Enhancing human livelihoods and the conservation and restoration of Mozambique’s biodiversity
The purpose of this project, starting in 2011/12, is the conservation and sustainable use of wild plant resources for the benefit of local communities in three provinces of Mozambique.
Eighty percent of the population of Mozambique live in rural areas, maintaining subsistence livelihoods through small-holder agriculture. Reliance on wild plants plays a critical role in their survival and quality of life, increasing at times of need. With projected population growth, unless agricultural productivity increases significantly, or alternative sources of income are developed, more natural habitats will be converted to farm land and natural resources will be over exploited to the point of extinction.
This new MSBP project will pursue three key objectives:
- Increasing the skills and knowledge of local communities in seed collection, storage and propagation of priority useful plant species. This will include working with local people to identify species that are of most use and developing nursery techniques so these wild plant species can be cultivated for household use and will eventually bring in additional income through surplus sales.
- Training and development to increase the capacity of local scientific partners to collect, conserve and work with communities to supply seeds of priority plant species. Kew will work in partnership with IIAM and other selected partners to remove technical constraints through training and developing facilities.
- Safeguarding plant species through high quality seed collections of prioritised wild plant species, conserved locally and at the MSB.
The project will focus on three ecologically different areas in the South, Central and Northern zones. Training and advice will be provided to communities through IIAM’s regional tree seed centres in Marracuene, Madonge-Manica and Nampula.
South: Matutuine District. The coastal sand forests provide many non-timber products (food, medicine, edible mushroom, honey, bush meat, cooking utensils and other tools). High population density is threatening the fragile ecosystem. Medicinal and wood carving species are at particular risk of overharvesting for sale in nearby markets and there is a high level of extraction for firewood and charcoal production. The project will work with local NGOs and community organisations to cultivate useful species and relieve pressure on wild populations.
Central: Sussundenga District. The project is focused on four villages in the Mpunga Regulado (traditional area) of the Moribane Forest. The moist evergreen forest was generally well preserved but lack of livelihood opportunities has led to local conversion to banana plantations which now occupy extensive areas. The project will work with the MICAIA Foundation to implement a community learning/resource centre and seed bank and on community restoration projects.
North: Mecula District. Although one of the least disturbed areas of miombo woodland in southern Africa, the Niassa Reserve is threatened by fires, used by local communities for protection from wild animals, to clear agricultural land, to smoke fish and to obtain honey. The project will work with the Society for the Management and Development of the Niassa Reserve (SGDRN) to train community extension workers in seed collecting and handling, and reforest degraded areas.
Project Leader: Gold, Kate M.
Herbarium, Library, Art & Archives
Frances Crawford, David Goyder, Jonathan Timberlake
Project Partners and Collaborators
- National Institute of Agricultural Research (IIAM)
- MICAIA Foundation
- Local NGOs and/or CBOs
National Institute of Agricultural Research (IIAM)
proposals in preparation