the speakers Rhett Bennett, WCS Western Indian Ocean shark conservation program manager, who made a presentation on Non-Detrimental Findings (NDF) of two CITES Appendix II Shark Species in Mozambique.
WCS was also part of the panel in the parallel session on Blue Economy and Maritime Spatial Planning, where was represented by Eleutério Duarte, project assistant, who was presenting the scenarios for the strategic expansion of Marine Conservation Areas in Mozambique to achieve national and international conservation goals and inform the National Marine Spatial Plan (POEM). The scenarios presented are the result of joint work by WCS-Mozambique with the National Institute for Fisheries Research (IIP) using funding from WCS’s Marine Conservation Areas Fund (MPA Fund). The government now has appropriate information for decision-making to progress towards meeting its national and international commitments to protect marine biodiversity, enhancing the sustainability of human uses, and ensuring benefits and opportunities for future generations. He also stressed the need to develop a national strategy and action plan for strategic expansion of Marine Conservation Areas.
Finally, Hugo Costa, WCS Marine Program Director, was invited by RARE, one of the conservation partners working in Mozambique, to be part of a panel of a virtual event associated with Crescendo Azul, which also took place on the 19th November and focused on community co-management of coastal areas. The importance of the Government speeding up the preparation of the Ministerial Diploma complementary to the Maritime Fisheries Regulation, which describes the necessary steps for the legalization of the Community Management Fishing Areas, their management and enforcement, was highlighted. In addition to WCS, RARE, WWF, FAO, the World Bank, the Blue Action Fund and the National Fisheries Administration (ADNAP) were represented on the panel.