Mozambique has a coastline of three thousand kilometers on the Indian Ocean. Its coasts are currently being eaten away by the onslaught of the ocean, tropical storms, cooking with charcoal or slash-and-burn crops. This is why the government has signed a partnership with Blue Forest, which is a company specializing in sustainable community projects in Africa based in the United Arab Emirates. They intend to launch the largest mangrove reforestation project in Africa by replanting 100 million trees within thirty years.
The announcement was made by the Mozambican Ministry of Sea and Inland Waters, which said the project will involve 185,000 hectares of mangrove forest on the Mozambican coast.
“Mozambique has more than 300,000 hectares of mangroves along its coast, which is one of the largest expanses of mangrove forest in Africa. We are thrilled to partner with Blue Forest and introduce innovative technology into the way we map and restore our vital mangrove forests for generations to come,” explained the Permanent Secretary of the Mozambican Ministry of Sea, Water and Fishing, Xavier Munjovo.
The objective of this project is to offset some 200,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions each year. According to Agence France Presse (AFP), this would be equivalent to taking 50,000 fossil-fuel cars off the road.
A mechanism of carbon credits generated by the activities of reforestation and conservation during the thirty years of this partnership will make it possible to finance this gigantic program.
To implement the project, Blue Forest intends to rely on satellite imagery to identify heavily deforested areas. The company says on its website that it will initially use high-resolution satellite imagery, LiDAR technology and remote sensing data to identify major “hot spots” where restoration is needed. Then they can apply Artificial Intelligence algorithms to decipher the collected satellite data and field measurements in order to design their reforestation activities in an accurate, efficient and transparent manner.
Seven countries in Africa, the Middle East and Asia are beneficiaries of the mangrove rehabilitation projects initiated by Blue Forest.
“The mangrove forests make Mozambique an extremely strategic country. We are delighted to partner with the Ministry of Sea, Inland Waters and Fisheries and work in coordination with all national and provincial institutions, as well as with the local communities in Sofala and Zambezi on this landmark project, tens of thousands of people and endless marine life will benefit,” said Blue Forest CEO Vahid Fotuhi.
It should be recalled that the Ministry of the Sea, Inland Waters and Fisheries develops the research work necessary for the scientific knowledge of the marine resources of Mozambican jurisdictional waters in terms of management, conservation and optimization of their exploitation.