Preserving the Environment

Preserving the Environment

Pemba Bay Conservancy
During the first phase of the project, a joint team of experts from the US Fish & Wildlife Service, the US National Park Service and Eduardo Mondlane University conducted a rapid assessment of the Pemba Bay in the Cabo Delgado province which identified anthropogenic threats to the Bay and gaps in scientific research. As part of the exercise the potential and need for multiple uses of the Bay, including fisheries, tourism and recreational uses, was assessed and recommendations were developed on an integrated, multi-stakeholder, cooperative, and community driven approach to the management of the Bay.

As a result of the findings, focus has been placed on establishing COGEP (Conselho Local de Gestão de Recursos da Baía de Pemba), which will provide participatory management among the major stakeholders that will play a role in monitoring and preserving the bay. In the upcoming years, COGEP plans to establish “Pemba Bay Guards” to identify threats and educate users of the bay about conservation and sustainable management practices. In addition, focus will be placed on leveraging and creating micro-finance opportunities to support new eco-tourism businesses and retraining of fishermen.

Niassa Wildlife Reserve
In the Niassa province the project, in partnership with the World Wildlife Fund, has created a 100,000 hectare Marine Reserve on Lake Niassa and its shoreline to protect its unique fresh water ecosystem including freshwater corals, fish species (more than 90% known to occur only in this Lake) as well as the fishing industry, which is the mainstay of the local economy.

A major threat to Lake Niassa is illegal migrant fishermen from Malawi coming to fish in Mozambique as an alternative to their own exhausted fisheries. The lake ecosystem is also threatened by sedimentation from nonsustainable agriculture, as well as timber and firewood harvesting on the catchment slopes. The creation of the Reserve will preserve and protect the flora and fauna of the area and provide employment opportunities through increased tourism, which will reduce the need for harmful farming and fishing practices.

The project has heavily involved the local communities in the process of planning and creating the reserve. Project leaders visited twenty coastal villages as well as two communities outside the reserve to discuss the project and get input and ideas regarding its creation. The communities worked to identify 15 different sites that will be developed for community-based tourism projects. To support this effort and the creation of the Reserve, 24 community rangers were trained at the Gorongosa Wildlife College to help monitor the reserve and act as guides for tourists who come to the area. In addition, the communities worked together to provide legal enforcement for the Reserve through a joint community Naval patrol boat.

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