Developing an education and awareness campaign to conserve dugongs in the Bazaruto Archipelago and Mozambique (MZ3).
Mozambique: Bazaruto archipelago National Park.
This project aims to raise awareness of the importance of dugongs and seagrass to the biodiversity of the western Indian Ocean and Mozambique, specifically highlighting dugongs’ role in the spread, dynamics, diversity and survivability of seagrass beds and the consequent positive effects on fish abundance in the Bazaruto archipelago.
MZ3 will contribute to addressing the problems and issues facing dugongs and their habitat through the dissemination of information on the importance and status of dugongs and seagrass habitats and the need for their protection among coastal communities. Dugongs shall be promoted as a flagship species for conservation and directly linked to the health of marine natural resources extracted by local communities. The potential importance of dugongs to tourism and the local economy will also be highlighted.
Local communities, particularly teachers and students at the schools located in and around the Bazaruto area, will be targeted in order to raise their awareness regarding the role of dugongs in the ecosystem and the importance of seagrass habitats. Fishing communities, tourism operators and conservation managers/officers will also be targeted to increase their understanding of the species and its habitat. Specifically, education specialists will be involved with a view to producing course materials and other education tools to train teachers and lecturers to promote awareness among students and their families. Currently this capacity is very limited in the area, and only national park managers and government officers are aware of the status of the species.
1. Develop and implement school and adult-learning curricula to raise awareness of the ecological importance of dugongs and their seagrass habitat.
2. Achieve a demonstrable increase in awareness of the importance of the conservation of dugongs in Mozambique.
3. Achieve a developed ongoing capacity for dugong, turtle and seagrass campaign management at the local and national levels.