On Earth Day 2022, the US government reaffirms its support for conservation law enforcement and sustainable forest management in the Niassa Special Reserve (NSR), the largest protected area in Mozambique. Working in partnership with the National Administration of Conservation Areas (ANAC), the Wildlife Conservation Society, and private NSR concessionaires, these programs enhance the protection of forests, water, and wildlife while improving the economic development of the communities within the reserve.
Since 2015, the US government has committed $28 million in programs to support the Niassa Special Reserve. Various segments of the US government help build the capacity of NSR personnel to support natural resource management and combat wildlife and timber crime. These agencies include the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the United States Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL), and the United States Forest Service (USFS) )). These programs and partnerships with Mozambican government agencies have yielded excellent results:
Just one elephant has been poached for ivory since 2018, a significant decrease from the thousands poached in the previous 20 years. Mozambique is developing a timber identification manual that will help rangers, law enforcement officials, prosecutors and judges counter timber trafficking and better enforce conservation laws. The Government of Mozambique has tried 22 suspects in court, and 16 of them have been found guilty and sentenced to prison terms ranging from 1 to 16 years in Niassa and Cabo Delgado provinces.
“The US government’s support for the Niassa Special Reserve preserves an essential protected area and its large elephant populations, and our support helps increase household income and agricultural production in surrounding communities,” he said. the US ambassador to Mozambique, Peter H. Vrooman. “This work also helps Mozambique stop international criminal networks that fuel corruption and rob communities of their natural capital.” Larger than the country of Switzerland, the NSR is recognized as the most important protected area in Mozambique, crucial for the global conservation of wildlife, especially the African lion, wild dog and elephant.
Protecting wildlife, improving natural resource management, and promoting community participation in conservation efforts in and around protected areas are critical components of broader US government assistance. USA in Mozambique. Working closely with the Government of Mozambique, the US Government provides more than $500 million in annual assistance to help Mozambicans build a healthier, more democratic, safer, and more prosperous country for all.
Additional information on US government support for the Niassa Special Reservation:
USAID recently renewed the USAID Environmental Security and Resilience in Northern Mozambique (USAID ECOSMART-2) program that works with NSR staff to improve administrative management and law enforcement, increase wildlife monitoring, and develop conservation initiatives. community in the reserve. Implemented by the Wildlife Conservation Society, this new five-year, $10 million program will also promote better coordination and data sharing between the reserve and private NSR licensees. INL supports the Wildlife Conservation Society to reduce the risk of poaching and illegal trafficking of endangered wildlife in the NSR, through a multi-pronged approach focused on increased police, judicial and prosecutorial capacity, better cross-border fight against wildlife trafficking, cooperation with Tanzania, and aerial surveillance. USAID and USFS also partner with ANAC, the Mozambican Supreme Court, and the Mozambican Attorney General’s Office to increase law enforcement and legal sector capacity to counter wildlife and timber trafficking. To better detect and analyze the increase in wildfires, USAID and the USFS partnered with the ANAC of Mozambique and the Society for the Conservation of Wildlife to create fire management plans. The team is using near real-time data from multiple satellite sources to monitor fires and collect the information needed to analyze their pattern. More than 26,000 people have directly benefited from sustainable natural resource management and/or biodiversity conservation funded by the US government in the Niassa Special Reserve. Through activities such as honey production, livestock and poultry management, and seed distribution, neighboring communities have increased their income and improved agricultural production.