Mozambique has subscribed to various global policy frameworks and commitments on MPAs, the most important being the resolutions taken as part of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) to achieve the establishment and maintenance by 2012 of comprehensive, effectively managed, and ecologically representative national and regional systems of marine protected areas (COP 7 Decision VII/28); and at least 10% of each of the world’s marine and coastal ecological regions effectively conserved by 2010 (COP8 Decision VIII/15).
At the regional level, Mozambique forms part of the Eastern Africa Marine Ecoregion (EAME), which was defined by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), a major international conservation non-governmental organisation (NGO), as being of globally outstanding importance for marine biodiversity. The EAME identifies 9 priority sites for conservation in Mozambique: the MtwaraeQuirimbas Complex (a cross-border site between Tanzanian and Mozambique); Nacala-Mossuril; Ilhas Primeiras and Segundas; the Zambezi Delta System; Sofala Bay; Bazaruto Archipelago; Inhamane Bay; Inharrime Complex; and Maputo BayeMachangulo Complex e Greater Saint Lucia Wetlands (another cross-border site between Mozambique and South Africa).
The creation of MPAs in Mozambique is strongly supported by international organisations, in particular WWF and the World Bank through the Global Environment Facility. WWF’s support is part of the wider EAME initiative for the establishment of MPAs in Kenya, Tanzania and Mozambique. In Mozambique, WWF has supported technically and financially the creation and implementation of two national parks, the Bazaruto Archipelago National Park and Quirimbas National Park (QNP), and has also lobbied for the creation of an MPA in the Primeiras and Segundas Islands. In November 2012, the Primeiras and Segundas had been approved as a marine protected area in Mozambique making this diverse ten-island archipelago Africa’s largest coastal marine reserve.
The World Bank funded the Coastal and Marine Biodiversity Management Project (CMBMP) between 2000 and 2007, the objective of which was to protect coastal and marine biodiversity in a network of protected areas in northern Mozambique (World Bank). This project supported studies for an MPA in northern Mozambique, the Rovuma National Reserve, which still awaits government approval.