High Commission of the Republic of Mozambique

Mozambique to restore 185,000 hectares of mangrove forests

Maputo, 9 Feb (AIM) – The Mozambican government and its partners plan to restore 185,000 hectares of mangrove forest in the central provinces of Sofala and Zambezia as part of the sustainable management of eco-systems.

This was formalised on 7 February in Maputo when the Ministry of the Sea, Inland Waters and Fisheries (MIMAIP) and Blue Forest, a Dubai based non-profit organisation set up to create sustainable environmental solutions, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to boost mangrove restoration.

The MoU was signed by the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Xavier Munjovo, and Blue Forest chief executive, Vahid Fotuhi. Under the agreement, between 50 and 100 million trees will be planted as part of this long-term partnership. This project will offset approximately 200,000 tons of CO2 emissions annually, equivalent to taking 50,000 cars off the road.

Quoted in a press release from Blue Forest, Munjovo pointed out that “Mozambique has over 300,000 hectares of mangroves along its coast, which is one of the largest tracts of mangrove forest in Africa. We are delighted to partner with Blue Forest and to introduce innovative technology in the way we map and restore our vital mangrove forests for generations to come.”

Fotuhi added that “Mozambique is hugely strategic country when it comes to mangrove forests. We are thrilled to partner with MIMAIP and to work in coordination with all the public and private national and provincial institutions, as well as the local communities in Sofala and Zambezia on this historic project. Tens of thousands of people and endless marine life will benefit from this project”.

According to Blue Forest, high resolution satellite imagery, LiDAR technology and remote sensing data will be used to identify hot spots where the need for restoration is highest. Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithms will then be “used to decipher the satellite data and field measurement to customise the reforestation activities in an accurate, efficient, and transparent manner”.

The project will be financed through carbon credits that will be generated through the reforestation and conservation activities over the thirty year period of the partnership. The proceeds will be shared between the local and national stakeholders as per the guidelines set by the National Fund for Sustainable Development.

According to estimates, about two thirds of the Mozambican population lives along the coast and depend on mangroves for building material and domestic fuel (charcoal and firewood).