December 2, 2005

World Bank boosts conservation and ecotourism initiatives

The World Bank has approved a US $10 million credit for the conservation of Mozambique's biodiversity and natural ecosystems through the promotion of sustainable use and the development of natural resources by local communities. The Trans-frontier Conservation Area and Tourism Development Project, for which the bank approved the credit, represents the second phase of a 15-year initiative known as the Trans-frontier Conservation Areas (TFCA) programme, the long-term objectives of which are to conserve biodiversity in the southern Africa region and emphasise regional collaboration in the management of trans-frontier resources.

A World Bank press release said the funds would be used to establish and manage conservation in three areas on the Mozambican border with significant trans-border biodiversity linkages with neighbouring countries. "The project will increase revenues for communities, from the growth in environmentally sustainable tourism in the three Trans-frontier Conservation Areas of Chimanimani, Lubombo and Greater Limpopo," said Jean-Michel Pavy, the World Bank task team leader of the project. Public sector and local community capacity would be strengthened to manage biodiversity and natural resources, while the private sector is to be engaged through the promotion of ecotourism. "It will also support the government's efforts in improving the business environment, with a view to stimulating private sector investments and private sector-led economic growth," noted Pavy.

Further financing for the project will come from a $10 million grant by the Global Environment Facility and a $3.7 million grant from the Japanese Policy and Human Resources Development Fund. The credit will be provided on International Development Association (IDA) terms. The IDA is part of the World Bank, and helps the poorest of developing countries by providing interest-free loans and grants for programmes aimed at boosting economic growth and improving living conditions. (Agencia de Informacao de Mocambique, Maputo)

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