Mozambique has a wide range of ecological zones and ecosystems, from terrestrial to marine ecosystems, where flourish a rich biodiversity of high value and importance at local, regional and global levels. As part of the Eastern Africa Ecological Region, Mozambique hosts the second longest extension of mangroves in Africa and the only viable population of dugongs for the whole Indian Ocean. Also, the presence of iconic wildlife species such as elephants, buffalos, lions and antelopes in forestry ecosystems, associated with the interest they attract for tourism, makes biodiversity conservation one of the bases for community’s sustainable development in Mozambique.
About 26% of the Mozambican territory is under conservation, and the network of conservation areas consists of 7 national parks, 12 national reserves, and several game hunting areas and wildlife farms.
In Mozambique, the BIOFIN process was initiated in July 2018, under the institutional leadership of the Ministry of Land, Environment and Rural Development and the Ministry of Economy and Finance. Out of four key BIOFIN expected products, the Policy and Institutional Review (PIR) and the Biodiversity Expenditure Review (BER) have already generated valuable insights on the biodiversity policy and financing in Mozambique, with highly engaged feedback from the national stakeholders. The work on Finance Needs Assessment (FNA) and development of Biodiversity Finance Plan (BFP), is also under progress.
Prioritized Finance Solutions
So far this is the only prioritized finance solution for Mozambique, and this came about as a partnership opportunity to do joint work with two other entities, namely WCS/COMBO and BIOFUND. The work currently being conducted is aimed at developing a functional mechanism for biodiversity offsets in Mozambique, along with the development of relevant specific regulation, in partnership with the National Directorate of Environment.
The development of PIR was based on analytical review of relevant policy instruments and national development strategies, complemented by consultations with key stakeholders. The PIR results point out to five economic sectors as drivers of biodiversity change, namely agriculture, fisheries, mining, forestry and energy. However, during the validation workshop, stakeholders stressed the need to include other sectors as biodiversity drivers. Weak coordination among institutions, limited government financing for biodiversity, are some of the factors undermining biodiversity conservation in Mozambique, however, the Ministry of Land, Environment and Rural Development (MITADER) has a crucial role to play in coordinating biodiversity conservation efforts including finance. The PIR report is undergoing final review and update, and soon will be presented to BIOFIN steering committee for high level validation.
This was a comprehensive ground of work to identify, collect and analyze biodiversity expenditure data covering seven years, from 2010 to 2016, for public, NGOs and private entities in Mozambique. The process was conducted in collaboration of the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF), and the Ministry of Land, Environment and Rural Development (MITADER). A key conclusion of the review is that biodiversity related expenditure is largely financed by international organizations, with more than 80% of the share, especially in protected areas. Constant government institutional arrangements changes seem to jeopardize public biodiversity related expenditure, because of the discontinuity of biodiversity related programs. Preliminary results of BER have already presented in a workshop, but a high-level validation of the results is expected to take place at the same time as PIR.
As for the biodiversity finance needs assessment, the preparation work to allow the costing of the NBSAP has already been conducted. This included prioritization workshop to define priority actions and the scope of costing, consultation meetings to identify implementable actions by various sectors. The development of Initial tables of costing is the subsequent activity to be carried out, which will take the FNA at approximately 50% of execution.
This is the component that is about to begin since it depends on the other three to provide an overview of the biodiversity finance landscape in Mozambique, to allow a roots grounded vision of biodiversity finance plan development. However, the methodology of developing the BFP has already been discussed with stakeholders in different forums, and it will soon move to execution.