Mozambique launches an environment conservation foundation
“There need not be conflict between conservation and development,” Mozambique President Filipe Nyusi said here on June 10, at the launch of the new, multi-million dollar conservation foundation known as the Biofund.
The Head of State appealed for the correct use of natural resources the country is endowed with, without damaging the ecosystems. He called on all to be vigilant against illegal deforestation, logging, and poaching which he considered crimes that should be vehemently dealt with. “If we do not use our resources reasonably we are endangering our future”, the President said.
- According to the President, “conservation means using the resources well by managing them well as there is no contradiction between environmental conservation and economic growth”.
- The BioFund as “an innovative, national mechanism to attract diverse private and public partners and financing to biodiversity and conservation efforts”
According to the President, “conservation means using the resources well by managing them well as there is no contradiction between environmental conservation and economic growth”.
The Biofund, founded in 2011, will provide financial support to initiatives promoting the conservation of biodiversity in Mozambique, one of the most biodiverse countries in the world. UNDP, through the Global Environment Facility (GEF), has supported this fund from the beginning, providing over $1 million dollars in initial funding as well as key technical support throughout its foundation and initial work. This is implemented with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and other partners.
The Resident Coordinator of the United Nations in Mozambique and UNDP Resident Representative Ms. Jennifer Topping, intervening at the event, hailed the Government and its many partners on the country’s launch of the Biofund. She recognized the BioFund as “an innovative, national mechanism to attract diverse private and public partners and financing to biodiversity and conservation efforts”.
Further, Ms. Topping stressed that conservation is still a significant challenge for Mozambique but one that, when “used effectively, can bring significant economic opportunities”. To this regard, she added, the Biofund is “essential to operationalizing the objectives of creating the Green Economy, envisaged in the Government’s recently approved five-year plan.”
Indeed, this was echoed in the President’s address when he considered the Government’s five-year plan and the centrality of sustainable development and natural resource management within it. “The cause of conservation is a national one”, he said noting the need to produce urgent and visible results.
The well-attended launch ceremony brought together academics, politicians, representatives of international and national organizations, civil society leaders and members of the diplomatic community. This broad support was noted and welcomed by the Chairman of the Board of Foundation, Mr. Magid Osman who thanked all the partners in conservation in his speech.
Other speakers at the high-level event included the Rector of the public Eduardo Mondlane University, the private Apolitectnica University, the ambassadors of the United States of America and Germany and a Representative of the World Bank.
The speakers also noted the many challenges Mozambique currently faces in the area environmental conservation including ‘visible signs’ of over-exploitation, including extensive over-fishing and deforestation as well as dramatic decreases in the elephant population.
Addressing these and other environmental concerns is key for sustainable development and a significant component of the work the UNDP does in Mozambique, in strong partnership with the . The BioFund has been, and will continue to be a very important instrument in this work.