BIOFUND ensures that 11.9 million hectares of biodiversity are protected until June 2021 in the country’s Conservation Areas

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The Foundation for the Conservation of Biodiversity – BIOFUND, at the Second Extraordinary Meeting of its Board of Directors, held in September 2020, approved the extension for a further nine months of PHASE 1 of the BIO-Emergency Fund, thus guaranteeing additional subventions to support the Conservation Areas under public and private management, up until June 2021.

The BIO-Emergency Fund was set up in June of this year for an initial period of three months, with the aim of guaranteeing that the drastic decline of tourism in the country would not damage the protection of natural resources in the Conservation areas, particularly in those areas where tourist income finances their running costs. In the initial period, from July-September 2020, the programme benefitted 10 conservation areas. 287 rangers and other professionals of the sector remained in their jobs, 909 patrols were held per month, equivalent to 28,052 hours of work, and 1,897,300 hectares of biodiversity were protected.

The extension of this support envisages the payment of 100% of the wage costs of the Conservation Areas under private management in comparison to the current 50%. It will also support other running costs,as well as supporting communities living next to the Conservation Areas under public and private management. It also envisages support for new private sector operators.

As for the Conservation Areas managed by the public sector, BIOFUND will guarantee, up until June 2021, the wage costs of the Conservation Areas worst hit by the loss of tourist income, as well as support in means of transport, and materials to prevent Covid-19.

This support has only been possible thanks to the growth of the BIO-Emergency Fund which currently (3 months after it was established) contains US$ 4.3 million. Of this sum, US$ 3 million comes from BIOFUND, US$ 1 million from the Government of Sweden through the World Bank/MozBio2 and US$ 249.000 from USAID/SPEED+.