The official launch ceremony of the CONNECT project products - and the second phase of the COMBO+ program took place yesterday in Maputo. The products comprise the Mozambique Biodiversity Information System (SIBMOZ), Online Environmental Licensing and Auditing Management System (SGLA) and a new standard form to support evaluation of Environmental Impact Studies. WCS was the technical partner for this work.
The event was attended by more than 230 people (around 70 in person and more than 160 virtually), with His Hon. Fernando de Sousa, Vice-Minister of Land and Environment chairing the event, and several other honourable guests as Afonso Madope, Country Director of WCS Mozambique, Eng. Guilhermina Amurane (Director of the National Directorate of Environment - DINAB), Celmira Silva (Director of the National Administration of Conservation Areas - ANAC), Dr. Carlos Lopes, ANAC Law Enforcement Director, Director of USAID in Mozambique, First Councillor of the French Embassy, project representatives and partners.
In his speech, the Vice-Minister highlighted that with the official launch of the products of the CONNECT Project, including the new Mozambique Biodiversity Information System (SIBMOZ) (https://sibmoz.gov.mz/), of which WCS was the technical partner, Mozambique becomes one of the first countries at global level that, starting from the Biodiversity Strategy, challenged itself to develop tools to be used by the Environmental Impact Assessment process, avoiding the “net loss of biodiversity”, designing the new biodiversity offsets ministerial diploma and the standard check-list for all categories of development projects.
The Deputy Minister also highlighted that in this second phase of the COMBO+ program the focus is on continuing to support the strengthening of the sector's institutions and on the adequate application of the mitigation hierarchy, namely in the use of the tools presented at the event and in the additional ones that the Program will develop during the second phase.
It is worth pointing out that, given the success of the first phase, the project donors (AFD and FFEM) decided to fund a second phase of the COMBO program, now called COMBO+, which started in July 2021 and will run until 2025, following an approach that aims to continue the previous work, ensuring the support to National Directorate of Environment (DINAB) in the adequate application of the mitigation hierarchy in the country and the operationalisation of the new ministerial diploma on biodiversity offsets.
For this purpose, intensive training will be given to the institution and a technical advisor, and an intern will be provided to the newly established Biodiversity Offset Assessment and Monitoring Division.
For more information on the two programmes click on the links below: