The official launch ceremony of the CONNECT project products - and the second phase of the COMBO+ programme took place in Maputo on Monday 23 May 2022, in celebration of the International Day of Biodiversity. The products comprise the Mozambique Biodiversity Information System (SIBMOZ), Online Environmental Licensing and Auditing Management System (SGLA) and a new standard form to support evaluation of Environmental Impact Studies. The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS Mozambique) was the technical partner for this work.
The event was attended by more than 230 people, with 70 attending in person and 160 online. Guests of honour included Fernando de Sousa - Deputy Minister of Land and Environment, Afonso Madope - WCS Mozambique Country Director and Dr. Carlos Lopes - ANAC (Administração Nacional das Áreas de Conservação) Law Enforcement Director, the first councillor of the French Embassy, the Director of USAID, representatives from the local office of the Agence Francaise de Developpement (AFD) and other partners and stakeholders in the COMBO+ and CONNECT projects.
In his speech, the Deputy Minister highlighted how these products showed Mozambique to be one of the leading countries in the world to progress from a Biodiversity Strategy to the development of dedicated Environmental Impact Assessment tools and processes aimed at avoiding the net loss of biodiversity and progressing to designing a new ministerial diploma on biodiversity offsets and adopting a standard format for all categories of development projects.
The Deputy Minister also welcomed that the COMBO+ programme’s second phase would continue to support institutional capacity and strengthen application of the mitigation hierarchy, including biodiversity offsets, through use of the tools presented at the event plus additional ones to be developed during the second phase of COMBO.
The second phase of COMBO is supported by the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) and the Fonds Français pour l’Environnement Mondial (FFEM), who decided to extend their initial funding to the programme given the success of the first phase. COMBO+ started in July 2021 and will run until 2025, continuing support to National Environment Directory (DINAB) in rolling out the rigorous application of the mitigation hierarchy across the country and operationaling the new ministerial diploma for biodiversity offsets. In support of this, amongst other activities, intensive training will be offered to DINAB staff and other stakeholders. A technical advisor, and an intern will be seconded to support the newly established Biodiversity Offset Assessment and Monitoring Division.
For more information, please see: https://mozambique.wcs.org/Initiatives/Biodiversity-Offsets.aspx and Mozambique's COMBO+ page.