Blue Ventures is launching new support partnerships with the Endangered Wildlife Trust and Peace Parks Foundation as they work to incorporate community health elements into their marine conservation initiatives in Mozambique.
In a country where almost a third of women report unmet family planning needs and where isolated coastal communities are among the most under-served populations, we are delighted to be enabling two new marine conservation partners to learn from our experiences of integrated Population-Health-Environment (PHE) programming.
Coastal communities in Mozambique face many challenges similar to those with whom we work in Madagascar, presenting a valuable opportunity to apply and adapt our models for addressing their unmet health needs and boosting their engagement in marine conservation; allowing couples to choose freely the number and spacing of their births, while empowering women to play a more active role in fisheries management.
New support partnerships with the Endangered Wildlife Trust and Peace Parks Foundation were launched recently through a learning exchange visit to one of our field sites on Madagascar’s west coast, where staff from Mozambique spent several days immersed in our holistic community-based work and tailored interactive training sessions covering a variety of technical PHE topics.
Over the coming months and years, we will be accompanying them in their journeys to integrate community health services into their coastal resource management initiatives by developing cross-sector collaborations with Mozambique’s Ministry of Health and associated health NGOs.
These new integrated PHE programmes are set to reach more than 20,000 people across the Ponta do Ouro Partial Marine Reserve where Peace Parks Foundation works and the Bazaruto Archipelago where the Endangered Wildlife Trust works. We are also sharing our experiences of community-based aquaculture with the Endangered Wildlife Trust as they seek to pilot seaweed farming as an alternative coastal livelihood activity in the Bazaruto Archipelago.
It is hoped that these new initiatives will inspire further interdisciplinary work among conservation and health organisations in Mozambique by demonstrating the powerful benefits of this PHE approach for people, their health and the environment.
A personal account of the Madagascar learning exchange visit by our Mozambique PHE Support Officer can be found on our blog: New beginnings across the Mozambique channel.
Our partnership with the Endangered Wildlife Trust falls under the Dugong and Seagrass Conservation Project (Enhancing the Conservation Effectiveness of Seagrass Ecosystems Supporting Globally Significant Populations of Dugongs Across the Indian and Pacific Ocean Basins). This project is executed by the Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund, with financing from the GEF, implementation support by UNEP and technical support from the CMS Dugong MoU Secretariat.
Our partnership with Peace Parks Foundation is initially being funded by the COmON Foundation through their Community Development Facility, which complements a programme to develop and implement sustainable fishing methods and alternative livelihood opportunities for communities living adjacent to the Ponta do Ouro Partial Marine Reserve supported by Fondation Ensemble.