Mozambique

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Mozambique country page

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Izele is supported by
Darwin Initiative Wildlands Hans Hoheisen Charitable Trust Critical Ecosystem Partnership fund

Help - About
Terms - Privacy

Izele is supported by
Darwin Initiative Wildlands Hans Hoheisen Charitable Trust Critical Ecosystem Partnership fund

Help - About
Terms - Privacy

#Introduction Mozambique is located in south-eastern Africa bordered by a coastline that stretches for about 2700 km along the Indian Ocean. The country shares its northern border with the United Republic of Tanzania, its southern border with South Africa, and its south-west border with the Kingdom of Eswatini. Parts of South Africa, Zimbabwe and Zambia share its western border. The country is home to over 31 million people and more than half of the Mozambican population live in rural areas. The official language in Mozambique is Portuguese. The climate in Mozambique varies from tropical to semi-arid with the southern part of the country being the coolest. #Ecosystems, species and threats Mozambique’s ecosystems can be divided into three broad groups: terrestrial, coastal/ marine and interior water systems. The coastal ecosystem in Mozambique is home to a large diversity of corals, the longest extension of mangroves in Africa and the only viable population of dugongs in the Indian Ocean. The terrestrial system contains many different vegetation types, although miombo woodland, mopane woodland and coastal forests and woodlands are the most widespread ecosystems. The biodiversity in Mozambique includes over 6,000 plant species and 4,200 faunal species, including 726 birds, 214 mammals, 171 reptiles and 85 amphibians, including both marine and terrestrial species. Mozambique is home to 9 globally threatened mammal species and 30 globally threatened bird species, as well as 2 endemic bird species. The national mammal is the African elephant. The country’s biodiversity has high levels of endemism, with many species found nowhere else. This is why Mozambique contains parts of the Coastal Forests of East Africa, Eastern Afromontane and Maputaland-Pondoland-Albany biodiversity hotspots. According to the National Strategy and Action Plan of Biological Diversity of Mozambique 2015–2035, the key threats to biodiversity are habitat loss and transformation, over-exploitation of species, pollution, invasive species and climate change. The main drivers of these impacts are from infrastructure, agriculture, mining, fisheries and the forest plantation sector. #Conservation areas According to Protected Planet (2021), 29.5% of Mozambique's terrestrial area and 2.2% of its marine area are under conservation. This conservation network includes 7 terrestrial national parks, namely Banhine, Bazaruto, Gorongosa, Limpopo, Mágoè, Quirimbas and Zinave, and national reserves that include Chimanimani, Gilé, Marromeu, Niassa, Pomene, Ponta do Ouro and Reserva Especial Do Maputo. Additionally, a number of hunting reserves, community conservation areas and forest reserves contribute towards conserving Mozambique’s biodiversity. The country also includes four Transfrontier Conservation Areas (TFCAs), consisting of Greater Limpopo TFCA (with South Africa and Zimbabwe), Lubombo TFCA (with Eswatini and South Africa), Niassa-Selous TFCA (with Tanzania) and Zimoza TFCA (with Zambia and Zimbabwe). #Conservation organisations and current conservation efforts In Mozambique, the management of conservation areas is overseen by the National Administration of Conservation Areas (ANAC). In addition to conservation area management, ANAC plays a vital role in supporting sustainable development through ecotourism. ANAC is part of the Ministry of Land, Environment and Rural Development (MITADER), which is also responsible for implementing the national Biodiversity Action Plan. Conservation efforts in Mozambique have seen a steady increase since 1992. Some of the key initiatives include the Gorongosa Restoration Project (Gorongosa Project, 2019), the 2018 Biodiversity Protection Project (UNDP, 2018) , MOZBIO and PROFIN projects implemented by ANAC as well as the Transfrontier Conservation Areas and Tourism Development Project. The TFCA projects seek to achieve biodiversity conservation objectives while ensuring sustainable socio-economic development and equitable use of natural resources in collaboration with its neighbouring nations. #Ecotourism Mozambique is one of the most attractive ecotourism destinations in Africa because of its pristine coastline, isolated islands, charismatic wildlife and cultural diversity. The most famous terrestrial ecotourism location is Gorongosa National Park, which is home to one of the most successful wildlife restoration projects in the world. For the marine realm, Mozambique is internationally famous for its many islands dotted amidst the waters of the Indian Ocean. They provide a spectrum of experiences, such as scuba diving and snorkelling, which can lead to close interactions with sea turtles, manta rays, dolphins and many species of tropical fish. Trips to the open ocean give the opportunity for tourists to see humpback whales, whale sharks and dugongs. Highlights include Ilha de Moçambique, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the Bazaruto Archipelago National Park and the Quirimbas Archipelago are also considered must-visit coastal destinations.

Introduction

Mozambique is located in south-eastern Africa bordered by a coastline that stretches for about 2700 km along the Indian Ocean. The country shares its northern border with the United Republic of Tanzania, its southern border with South Africa, and its south-west border with the Kingdom of Eswatini. Parts of South Africa, Zimbabwe and Zambia share its western border. The country is home to over 31 million people and more than half of the Mozambican population live in rural areas. The official language in Mozambique is Portuguese. The climate in Mozambique varies from tropical to semi-arid with the southern part of the country being the coolest.

Ecosystems, species and threats

Mozambique’s ecosystems can be divided into three broad groups: terrestrial, coastal/ marine and interior water systems. The coastal ecosystem in Mozambique is home to a large diversity of corals, the longest extension of mangroves in Africa and the only viable population of dugongs in the Indian Ocean. The terrestrial system contains many different vegetation types, although miombo woodland, mopane woodland and coastal forests and woodlands are the most widespread ecosystems. The biodiversity in Mozambique includes over 6,000 plant species and 4,200 faunal species, including 726 birds, 214 mammals, 171 reptiles and 85 amphibians, including both marine and terrestrial species. Mozambique is home to 9 globally threatened mammal species and 30 globally threatened bird species, as well as 2 endemic bird species. The national mammal is the African elephant.

The country’s biodiversity has high levels of endemism, with many species found nowhere else. This is why Mozambique contains parts of the Coastal Forests of East Africa, Eastern Afromontane and Maputaland-Pondoland-Albany biodiversity hotspots.

According to the National Strategy and Action Plan of Biological Diversity of Mozambique 2015–2035, the key threats to biodiversity are habitat loss and transformation, over-exploitation of species, pollution, invasive species and climate change. The main drivers of these impacts are from infrastructure, agriculture, mining, fisheries and the forest plantation sector.

Conservation areas

According to Protected Planet (2021), 29.5% of Mozambique's terrestrial area and 2.2% of its marine area are under conservation. This conservation network includes 7 terrestrial national parks, namely Banhine, Bazaruto, Gorongosa, Limpopo, Mágoè, Quirimbas and Zinave, and national reserves that include Chimanimani, Gilé, Marromeu, Niassa, Pomene, Ponta do Ouro and Reserva Especial Do Maputo. Additionally, a number of hunting reserves, community conservation areas and forest reserves contribute towards conserving Mozambique’s biodiversity.

The country also includes four Transfrontier Conservation Areas (TFCAs), consisting of Greater Limpopo TFCA (with South Africa and Zimbabwe), Lubombo TFCA (with Eswatini and South Africa), Niassa-Selous TFCA (with Tanzania) and Zimoza TFCA (with Zambia and Zimbabwe).

Conservation organisations and current conservation efforts

In Mozambique, the management of conservation areas is overseen by the National Administration of Conservation Areas (ANAC). In addition to conservation area management, ANAC plays a vital role in supporting sustainable development through ecotourism. ANAC is part of the Ministry of Land, Environment and Rural Development (MITADER), which is also responsible for implementing the national Biodiversity Action Plan.

Conservation efforts in Mozambique have seen a steady increase since 1992. Some of the key initiatives include the Gorongosa Restoration Project (Gorongosa Project, 2019), the 2018 Biodiversity Protection Project (UNDP, 2018) , MOZBIO and PROFIN projects implemented by ANAC as well as the Transfrontier Conservation Areas and Tourism Development Project. The TFCA projects seek to achieve biodiversity conservation objectives while ensuring sustainable socio-economic development and equitable use of natural resources in collaboration with its neighbouring nations.

Ecotourism

Mozambique is one of the most attractive ecotourism destinations in Africa because of its pristine coastline, isolated islands, charismatic wildlife and cultural diversity. The most famous terrestrial ecotourism location is Gorongosa National Park, which is home to one of the most successful wildlife restoration projects in the world. For the marine realm, Mozambique is internationally famous for its many islands dotted amidst the waters of the Indian Ocean. They provide a spectrum of experiences, such as scuba diving and snorkelling, which can lead to close interactions with sea turtles, manta rays, dolphins and many species of tropical fish. Trips to the open ocean give the opportunity for tourists to see humpback whales, whale sharks and dugongs. Highlights include Ilha de Moçambique, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the Bazaruto Archipelago National Park and the Quirimbas Archipelago are also considered must-visit coastal destinations.