Mozambique: Strengthen Coastal Resilience to Protect Communities

Maputo — The Mozambican Minister of the Sea, Inland Waters and Fisheries, Augusta Maita, said on Monday that cyclones Idai and Kenneth, which hit the country in 2019, raised the urgency of placing coastal resilience at the top of the marine governance agenda at every level, especially in coastal cities, towns and districts.

Addressing a session in Maputo of the project for Climate Resilience of Coastal Communities (CRCC), Maita said Mozambique has been regularly affected by extreme events, with their epicentre at sea but with a strong impact on coastal areas.

"The meeting we are holding to share experiences as well as common challenges to every coastal community is a government activity in the framework of the CRCC," Maita said.

She added that the government intends to gather recommendations on actions, especially under the institutional and legal framework to improve communities' resilience and adaptation to climate change.

The pilot phase of the CRCC project, which started in 2018 and ends in October, is supported by a grant of eight million US dollars from the Swedish government. Activities have been undertaken in the coastal districts of Inhassoro, Dondo and Memba, in Inhambane, Sofala and Nampula provinces.

The CRCC, Maita pointed out, is intended to implement an integrated approach for the coastal areas including activities such as the restoration and management of marine ecosystems, the identification of diversified community livelihoods and support for greater local involvement in decision making.

In Dondo, for instance, fishermen, integrated in associations, in charge of mangrove restoration received a fishing vessel and they were assisted in the creation of a greenhouse with a capacity for 60,000 seedlings.

In Inhassoro, alternative food production activities such as conservation agriculture, the opening of water wells, and the creation of greenhouses to grow eucalyptus species to fight coastal erosion are among the identified moves.

In Memba, the authorities have conducted studies on the octopus fishing, since there has been an increase in catches over the last few years.

Maita claimed that the CRCC has played a vital role in strengthening environmental citizenship, through the improvement of community based organisations such as fisheries councils and their action plans for community resilience.

The Swedish Ambassador, Mette Sunnergren, said the Stockholm government is preparing a new cooperation strategy with Mozambique for the next five years, which will include the environment, climate and sustainable management of natural resources.

Sweden, she added, will also make efforts to ensure that national and international climate adaptation strategies fight discrimination against women and girls and that action plans are tailored and implemented with their involvement.

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