Published at 20/08/2021

BIOFUND committed to building a new generation of conservation leaders

The new Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the Foundation for the Conservation of Biodiversity (BIOFUND), Narciso Matos, in early August accompanied the activities of the interns of the Mozambique Conservation Leadership Programme (PLCM) in Luwire, in the Niassa Special Reserve.

The BIOFUND Chairperson, accompanied by the Programme Director, Alexandra Jorge, had a meeting to accompany the activities of the two interns of the PLCM Internship Programme, Zabiro Malua and Dadzie Tarua, recently trained in Sociology and Development Engineering respectively, as part of the visit he recently made to the Niassa Special Reserve.

The interns have been placed within the programme to mitigate the conflict between humans and wildlife, in which they have supported the community management team of Luwire – Lugenda Wildlife Reserve, in the work of raising the awareness of communities about how to minimise the risks of human/wildlife conflict, warning of the need for people to avoid travelling alone, and to remain alert to the signs of the presence of wild animals and how to avoid direct confrontations.

During the conversation, the interns stressed the challenges and experience acquired during the internship. “It’s a challenge to live in a Conservation Area without access to the mobile phone network, and to have to remain always alert to wild animals. However, it is a great learning experience to work in this reality with different rules and methods of work. Despite the challenges, we are motivated!”, said one of the interns.

The supervisors of the activities, Ildo António Augusto and Laura Perry, stated that the great challenge has been communicating in English with the interns, as well as the great responsibility of working with young people, since they cannot be left alone to obtain the capacity to work independently. On the other hand, the youths bring a new dynamic to the team, which is very healthy and much appreciated.

The commitment of BIOFUND (through the MozBio2 project, financed by the World Bank) to training the conservation leaders of the future has been noteworthy, and in this second edition of the internship programme, the PLCM now has a total of 57 beneficiary interns who are developing various skills within institutions linked to the conservation of biodiversity and in the public and private Conservation Areas throughout the country.

This meeting took place as part of the visit to the Niassa Special Reserve, on the occasion of the celebrations of World Ranger Day, which also served to accompany the biodiversity conservation activities undertaken by Luwire – Lugenda Wildlife Reserve, a private Conservation Area, benefitting from BIOFUND in paying wages to the rangers, through the BIO-Emergency Fund,  in the context of the Covid-19 crisis.