Coupling food security and sustainable tourism development in Mozambique


Mozambique’s seascape is characterized by a diversity of ecosystems including mangrove forests, coral reefs, seagrass, beaches, estuaries and the open sea. Two thirds of the Mozambican population live along the coast and depend primarily on marine activities and resources, such as fisheries and tourism. Their livelihoods are at risk due to threats to the integrity of the marine ecosystems, including marine pollution from different sources, over fishing, sea grass overgrowth, mangrove destruction, erosion, and climate change. In addition to traditional maritime sectors (e.g. tourism, fisheries, ports & shipping), in recent years exploitation of vast reserves of hydrocarbon, coal, gas and other minerals has increased.

The first signs of conflicts of interest and spatial issues in the area have already appeared between neighboring fishing communities (artisanal vs. industrial), and between local communities and coastal tourism operators. There are also concerns and conflicts linked to the prospects for oil and gas development.

Ocean multi-use is a promising concept for de-escalating these emerging conflicts and supporting Mozambique’s sustainable socio-economic development by optimally using its vast coastal and maritime resources in balance with marine ecosystem preservation. This case study is designed to introduce and expand upon the application of ocean multi-use, in particular through the ongoing marine planning process for Mozambique’s waters.

Major challenges that may be addressed in this project include:

How can multi-use support employment and mitigate population declines in coastal communities, peripheral regions and islands?

How can socio-economic benefits from sustainable exploitation of coastal and maritime resources be equally distributed?

How can the delivery of critical ecosystem services be preserved through multi-use combinations?

Use combination scenarios for Mozambique study

Scenario 1

Fishing, tourism & conservation

The expansion of the tourism sector and associated infrastructure creates challenges for small-scale fisheries, which are already in decline due decreasing stocks. Pescatourism, as a multi-use combination of fishing and tourism, may help address some of the ongoing conflicts. Specifically, tourism provides income diversification opportunities for fishers by engaging tourists in light fishing and other traditional fishing techniques including:

  • Boat excursions, watching and participating in fishing activities;
  • Learning about fishing methods, observation of professional fishing techniques;
  • On board meal preparation; and
  • Interpretation of the coastal and marine environment and its biodiversity

With regards to conservation, integrating pescatourism with marine protected area initiatives may provide resolution to conflicts and questions regarding provision and exploitation of ecosystem services that small-scale fishers rely upon.

Scenario development will draw from information collected during the Strategical Environmental Assessment (SEA) (2011 - 2013) for the coastal zone of Mozambique. This exercise resulted in the identification of development scenarios and a compatibility matrix on maritime uses, as well as a robust database compiling usages data for all coastal districts and martime area (up to 12nm). Following an analysis of this information pertaining to small-scale fishing, tourism & conservation, an optimized pescatourism scenario for several areas will be developed. These inlcude primarely Bazaruto and Palma, but also Moma or Pebane district ( where heavy sands dune mining and industrial artisanal fisheries are present).

Scenario 2

Re-purposing/re-use of decommissioned oil & gas installations

Since 2000, Mozambique is experiencing an oil & gas boom regarding seismic prospecting and gas exploitation in the offshore areas of Rovuma, Zambezi, Angoche and Inhambane. As oil & gas infrastructure ages, new solutions are sought to mitigate high costs associated with the decommissioning process, including re-purposing & re-use potential. Experiences from other offshore oil & gas exploitation areas shows that platform decks, jackets and pipelines can potentially be re-used according to their original design, or the structures and wells can be repurposed for alternative uses. Such new uses can span from artificial reefs (‘rigs to reefs’) to supporting LNG docking stations, aquaculture installations or renewable energy devices.

To inform increasing activity on oil & gas installations, many of which are entering the design stage, this scenario will ultimately provide recommendations on how to consider the full life cycle of a platform with regards to re-use / re-purposing solutions. Links will be established with the project MAGTAP (Mining and Gas Technical Assistance Project 2013-2021) which aims to strengthen the capacity and governance systems of key institutions to manage the mining and hydrocarbon sectors in Mozambique. The recommendations generated in the scenario are expected to feed into the work of relevant government agencies who are engaged with the oil & gas sector.

How will this information be used?

Multi-use is a very new concept in Mozambique, and outreach and dissemination as well as engagement with other initiatives will be crucial to raise awareness about potential multi-use opportunities as input to relevant ongoing planning and strategy processes. The MULTI-FRAME partner leading this case, Natural History Museum of Eduardo Mondlane University, will establish close contact with the ongoing national marine spatial planning (MSP) process to ensure that case study results are timely, relevant and provide suitable solutions and information. The scenarios above, as well as the lessons learned from the paired cases (France & Norway), are expected to support the Ministry of the Sea, Inland Waters and Fisheries (MIMAIP), responsible for overseeing the national MSP process. The results are also expected to provide new outlooks and encourage the promotion and uptake of the multi-use concept by the ProAzul Blue Economy Action Plan and associated initiatives.

In addition to these government led initiatives, scenarios will also be shared with the following initiatives:

Supporting stakeholders

Lead & contact

Natural History Museum of Eduardo Mondlane University

  • Almeida Tomás Guissamulo

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