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28 October 2022
In association with the Mozambique National Administration of Conservation Areas, Peace Parks Foundation is launching a new support partnership with Blue Ventures to incorporate community health elements into Ponta do Ouro Partial Marine Reserve’s conservation programme.
In 2008, Peace Parks Foundation started integrated development planning by consulting members of adjacent communities and traditional structures, along with government and private sector entities, in the development of the respective TFCAs. This process resulted in the implementation of a number of socio-economic development projects, such as conservation agriculture, small-business development, the provision of alternative energy sources and the establishment of wildlife conservancies.
A major challenge has been unmet family planning needs, which leads to higher than desired fertility rates, with the resultant pressure on natural resources, as well as the limited ability of women to contribute meaningfully to the economy.
Peace Parks Foundation is pleased to now learn from the Blue Ventures experiences of integrated Population-Health-Environment (PHE) programming. The Blue Ventures model will address the unmet health needs of the communities around the marine reserve and boost their engagement in marine conservation. It will allow couples to choose the number and spacing of their births, while empowering women to play a more active role in fisheries management.
The partnership was launched through a learning exchange visit to Madagascar’s west coast, where staff from Mozambique spent several days immersed in the holistic community-based work and tailored interactive training sessions covering a variety of technical PHE topics. A personal account of the Madagascar learning exchange visit by the Mozambique PHE support officer can be found on the Blue Ventures blog: New beginnings across the Mozambique channel.
Over the coming months and years, community health services will be integrated into the coastal resource management initiatives by developing cross-sector collaborations with Mozambique’s Ministry of Health and associated health NGOs. It is hoped that this will prove to be a successful pilot project that can be implemented in other transfrontier conservation areas across the region.
The partnership with Blue Ventures is initially being funded by the COmON Foundation through their Community Development Facility. It complements a programme, supported by Fondation Ensemble, to develop and implement sustainable fishing methods and alternative livelihood opportunities for communities living adjacent to the marine reserve.