Afonso Madope, WCS Country Director, was received in audience by the Governor of Niassa, Elina Judite Edite Massengela, in the City of Lichinga, to discuss issues inherent to the Niassa Special Reserve (REN).
During this meeting several issues were discussed, with special emphasis on the implementation stage of the REN co-management agreement, the insurgency situation and the resumption of community programs.
Afonso Madope highlighted the mobilization of additional resources on the order of USD 10 million from USAID for the ECOSMART II project, whose implementation began in July 2021, and addressed some processes of mobilization of funds that are in the pipeline, such as funds from the Landscape Legacy. He also highlighted the capacity of response by the Defense and Security Forces (FDS), which is characterized by the non-recording of insurgent actions since the end of the first week of January. On the same occasion, the Country Director of WCS Mozambique informed the Governor of the status of the operating license of the aircraft of WCS, having noted that it will soon expire, thus requesting the support of the Provincial Government for its renewal.
For her part, the Governor of Niassa, explained that she recently visited the district of Mecula, having benefited from the support of WCS, which allowed her to fly over the entire region and better understand the situation of the attacks carried out by insurgents.
Elina Edite Massengele said that communities are gradually returning to their areas of origin and that humanitarian support is being guaranteed by the provincial government and its partners.
On the other hand, she showed concern about the relative delay in the approval process of the Management Plan of the Niassa Special Reserve, which has been dragging on since 2020, and the excessive delay in the installation of the fence in Mecula to prevent the human-wildlife conflict.
It should be noted that Afonso Madope was in Niassa for a series of meetings with local authorities and will also visit Mbatamila, headquarters of the Niassa Special Reserve.