The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and the Land and Environment Ministry (MTA) recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) that establishes mechanisms for collaboration between the two entities regarding planning, implementation of biodiversity activities, projects or programs, including roles, responsibilities, budgets, work plans and project agreements, as applicable.
WCS, which has been working in Mozambique since 2012, began its activities providing technical and financial support to Niassa Special Reserve (NSR), and for recognized merit, the Government of Mozambique, signed in late 2020, a NSR Co-Management Agreement, with WCS, for the next 20 years.
This MoU is the result of a previous agreement between WCS and MITADER (now MTA), for the implementation of the COMBO project in the country, which between 2016 and 2020 supported the government in making economic development compatible with biodiversity conservation, working on the application of mitigation and counterbalance measures suitable for development projects. Several areas of collaboration have been defined, with emphasis on achieving national biodiversity conservation targets, identifying key biodiversity areas, developing baselines needed to establish biodiversity conservation targets, promoting biodiversity research including training and sharing technical knowledge on biodiversity, environmental impact, and spatial planning.
In addition to continuing the COMBO project on spatial planning for biodiversity, WCS will soon begin a regional project in partnership with the South African Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) and the National Directorate for the Environment (DINAB) for Biodiversity Spatial Assessment, Prioritization and Planning in countries of the southern region, including Mozambique.
It should be noted that WCS has an ongoing Marine Program in the country that aims to support coastal activities in the Western Indian Ocean that contribute to climate resilience and the continued protection of key species and their habitats. It is in this context that, in June 2021, WCS entered into an MoU with the Sea, Inland Waters and Fisheries Ministry, aiming to effectively cover collaboration in the management of marine biodiversity.