Investors and operators interested in ecotourism projects will have an opportunity to discuss potential locations for investment in Mozambique’s conservation areas with government representatives firsthand whilst on a guided trip. By Alexis Chrisafis.
This is according to Dr Mohamed Harun, Tourism Official on the World Bank Group-financed Conservation Areas for Biodiversity Project (MozBio), who has confirmed that the National Administration of Conservation Areas (ANAC), Ministry of Land, Environment and Rural Development, is continuing the implementation of its strategy to develop tourism lodges and nature-based tourism within its conservation areas. MozBio is administrated through ANAC and the Fund for Sustainable Development (FNDS).
Selected parks considered to have the biggest potential for the development of sustainable tourism will be visited, and investors are required to submit an expression of interest to ANAC (www.anac.gov.mz), upon which an invitation will be formalized.
The development of the tourism industry is well-regulated. The State of Mozambique carries out a regulatory and facilitatory role for investments in conservation areas. Biodiversity conservation is the main responsibility of the State but while the private sector participates along with the local communities to guarantee sustainable tourism development.
As a promoter and regulator, the State plays an important role in creating a favourable business environment in order to guarantee returns from investments as much by the private sector as by the public sector, through the provision of quality services that aim to pair tourism with the protection of biodiversity.
The overall objective is to establish integrated tourism lodges and nature-based tourism that contributes to the economic growth of the conservation areas, especially the revenues generated by those parks and reserves with high potential for tourism activity, through facilitating private sector investment.
This initiative intends to accelerate the implementation of attractive business environment conditions, in order for the private sector to feel stimulated and secure enough to invest in tourism in the conservation areas.
The principal conservation areas in Mozambique that do not possess sufficient tourism infrastructure, but have a high conservation value and an elevated potential for the development of high-level tourism, through the fact that they can easily combine a competitive and sought-after tourism product in the regional market – the bush and beach combination -are:
(i) the Maputo Special Reserve and the Ponta do Outro Partial Marine Reserve, both of which form part of the Lubombo Trans-frontier Park which covers four distinct conservation areas across South Africa, Swaziland and Mozambique;
(ii) the Limpopo National Park, part of the Great Limpopo Trans-frontier Park that encompasses the Kruger National Park, and straddles the borders of South Africa, Zimbabwe and Mozambique;
(iii) the Quirimbas National Park, consisting of terrestrial and marine conservation areas, including 11 of the 32 principal islands of the Quirimbas Archipelago.
The locations of the principal opportunities for investment will be identified for each above-mentioned parks and reserves, in accordance with the strategic development and management plans of the conservation areas, and other guiding strategies and implementation models.
About the author: Alexis Chrisafis is an independent consultant who specialises in Sustainable Tourism, Biodiversity Conservation and Socio-Economic Development. Connect with Alexis on LinkedIn or email [email protected].
Header image: Ossimba Beach Lodge courtesy of Mozambique Tourism.