With unemployment rising in the southeastern African country due to COVID-19, some locals have turned to digging for gold in the rivers of Chimanimani National Park. Organic farming offers an alternative.
More and more people in Mozambique are attracted to the Chimanimani National Park. However it isn't the natural beauty of the area that draws them. They visit hoping to find gold in the parks' rivers.
The coronavirus pandemic has led to significant unemployment in the country. As the price of gold has increased, finding the precious metal among the vast forests has become more appealing. But digging is destroying parts of the woodlands and polluting the water.
Rather than simply sealing off the area, the local government is trying to cooperate with the miners. Provided they comply with regulations and form cooperatives, they will be allowed to continue mining in certain areas outside the park.
However, the park administration is not convinced by this approach. Instead, it is trying to create eco-friendly alternative sources of income for the population such as jobs in organic farming, livestock breeding and beekeeping. By offering training as part of this plan, they hope to provide new opportunities and reduce rural poverty.
Project Objective: The Mozambique Conservation Areas for Biodiversity and Development (MozBio) project aims to strengthen the administrations of the national parks in Mozambique and improve conditions for those who live next to the conservation area.
Budget: MozBio II is the continuation of its predecessor MozBio I. Both programs are funded with $45 million (€37 million). The money will be used in projects in Chimanimani National Park and 17 other conservation regions in Mozambique.
Project duration: 2014 - 2024 (MozBio I & II).
A film by Stefan Arno Möhl