On 17 and 18 April, a training was held on the implementation of biodiversity offsets in the context of the mitigation hierarchy in Mozambique. The event, organized by the COMBO+ programme, was attended by 47 participants in person and 62 online participants. COMBO+ is a partnership between the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), the Foundation for the Conservation of Biodiversity (BIOFUND) and the Ministry of Land and Environment (MTA), represented by the National Environment Directorate (DINAB).

The training addressed in detail the contents of the 7 chapters of Ministerial Diploma nr. 55/2022 and the respective Implementation Manual. The role of biodiversity offsets and key biodiversity areas (KBAs) in contributing to national biodiversity targets was discussed, as well as technical tools such as the Red Lists of species and ecosystems and the ecosystem map. Platforms for data access, such as the Mozambican Biodiversity Portal (SIBMOZ), was also highlighted.

Biodiversity offsets are measurable conservation outcomes from actions to offset significant residual impacts on biodiversity resulting from development projects, after appropriate measures have been taken to prevent and minimise impacts and restore affected areas.

The COMBO+ programme promoted this training with the aim of providing environmental consultants, project proponents and members of the newly created ‘Technical-Scientific Unit to Support Biodiversity Offsets’ (UTC) with the tools and information needed to apply the technical implementation manual associated with the Diploma. In addition, the event fostered dialogue and exchange of experiences between the different actors involved in the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) process and in the management of biodiversity in Mozambique.

Representatives of the WCS China delegation, including a representative of the China-Mozambique Chamber of Commerce Association and another representative of China’s Central South University Academy (CSU), also attended the event. More training of this type is planned in the next 15 months, aiming to better align economic development with the conservation of biodiversity in Mozambique.