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Law enforcement is a challenge for Maritime Biodiversity - WWF

Law enforcement and the development of an environmental awareness in the communities are the key challenges for the protection of Maritime Biodiversity in Mozambique, said the Director of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in Mozambique. “Although the measures have been taken (at law level) we are still facing with many challenges, precisely in the enforcement of the law ” said Anabela Rodrigues in the 15 years Celebration of WWF in Mozambique which  coincided with the launching date of  “ Reviving the Indian ocean Economy” report. The adoption of a coordinated plan among the regional countries with a direct access to the Indian Ocean is seen by the WWF director as one of the main conditions for the efficiency of the maritime life protection strategy in the ocean which have been evaluated, according with the report, in US$333.8 billion (more than 312 billion Euros).
“We need to coordinate efforts in order for the governments to take advantages of the maritime resources in a sustainable manner”, affirmed Anabela Rodrigues, appointing as an example the prices differentiation in the fishery industry among the regional countries, highlighting that aspect as one of the disadvantages resulting from the lack of a joint strategy.
Even though the report highlights, in general terms that the Indian Ocean is “relatively good” this report from the WWF also alerts that the coastal countries are deeply dependent on maritime resources which are registering signals of decline and, she suggested more concrete actions to be taken by the governments in order to preserve them.
For Anabela Rodrigues, beside law enforcement, specifically for Mozambique, an “awareness culture of conservation” is key for the conservation strategy and, for a good result, awareness rise should be extended to all layers of the society.

In their assessment, WWF also concluded that subsistence means of living of the countries with a coastal area covered by the Indian Ocean is in many cases connected with maritime resources and, consequently, for its organization, there is a need for joint actions in order to guarantee a sustainable exploration.

The report also suggests an investment in the human resources through community member’s capacity building, in order to guarantee safety of species under extinction threat.
According with the document, in order to ensure, in an equitable manner, access to social, environmental and economic benefits, necessary to create “Skillful Polices” that promote best practices in the countries with a coast covered by the Western Indian Ocean.
“Besides the fact that maritime and coastal ecosystems be relatively intact in the Western Indian Ocean, there is a growing signals of wear and tear in many points of the region” concludes the report, which also alerts to the fact that fifty percent of the sharks species assessed in the region are under extinction threat.
 Western Indian Ocean covers an area of 30 million square kilometers, including besides Mozambique, Reunion Island, Comoros, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Seychelles, Somalia, South Africa and Tanzania.
With a coastal population of more than 220 million people, the area is comprises of 8,1% of the global surface of the Oceans, with a very rich tropical maritime biodiversity  ( Lusa – 27.01.17) OCEANO 3