Development of community-based activities to improve local engagement in marine management in the Bazaruto archipelago (MZ1).
Mozambique: Bazaruto archipelago National Park.
This project aims to develop incentives to engage local communities in environmental management through alternative livelihood schemes and the provision of access to unmet reproductive health needs in order to reduce threats to dugongs in the Bazaruto archipelago.
It is understood that isolated communities in the Bazaruto archipelago have limited access to family planning services, and that actual fertility rates in the region are higher than desired, leading to significant population growth rates which in turn place increasing pressure on the marine ecosystems upon which local fishing livelihoods depend, thereby contributing to seagrass habitat degradation.
MZ1 will therefore address unmet family planning needs by conducting a community health needs assessment and health partner mapping exercise before developing and piloting an integrated Population–Health–Environment (PHE) programme in the archipelago. This will be modelled on Blue Ventures’ integrated PHE programmes in Madagascar, which integrate community-based voluntary family planning services with local marine resource management initiatives, thereby enabling couples to choose freely the number and spacing of their births, empowering women to play a more active role in fisheries management efforts and enhancing the sustainability of local marine conservation efforts.
Project activities will include: learning visits from Mozambique to Madagascar and a needs assessment by BV staff in Mozambique; design of programmes and training of key staff and community members; and the establishment and assessment of pilot programmes. Current availability of services and community knowledge/attitudes relating to family planning will be assessed, following which suitable health partners will be identified in order to ensure access to accurate family planning information and services.
1. Design and pilot a relevant alternative livelihoods project in the region, and establish plans for its assessment and expansion.
2. Establish a relevant PHE programme that meets the needs of the local community, integrated closely with local marine conservation efforts and with measures for long-term sustainability built into the design.