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Mozambique - Main Details

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Status and Trends of Biodiversity

Overview

Located in the southeastern seaboard of Africa, Mozambique possesses sites of high importance in regard to biodiversity such as the Gorongosa Mountains, the Great Inselberg Archipelago of Quirimbas in Northern Mozambique, and the Chimanimani Massif. According to national estimates, Mozambique is home to around 5,500 plants, 581 birds, and 205 mammals. Most of the important traditional and modern medicines are derived from wild plants, animals, fungi and bacteria. Medicinal plants are used by an estimated 80% of the population and the importance of the role of traditional healers is increasingly recognized.

Number and Extent of Protected Areas

Mozambique has extended the surface of protected areas from about 11% to about 15% of its national territory. New conservation areas have been established such as Quirimbas National Park for marine and coastal ecosystems and Limpopo Transfrontier National Park. Several areas have been designated as being under special protection including, Marromeu Complex, Maputoland Centre of Endemism, Mountains Chimanimani and Namuli.

Percentage of Forest Cover

According to the satellite images of the 1994 National Inventory on Forest, about 62 million hectares (78% of National territory) of different forest and density types were registered. But, from this number, only about 19 million hectares are eligible for timber production and commercial volume is estimated at 22 cubic meters. Nevertheless forest degradation was estimated at 4.27%. However, due to the growing national population and a lack of survival means, forestry activities have increased pressure on forestlands and at present, the rate may be much higher. There are also increased pressures from uncontrolled logging and bush fires. Poverty still remains the major cause of natural resource degradation, in particular biodiversity.

National Biodiversity Strategy Action Plan

Major features of National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan

The NBSAP focuses on seven major areas: conservation of biodiversity; sustainable use of biological resources; impact assessment; scientific knowledge and capacity; public awareness and education; international relations; and implementation. More specific activities relate to, among others: habitat protection; ex-situ and in-situ conservation; agriculture; forestry; fisheries; tourism; local communities and traditional knowledge; sectoral and cross-sectoral integration; and alien species.
 

Implementation of the Convention

Measures Taken to Achieve the 2010 Target

Mozambique has developed a Strategy on Sustainable Development and the Program and Action Plan for Poverty Reduction Phase II (PARPA II), with the goals too not only reduce poverty by 2015, but also to conserve biodiversity resources in general. The country has increased the number of protected areas, mostly in marine and coastal ecosystems, with the involvement of the private sector and community management projects. Several new laws have been created that will allow the public to implement and respect the approved instruments and to implement the programs of work. In this regard, the country has approved policies which request the natural resource concessionaries to pay 20% of their revenues to the communities where the natural resources are being used. There has been a raise in scientific and technical support and cooperation, in issues concerning biodiversity assessment. The main role of this cooperation is to determine the trends and changes in the current state of biodiversity and to assess the future state of these resources. The government has also taken steps to strengthen the role of the private sector and Non-Governmental Organizations in the implementation of the Convention by raising public awareness.

Initiatives in Protected Areas

Mozambique has extended the surface of protected areas from about 11% to about 15% of its national territory. New conservation areas have been established such as Quirimbas National Park for marine and coastal ecosystems and Limpopo Transfrontier National Park. Several areas have been designated as being under special protection including, Marromeu Complex, Maputoland Centre of Endemism, Mountains Chimanimani and Namuli. There is a need to update the indicators found under the National Strategy for Tourism, but a lack of resources has made it difficult to implement the suggested program of work.

Initiatives for Article 8(j)

Mozambique has made significant progress in implementing measures that will contribute not only to the fulfillment of the Convention, but also to encourage different stakeholders to apply the National Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP) and the Environmental Strategy on Sustainable Development. In terms of Article 8j, several community programs for natural resources management are being implemented. Under the new Land Act the communitiesā€™ rights over the land are protected, and a new policy on Traditional Medicines approved in 2004, protects and promotes the traditional knowledge of indigenous and local communities.

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  • United Nations
  • United Nations Environment Programme