Nairobi, Kenya, 11 December 2009 - A national wetland and waterbird training course was held at the Natural History Museum of Mozambique (Museu da Historia Natural) in Maputo, Mozambique from 9 - 17 November 2009. The training was facilitated by Mr. Oliver Nasirwa (Wetlands International), Mr. Paul Kariuki Ndang’ang’a (BirdLife International) and Dr. Carlos Bento (Museu da Historia Natural) and aimed to build national capacity in Mozambique on the conservation and management of wetlands and waterbirds.
The training course included 17 participants drawn from the Ministry of Tourism (MITUR), Ministry of Agriculture (MINAG), Fisheries Research Institute (IIP), Center for Sustainable Development of Coastal Zones (CDS), MICOA, WWF and the University-Universidade Eduardo Mondlane (UEM) and was officially opened by the Director of the Ministry for Coordination of Environmental Affairs (MICOA) Mr. Rogério Wamusse, who stressed the importance of wetlands and migratory waterbirds in Mozambique. He urged the participants to participate actively as the training would enhance national capacity to monitor and conserve wetlands and their biodiversity in Mozambique and boost the capacity of the ministry especially in the area of monitoring and conserving wetland biodiversity.
The training covered the importance, values and functions of wetlands; how to undertake wetland biodiversity surveys and monitoring with emphasis on waterbirds and their habitats; as well as threats and conservation of wetlands. Participants visited wetland sites, and had hands-on training in the identification and surveying of waterbirds. During the field practices, a number of wetlands were visited including the Salt Works (Salinas) in Maputo and the wetlands in and around Maputo Reserve. The training emphasised the importance of implementing the African Waterbird Census and Important Bird Area (IBA) monitoring schemes in promoting conservation of wetlands and migratory waterbirds for which binoculars, field guides and telescopes for future use by the trainees were donated by the WOW project.
One of the main outcomes of the meeting was the formation of a national group to carry-out wetland biodiversity monitoring and other biodiversity conservation work in Mozambique. Mozambique is a country endowed by extensive and important wetland sites. These wetlands provide important passage and staging areas for both Afrotropical and Palaearctic migratory waterbirds in the southern section of the African-Eurasian flyway. Mozambique is a contracting party to the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar Convention), and the training aimed to enhance Mozambique’s contribution to global efforts of conserving wetlands, migratory waterbirds and their flyways.
The event was officially closed by the Director of the Museu da Historia Natural, Dr. Lucilia Chiquela, who emphasized the importance of wetlands in Mozambique and was pleased that the event had brought together relevant institutions to work together for wetlands and biodiversity in general.
The training was organised by BirdLife International and Wetlands International - through the Wings Over Wetlands (WOW) Project’s Regional Centre for Eastern and Southern Africa - in collaboration with the Natural History Museum (of the Eduardo Mondlane University). The workshop was made possible through the generous support from the Government of France.
The WOW Regional Centre for Eastern and Southern Africa is hosted by the BirdLife International Africa Partnership Secretariat based in Nairobi, Kenya and is run collaboratively between BirdLife International and Wetlands International.
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