The province of Cabo Delgado, where the Quirimbas region is located, faces many challenges related to the use of natural resources. Farmers' fields are being damaged by elephants, while local fishermen face competition in a context where fish resources are declining.
Faced with these challenges, the 55,000 inhabitants of the region have mobilized to develop a protection development framework that resulted in the Quirimbas region being declared a national park in 2002. The program for setting up and developing the park is financially supported by AFD and the French Global Environment Facility (FFEM).
As a pilot operation in Mozambique, this program aims to reconcile the protection of biodiversity with economic development. The Quirimbas Park covers an area of 7,500 square kilometers, 20% of which comprises a large section of coastal mainland and islets and a dozen or so islands in the Quirimbas Archipelago. It is home to a great biodiversity: endemic plants, a remarkable terrestrial fauna (elephants, leopards, lions) and a rich marine ecosystem (leatherback turtles, corals, dugongs, dolphins, sharks and birds).
AFD mainly finances the infrastructure and equipment of the park (construction of buildings, purchase of vehicles, etc.), as well as the establishment of tourism infrastructure.
Over the past 10 years, the park has seen an increase in the number of species present, while the economic situation of its inhabitants has improved, partly thanks to tourism. Fisheries co-management activities (carried out in consultation with local fishermen) of marine protected areas have resulted in increased catch. Artisanal techniques for protecting fields against elephants are also successful. Finally, the Quirimbas National Park and the national team responsible for its management have gained legitimacy and visibility.
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