African Parks, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) focused on biodiversity conservation, plans to spend US$8 million over the next five years to recover the Bazaruto Archipelago National Park in Inhambane province, southern Mozambique, the project’s coordinator said recently in Maputo.
Karen Allen said that the design of the restoration project is currently being finalised, which includes the construction of inspection posts, a workshop, a warehouse, rental of an office in the municipality of Vilanculos, recovery of the park’s headquarters on the island of Bazaruto and introducing improvements to the revenue collection system.
To improve surveillance, the organisation plans to acquire and install a digital communication system, means of transport (boats, motorcycles and vehicles), train tax officers and install an observation centre equipped with a modern fauna monitoring system, according to Mozambican news agency AIM.
The National Administration of Conservation Areas (ANAC), an entity under the Mozambican Ministry of Land, Environment and Rural Development, in December 2017 signed a contract with African Parks to manage the natural park.
ANAC intends the 25-year contract with African Parks, a South African-based NGO that manages more than a dozen natural parks in eight African countries, to promote tourist activities in the archipelago, thus helping to protect resident wildlife, which includes hundreds of species of birds, reptiles, terrestrial and aquatic mammals and 2,000 species of fish.
The Bazaruto Archipelago National Park has been a protected area since 1971, occupying an area of 1,430 square kilometres, which is being threatened by illegal fishing and unregulated tourism, “which is threatening the eco-system and its corresponding economic value,” according to African Parks. (macauhub)