Kew's Maputo workshop represents progress for protection of Mozambique's mountains and coastal forests
Kew has been invited to play a key role in shaping conservation policy in Mozambique.
Jonathan Timberlake, a botanist at Kew and Scientific Coordinator of our South-east Africa Montane Biodiversity project said: “The recent workshop in Maputo is very good news for the protection of the mountains of northern Mozambique , and other areas of high biodiversity value such as coastal forests.
“The Minister of Science and Technology, Venancio Massingue, has invited our Mozambican partner in the project, IIAM, to develop and lead a conservation strategy for these mountains and the country's coastal forests so that they receive greater recognition and protection.
“ Kew and IIAM have also been invited to participate in and influence discussions on conservation policy and structures in Mozambique at a national level – which is more than we ever hoped for or thought possible at the beginning of the project.
“We are thrilled that our work has highlighted that important and spectacular biodiversity can include plants, small animals and insects, as well as the more obvious larger animals.
“Our exploration of these mountains has also illustrated just why biodiversity survey work remains a very important conservation tool, and the positive impact of international cooperation among scientists. The role of botanists and zoologists at institutions such as herbaria and natural history museums is too often unrecognised, but is vital in informing conservation decisions and activities.
“In the future we hope to expand Kew's Millennium Seed Bank partnership to Mozambique.”