Maputo — The Mozambican National Institute of Fisheries Research (IIP) and the Eden Association for Reforestation signed on Monday a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), under which the two sides agreed to work together in a mangrove restoration drive along the Mozambican coastline.
The country has designed a national strategy for mangrove restoration which seeks to restore up to 5,000 hectares of mangrove forest by the year 2022. Under the existing partnership 777 hectares have been restored in Maputo, with 330 others to replant.
As result of the success in Maputo, the Eden Association, with wide-ranging experience in mangrove restoration, has been trusted with the responsibility to intervene in the southern province of Inhambane, and in the Bank of Sofala, as well as other areas envisaged under the association's plan.
The director of the IIP, Jorge Mafuca, said the aim is to work for the restoration of mangrove areas in the framework of the national strategy approved in 2020 by the Mozambican government.
"Under this partnership, the two sides will move on to the Bank of Sofala as one of the areas with critical cases of mangrove destruction, not only because of the frequent natural disasters that have hit the region, but also because of human action," Mafuca said.
Hermenegildo Cuamba, the Eden Association's managing director, said the signing of the MoU is a milestone for his organisation which also works on poverty alleviation in communities mostly dependent on fishing as their foremost source of income.
"We have 200 people working on mangrove reforestation along the Maputo city coastline and 100 others in Sofala," Cuamba said, adding that they earn 7,000 meticais (93 US dollars at the current exchange rate) a month and the challenge is to ensure that they do not cut down the mangroves.
The amount the families involved receive is not only meant to reduce their poverty but also to hold them accountable as they start advocating for the preservation of the areas within the communities where they work.