The European Union Delegation to Mozambique and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) signed a 4.4 million euros project, with the EU financing 83 percent of the amount, aiming at disrupting illicit supply chains of wildlife in Niassa Special Reserve, the largest conservation area in Mozambique.
The signing took place in the city of Lichinga, Niassa province, on the 19th November, at the margins of EU – Government of Mozambique Political Dialogue meeting from the 17th to 20th November, and biodiversity conservation and challenges posed by climate change were part of the agenda.
EU support will make it possible to reduce community-based threats to wildlife and other natural resources, support the community’s livelihood and reinforce its involvement in the management and development of the Reserve. Also, the implementation of the project will enhance conservation of elephants, lions, leopards, African wild dogs, pangolin and of the Miombo woodlands, through coordinated actions against poaching and other illegal activities.
Additionally, the project will increase community support for conservation in the Niassa Reserve through livelihood improvements, development of a community conservation strategy, establishment of natural resource governance systems, strengthening of resource tenurial arrangements for local residents, increased protection of communities from human-wildlife conflict, and the continuation or development of livelihood support programs. These are among EU priorities on promoting biodiversity and conservation.
The Goodwill Ambassador against Poaching and Wildlife trafficking, the Niassa musician King Sweet, attended the signing ceremony and sang a song warning that “poaching kills us all” and calling for wildlife preservation.
Many species in the Niassa Special Reserve (NSR) face significant threats from poaching, particularly elephants, lions and leopards, pangolins and other wildlife, and illegal logging of timber products for local and international trade. Furthermore, wildlife trafficking undermines improvements in local livelihoods, destabilises communities, deters investment in tourism and social sectors, promotes the spread of zoonotic diseases, weakens the rule of law, exacerbates corruption, and funds violent armed groups and organised crime syndicates.
The WCS will implement this three-year project in partnership with Fauna & Flora International (FFI).