Balancing Mozambique’s natural beauty and natural resources.
Located on the southeast coast of Africa, the Republic of Mozambique is divided into two regions by the Zambezi River. The north features a narrow coastline, low plateaus, and rugged highlands and the south has broad lowlands. The savannah and dry woodland habitats near the border of South Africa's Kruger National Park are home to elephants, impala, duiker, springbok, kudu, and ostrich. Nearby, Banhine National Park is an important source of water in an overall arid area that is a sanctuary to wattled cranes and a wide variety of migratory birds as well as the killifish, a highly localized fish species of high ornamental value.
Filled with rich and extensive natural resources, Mozambique has enjoyed a growing economy based on agriculture, food and beverage processing, aluminum production, petroleum production, and chemical manufacturing. More than 75 percent of Mozambicans do small-scale farming. In 2012, large natural gas reserves were found, which could have a huge impact on the economy. Although its economy continues to grow, Mozambique remains one of the poorest countries in the world.
The return of peace brings the opportunity to safeguard a rich diversity of wildlife.
Mozambique’s government realizes actions speak louder than words and is undertaking large conservation efforts both on land and water. Mozambique is now committed to protecting areas like Quirimbas National Park, Bazaruto National Park, and Lake Niassa Reserve. In 2012, it also created the largest coastal/marine reserve in Africa with the Primeiras and Segundas Archipelago Environmental Protection Area, an archipelago chain of ten islands that feature some of Africa’s most flourishing marine life and coral reefs.
Meeting the Challenge
Our solutions to protecting Mozambique's unique biodiversity:
With its coastline and geographical location, Mozambique serves as a hotspot for wildlife trafficking — a serious threat to Mozambique's wildlife population. In partnership with the National Administration for Conservation Areas and the Peace Parks Foundation, AWF’s Canines for Conservation program has stationed wildlife detection dogs and handlers in Maputo with plans to expand into the country. The dog team deploys at strategic transit sites and major trafficking hubs throughout Mozambique to curb trafficking and thereby limit poaching of rhinos, elephants, and other iconic species. Detection canines are a proven tactic in deterring the ruthless and bloody wildlife trade.
AWF and the Mozambique Ministry of Tourism signed a historic agreement to solidify and formalize their longstanding partnership to restore the country’s once-abundant and flourishing wildlife by developing new tourism revenues for local communities.