Integrated Management of the Marine and Coastal Resources of the Northern Mozambique Channel | WWF

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Integrated Management of the Marine and Coastal Resources of the Northern Mozambique Channel

The Northern Mozambique Channel (NMC) comprises the marine and coastal area located between Northern Madagascar and Mozambique, Southern Tanzania, a small part of the Seychelles and the Comoros Archipelago in the center. However, the region’s ecosystems are in decline from the combined impacts of local use and global threats, including growing pressures from coastal infrastructure development, extractive industries (in particular, recently discovered natural gas and oil), population growth, and climate change.

The Northern Mozambique Channel (NMC) is one of the most important marine biodiversity centres on the planet. With more than 400 species of hard corals, it is second only to the Coral Triangle in marine biodiversity and has especially high levels of endemism. The region is also an important breeding and foraging area for flagship marine and migratory species, including tuna. It provides critical habitats for many marine species and resources, which are vulnerable to overexploitation and future climate change. The region is important for fisheries, with extensive artisanal and small-scale fisheries supporting people along its coastlines for income and food security. It is also thought that this region is a key oil and gas reserve.
In order to safeguard the ecosystems and the services they provide, joint actions between key stakeholders (Governments, local communities, private sectors and civil society organizations) in the NMC area are necessary. In response to such need, some actors working on marine resource management – notably the Nairobi Convention Secretariat, Coastal Oceans Research and Development in Indian Ocean (CORDIO) East Africa, and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) – crafted an idea that can attract the collaboration of the countries and main partners involved in resource use of the NMC area.
A long process of consultations took place among the NMC countries (Comoros, Madagascar, Mozambique, and Tanzania) between 2013 and 2015. It was decided that an initiative, called the Northern Mozambique Channel initiative (or NMCi) would be set up to operationalize the key objectives identified during the consultations. The objectives included (i) laying the foundation for an integrated management of marine resources as well as for Marine Spatial Planning; (ii) planning and adoption of environmental and social best practices in the oil & gas sector to reduce impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem services; and (iii) improving and sharing successful models and practices for resource management by local communities.
To reach the three objectives, several Nairobi Convention member states stepped up and came together to find ways to support the conservation and management of the Northern Mozambique Channel area. Their first action was to issue important decisions during their most important marine conservation gathering in the region (the Nairobi Convention Conference of Parties) through Decision CP8/6(b) and Decision CP9/7(b) on the Northern Mozambique Channel integrated ocean management approach.
France, a contracting party to the Nairobi Convention recently accepted to provide some financial resources to support the implementation of an ambitious project on the integrated management of the marine and coastal resources of the Northern Mozambique Channel. The Nairobi Convention Secretariat, CORDIO, WWF, the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), Blue Ventures (BV), the Fauna and Flora International (FFI), The Nature Conservancy (TNC), and Conservation International (CI) will implement the collaborative project. Key direct beneficiaries will be the governments and local communities of the NMC countries. Potential donors will also join the endeavor, including the Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies (MACP), the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) and the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad). Through this project, the precious resources provided by the NMC will be better protected and more sustainably managed.

Integrated Management of the Marine and Coastal Resources of the Northern Mozambique Channel (NMC).