Centro de Desenvolvimento Sustentável das Zonas Costeiras


Motta (2000). Implementation Of Global Programme Of Action For The Protection Of The Marine Environment From Land-Based Activities: The National Experience In Mozambique

(Paper presented during the Coastal Zone '99, held in San Diego, California July, 24-29, 1999)

Key Words: Coastal Zone Management Program, Stakeholder Participation, International Agreements, Non-point source pollution

Mozambique is situated on the eastern coast of Southern Africa, between 10*27' S and 26* 52' S latitude and 30* 12' E and 40* 51' E longitude. The Mozambican coastline, about 2,770 Km long, is the third longest in Africa and is characterized by a wide diversity of habitats including sandy beaches, sand dunes, coral reefs, estuarine systems, bays, mangroves and sea grass beds.

The current population of Mozambique is estimated at more than 16.5 million, and expected to grow at an annual rate of 3%. A significant percentage of this population, about 40%, lives in the coastal zone and their living depends on the resources available in this area. The major cities and industries of Mozambique are located in the coastal area and the economy of the country largely depends on marine and coastal resources. Sewage from the cities is generally not treated and it is discharged directly into the sea. In the ports there are no systems for oil spill response and tank cleaning. The Mozambique Channel is the route of large oil tankers and there is no control for tank cleaning nor a contingency plan for oil spills. Further, the practice of intensive agriculture, not only in Mozambique but also in neighbour countries, causes run-off pollution into the sea and affects the coastal ecosystems, particularly near the mouth of the major international rivers (Umbeluzi, Incomati, Pungoe, Zambezi).

This paper presents the efforts by the agency in Mozambique responsible for the environment - the Ministry for the Co-ordination of Environmental Affairs (MICOA) - in tackling those problems. It describes how some international and regional agreements provide a framework for the development of a program for coastal zone management in Mozambique. Reference is made to the Global Programme of Action for Protection of the Marine Environment from land-Based Activities (GPA), and its related regional initiatives.

Government Initiatives

In June 1994, the Government approved the National Environmental Management Programme (NEMP), which is the master plan for the environment in Mozambique. It contains a national environment policy, environment umbrella legislation, and an environmental strategy. The NEMP is also a program of sectoral plans, containing projections for the medium and long terms aiming to lead the country to sustainable socio-economic development. The Ministry for the Co-ordination of Environment Affairs (MICOA) has taken the lead for environmental management in Mozambique.

One of the priority areas of the NEMP is a number of activities related to integrated coastal zone management (ICZM). In 1996, MICOA organized a national workshop where the concept of coastal zone management was discussed and the need for an integrated and participatory approach was highlighted. As part of the process, an inter-institutional technical committee for the coastal zone management was created at the national level. The committee, which is responsible for discussing and reviewing the co-ordination of activities among stakeholders, is coordinated by MICOA and has representatives from government institutions, the private sector and non-governmental organizations.

In 1998 a macro-diagnosis of the Mozambique coastal zone was produced, which outlines the major environmental issues for coastal zone management as well as the approach for inter-sectoral co-operation in the area. From 1996 until 1998, MICOA has been preparing a "National Coastal Zone Management Policy" and a "National Coastal Zone Management Program". These documents, once approved by the Council of Ministers, will constitute the overall policy framework for coastal zone management in Mozambique.

In parallel to these activities, MICOA has implemented a number of pilot and demonstration projects in selected areas of the coast, the experiences of which have been incorporated in the coastal management program. Those experiences have the support of international and regional programs, such as the case of the United Nation Environment Program's (UNEP) Regional Seas Programme partnership with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) for the EAF/5 Project (Protection and Management of the Marine and Coastal Areas of the Eastern African Region ) aimed at enhancing the quality of the marine and coastal environments in partnership with the coastal communities and government agencies. UNEP and the Belgium Government also provided support for the establishment of a data bank and resource maps using GIS techniques through the EAF/14 (Eastern Africa Marine Environment Resources Database and Atlas project), which is a project that provides equipment, software and training capacity on geographic information systems and remote sensing.

Other initiatives for planning activities, resource assessments, local management of natural resources were also supported during this three-year period by agencies such as NORAD (Norway Development Agency), DANIDA (Danish Development Agency), UNDP (United Nations Development Programme), European Commission, FINNIDA (Finnish Development Agency) and SIDA/Sarec Marie Science Programme (Swedish Agency for Development). In a very participatory and lengthy process, the geographic scope of the coastal zone was also discussed and agreed upon as being the territorial waters and the area of the administrative districts along the coastline, including the shores of the major lakes such as the Niassa (Malawi) Lake and the Cahora Bassa reservoir.

In the meantime, the Environmental Law was approved by the Parliament, which constitutes the first attempt to introduce a new concept of the environment and a new vision and strategy for its management, both for the institution's activities and for the public in general. Due to the comprehensive nature of this law, complementary sectoral legislation must be produced to respond to specific situations and needs. Having in consideration the main constraints pointed out in relation to the issue of coastal zone management, some priority measures are herein proposed, both to solve institutional organization deficiencies as well as the legal framework gaps. As for the institutional arrangements for the coastal zone, it is proposed that the current multi-sectoral committee become a technical subcommittee of the National Council for Sustainable Development, created by the Environmental Law. While producing national environmental legislation, the country has adopted and ratified in recent years important international and regional environmental conventions, such as, among others, the Conventions on Biological Diversity; the Framework Convention on Climate Change; and Protection and Management of the Marine and Coastal Environments in the Eastern African Region (Nairobi Convention). Mozambique also adopted and signed the Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-Based Activities (GPA).

At the regional level, Mozambique gave support to the establishment in Maputo, in 1997, of SEACAM, the Secretariat for Eastern African Coastal Area Management, which followed a regional consensus from the Arusha Declaration developed at a meeting in the Seychelles on integrated coastal area management in the Eastern African region. The Secretariat has been collaborating in the area of information dissemination and training with other regional agencies such as the Regional Co-ordination Unit of the Nairobi Convention. In 1998, the Mozambican concept of coastal zone management was presented to a broad forum of African countries in the Pan African Congress for Sustainable Integrated Coastal Management (PACSICOM), which was held in Maputo. The concept was widely accepted and the foundations for regional programs for the co-ordination of coastal management were laid.

The GPA Framework for ICZM in Mozambique

In October 1997, Mozambique participated in the Workshop on Implementation of the GPA in the Eastern African region, held in Zanzibar, Tanzania. Among others, the aim of the workshop was to consider the requirements for development and implementation of national programs, and agree on outlines for preparation of regional programs of action to address land-based activities affecting the marine, coastal and its associated freshwater environment. In this meeting, a regional overview for eastern Africa identified the main environmental problems resulted from land-based activities which were grouped into two main categories: (i) Pollution, which according to the GPA classification include the following source categories: sewage, persistent organic pollutants, heavy metals, radioactive substances, nutrients, sediments mobilisation, oils (hydrocarbons) and litter; and (ii) Habitat and ecosystem degradation, which corresponds to physical alteration in the GPA classification, with the following source categories associated with this type of problem: land clearance and deforestation, including mangroves for aquaculture, industrial and hotel development; mining and damming of rivers.

A regional program of action was then discussed and recommended for implementation. The program includes strategies, specific actions, leading agencies for its implementation, time frames and named supporting agencies. It specified the actions to be taken at national and regional levels. As part of the recommended actions at national level, Mozambique is now preparing a five-year program of activities within the framework of the National Program for Coastal Zone Management. The program, due to start in January 2000, has principle support from DANIDA, along with other donors and agencies contributing to specific projects. In addressing the most urgent priorities for action at national level, the following are the immediate objectives of this program: (i) establishment of an appropriate institutional and legal framework for coastal zone management; (ii) awareness raising and capacity building of all relevant stakeholders in the coastal area management; (iii) improvement of natural resources management trough research, planning and legislation enforcement.

Beneficiaries of this program will be found at the local level, which will benefit from capacity building and training programs, increased and more secure access to natural resources and through a "Coastal Management and Development Fund". This fund will support demonstration activities - or best management practices - chosen by the local stakeholders which will not only benefit them directly, but also will help in the implementation of ICZM activities. Furthermore, local administrations are expected to practice a certain level of integrated coastal zone management by producing and implementing land-use plans. Such plans will focus on issues related to the development of coastal cities, tourism, sewage management, habitat protection, sustainable use of resources, ports and industry development, protected areas, etc. On the other hand, national sub-programs for the management of specific ecosystems will also be prepared, like the sub-programs on coral reefs, mangroves, sea grass beds and others.

Those programs will address issues such as habitat/ecosystem degradation, sustainable use and management with primary emphasis on training and education of scientists, public awareness and education. One of the most developed sub-programs so far is the one related to the management of coral reefs. This sub-program is receiving considerable support from the SIDA/Sarec Marine Science Program as well as DANIDA, and has been raising a great deal of public awareness and attention. Moreover, it is being supported by strong measures enacted by the government very recently, such as moratoria on the collection of coral fish (for aquariums) and live coral for a period of two years, until scientists come up with a proposal for the sustainable use of the ecosystem.

Another important activity related to the research, monitoring and management of coastal resources, and included in this five-year program supported by DANIDA, will be the construction of a regional centre of excellence for coastal zones - Center for the Sustainable Development of Coastal Zones - in the city of Xai-Xai.

By the end of this five-year program, it is expected that MICOA will have the full capacity to effectively co-ordinate the National Coastal Management Program, offering the necessary information, training, technical and scientific assistance to stakeholders in coastal management at the regional, national and local levels.