Protection of the mangrove forest for healthy and prosperous communities through innovation, capacity building and sustainable technologies
Most Mozambicans still rely on biomass resources like wood for cooking and heating which, as a consequence, leads to the destruction of natural resources such as the mangrove forests. Mangroves are oxygen suppliers but also regulate the rise of sea levels, protect against natural disasters, contribute significantly to the reduction of greenhouse gases and are home to numerous plant and animal species (more than 95% of the food that can be extracted from the sea is produced in the mangroves).
The majority of the Mozambican mangrove forests are found in the province of Sofala and, due to deforestation, fire and overfishing, these mangroves have been decimated by 30% over the last years. This destruction leads to food security decrease, soil threatened by erosion and biodiversity extinction. Finally, a large number of traditional medical plants are also lost.
This project, implemented by Hilfswerk International, aims to promote a holistic and participatory management of the mangrove forest in the province of Sofala, thus contributing to healthy communities, food security and protection of the environment. The knowledge and capacities of the local population for the sustainable use of the natural resources, sustainable technologies and innovative small-scale projects for income generation will be strengthened.
Throughout this project, the mangrove forest’s biodiversity will be protected and preserved through participatory mangrove management and local population sensitization. Collective reforestation measures and promotion of healthy communities through training on nutrition and planting of nutritious plant species will be implemented.
To disseminate and revitalize the local know-how and encourage knowledge exchange meetings between the communities, a community center will be set up. Local river basin management committees will be established and strengthened as the protectors of the mangrove ecosystem. A district forum where local and regional stakeholders meet for protective measures and sustainable management of the zone and project coordination will be established. Campaign for awareness raising on reproductive and women’s health will be held.
To encourage income generating activities, innovative small-scale projects and fairs will be rolled out. Innovations include energy-saving ovens, promotion of environmentally friendly fishing nets, acquisition of beehives and machines for honey extraction, construction of small bridges to ensure accessibility of the mangrove forests and communities during high tides and flooding, and planting of vegetable gardens.
100 solar kits will be provided to the project communities and to 10 schools to improve the educational conditions. This will also enhance cooling capacity to conserve food and enable economic development and income-generating activities.