Published at 01/06/2017

5ª Assembleia Geral da BIOFUND e evento temático sobre Hotspot de Biodiversidade Maputaland-Pondoland-Albany

In the next 2 years, the Foundation for the Conservation of Biodiversity (BIOFUND) will spend almost 4 million USD in financing the National System of Conservation Areas. This was one of the main decisions of the 5th General Assembly of BIOFUND, held in Maputo on 24 May 2017. In addition to members of the institution, there took part in this General Assembly observers and guests including representatives of the diplomatic corps and cooperation partners.

The activity reports and accounts of 2016 were presented and approved, as were the plan of activities and budget of the Foundation for 2017. Those present congratulated the Executive Commission for the gains and the rapid and efficient development of BIOFUND as well as recalling the challenges that this growth entails.

Proposals were also presented for the admission of new members to the Board of Directors, the Supervisory Board and the General Assembly of BIOFUND which were accepted unanimously; at the same time Bruno Nhancale and Natasha Ribeiro left the Board of Directors for personal reasons and the replacement as representative of KfW was announced of Thomas Wollenzien by Ralph Kadel, both on the Board of Directors and in the General Assembly.

Among the new members are individuals and institutions with skills and experience in the area of conservation of biodiversity widely recognised nationally and internationally, namely Prof Dr Jorge Ferrão and Prof Dr Narciso Matos (Board of Directors), Centro Terra Viva (CTV) and Mozambican Association of Safari Operators (AMOS) (Supervisory Board), and Dr. Cornélio Ntumi, Sean Nazerali, Dr. Adriano Macia, Dr. Salomão Bandeira, Dr. Valério Macandza, the Community Development Foundation (FDC), the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), and the Joaquim Chissano Foundation (General Assembly). For more details about the members of the General Assembly click here.

As is now the BIOFUND tradition, this assembly had, as a complementary event, a moment of interaction and debate, this time on the theme of the Maputaland- Pondoland- Albany Biodiversity Hotspot, our responsibility – chaired by Prof Dr Jorge Ferrão, Vice-Chancellor of the Pedagogic University. This hotspot is an important component of our natural heritage, which extends across parts of South Africa, Swaziland and Mozambique. The event included a multi-media exhibition on the Maputo Special Reserve, resulting from an expedition undertaken by a multidisciplinary team.

Among the various interventions during this session, there stood out the presentations made by Dr. Bruno Nhancale on the main habitats and characteristics of Maputaland-Pondoland-Albany; by Dr. Marcos Pereira on the marine fauna, flora and habitats; and by Dr. Hermenegildo Matimele on the terrestrial fauna, flora and habitats, stressing the rare and endemic species of plants.

There also stood out the presentation by Andrew Zaloumis, Executive Director of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, in South Africa, who spoke about the criteria and challenges in creating the first area in southern Africa to be declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO.

The debate counted on participation from the public (consisting of members of the conservation community, specialists and academics in various areas related with biodiversity, as well as young university students, representatives of governmental and non-governmental organisations, and the diplomatic community) in an exchange of impressions about the importance of this great heritage and also about the threats hanging over it. For more information on the debate visit the page of the event here.

The Chairperson of the Board of Directors of BIOFUND, Abdul Magid Osman, in response to the concerns raised at the colloquium and during its preparation proposed that the conservation community should make its voice heard on the need for coherence in government policy and say no to the Ponta Dobela port project.