15 Jun “A new era for Nature Based Tourism in Mozambique”
Angie Gullan, founder of WCA Responsible Whale Watching Partner Dolphin Encountours, attended the “International Conference on Nature-Based Tourism in Conservation Areas”. Here is her summary of the event…
I recently attended the International Conference for Nature Based Tourism hosted in Maputo, Mozambique. The event brought together leaders in the field of Nature Based Tourism and high level Ministers and Governmental representatives from around the globe. The three day event included two days of technical and strategy sessions with panels on creating and enabling an environment for NBT in protected area’s; levering effective partnerships within these areas together with establishing community partnerships and marketing and tourism development strategies. The last day was an investment forum on Mozambiques conservation area’s.
There are few places where you can swim with dolphins in the morning and view elephants, giraffe, zebra and more a couple of hours later.
Of particular interest to me was the signing of a partnership agreement between the Peace Parks Foundation and Mozambique to support the management and development of the Ponta do Ouro Partial Marine Reserve and the terrestrial Maputo Special Reserve (soon to amalgamate into one) – the worlds 36th richest biological eco-region encompassing both land and sea. There are few places where you can swim with dolphins in the morning and view elephants, giraffe, zebra and more a couple of hours later. The area includes wetlands, coastal lakes, mangroves, sandy and rocky shores and is home to the last remaining dugongs south of Inhaca Island and our local Dolphins of Ponta. During the winter and into spring the seas welcome humpback whales who migrate up and down the coastline between the months of July and November. This corridor, the home of resident dolphins and the nesting grounds of endangered leatherback and loggerhead turtles has been under threat of a deep water port construction in the pristine sanctuary area of Ponta Techobanine. The creation of this partnership at the highest level will make it extremely difficult for such a destructive development to take place within this sensitive eco-region. It’s a new era for conservation and nature based tourism in Mozambique!