The European Union recently signed a financing agreement with the Foundation for the Conservation of Biodiversity (BIOFUND) to strengthen the BIO-Emergency Fund, in order to increase the fund’s coverage. The Fund is intend to preserve the jobs of the rangers and other staff who are fundamental for supporting inspection in the Conservation Areas, to mitigate the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
European Union disburses 750,000 Euros to strengthen the BIO-Emergency Fund
This is financing of about 750,000 Euros (approximately 14 million meticais) which will be channelled to Conservation Areas under public and private management, including areas of community management. With this support, it will be possible to cover the full payment of wages for the rangers and essential support staff in the Conservation Areas, as well the payment of costs directly linked to inspection and patrolling activities, which were previously covered by revenue from tourism. This support also includes preventive material against Covid-19.
With the BIO-Emergency Fund, more than a thousand rangers, are still at their posts. Currently 26 Conservation Areas (ACs) are benefiting from this fund. !3 of these ACs are under private management, 11 are under public management, and two are community ACs, which are benefiting more than 600 families. More than 13,139,211 hectares of biodiversity have been protected since the creation of the Fund. This is 63% of the total protected area in the country. It is hoped that with this increase in the capital of the BIO-Emergency Fund, by December 2021 the wages of more than 600 rangers, including essential support staff in the ACs, will be guaranteed. This will make more than 20,000 patrols possible.
This emergency fund was launched in June 2020, initially designed for a period of one year. However, due to the evolution of the Covid-19 pandemic in the country, which is continuing to damage the tourism sector, the Board of Directors of BIOFUND approved extending the period of coverage of the fund by a further six months, up until December 2021. It has been possible to implement this, thanks to this boost to the budget. BIOFUND is also the manager of the PROMOVE Biodiversidade project, which has been financed by the European Union since 2019. This supports substantially the conservation of biodiversity in the Gilé National Park, in the First and Second Islands Environmental Protection Area, and on Mount Mabu.