Mozambique Reforestation Project
With over 45% of Mozambique's population living beneath the poverty line, communities rely heavily on natural resources and forests.
In response to the large-scale loss of mangroves in Mozambique, the Maputo Bay Reforestation Initiative has been initiated with a vision.
Namely, to bring back the vitality of the forests fringing the rivers and coastline of Maputo Bay in southern Mozambique.
The Mozambique Reforestation Project supports local communities to plant and manage mangrove forests. Moreover it offers long-term employment and livelihood improvements to locals, and protects the critical biodiversity that relies on mangrove forests to survive.
This program began in October 2018 with the Katembe and Madjuva planting sites near Maputo. Since then, operations have grown to include several new mangrove sites and seven terrestrial sites, as well as expansion into the central region of the country in Beira.
The initiative in Mozambique helps protect coastal communities from environmental disasters, improve fisheries, remove carbon from the atmosphere. At the same time, it aims to increase biodiversity while also addressing the urgent need for poverty alleviation and women’s empowerment.
Djabissa Planting Site
Nhanvengo Planting Site
Coordinates: 26°9’46.71”S, 32°24’5.36”E Site Description
The Djabissa mangrove reforestation site is located south of Mozambique’s capital city, Maputo, along a large channel that leads to Maputo Bay. Before the project started, deforestation and forest degradation from charcoal production and wood collection severely impacted the mangrove forests found in this area. This initiative includes the local community to reforest this massive mangrove estuary by employing local people to actively plant native mangrove. These species are Avicennia marina, Rhizophora mucronata, Ceriops tagal, and Bruguiera gymnorrhiza to restore the estuary.
Coordinates: 19°24’18.55”S, 34°44’55.45”E Site Description
The Nhanvengo site is situated in the Dondo District of Sofala in central Mozambique. The climate in this district is transitional from tropical rainforest to hot steppe. During the Mozambican Civil War between 1977-1990, most of the country experienced passive conservation. This is because rural areas were difficult to access and many were forced to flee the country. Afterward, the deforestation rate increased along with development when the war ended. Industries took off, including the forestry sector, on both a large scale (logging) and small scale (fuelwood collection, charcoal production).
In addition to political and economic pressures, the district is also subject to cyclones. These storms bring heavy rains, flooding, soil erosion, and remove forest canopy. This begins a vicious cycle-storms worsen deforestation, and deforested areas suffer more flooding, soil erosion, and deforestation during storms. These cyclones also have disastrous effects on local agriculture which reduces food security and income. This initiative specifically intervenes in the cycle of environmental damage by supporting local communities to reforest the area through dignified employment.