The Government of Mozambique in partnership with the Global Wildlife Program and the World Bank team in Mozambique are hosting an international conference in Maputo, on “International Conference on Nature-Based Tourism in Conservation Areas.”
The goal of the conference is to explore opportunities to maximize finance for Nature-Based Tourism (NBT) and promote long-term public-private partnerships that deliver benefits for people and wildlife. The conference will bring together policy makers, tourism professionals, local opinion makers, conservationists, entrepreneurs, academia and investors/donors to facilitate knowledge exchange, learning and foster collaboration.
The tourism sector is the largest, global, market-based contributor to financing PA systems. NBT is a sub-component of the tourism sector that includes wildlife-based tourism. NBT is a powerful tool that countries can leverage to grow and diversify their economies while protecting their biodiversity and protected areas, and contributing to sustainable development goals.
Protected Areas (PAs) are vital to conserving wildlife species and promoting ecosystem services. However, funding for the management of PAs is insufficient and severely dependent on international aid funding and allocations made by the government from depleting national budgets. Thus, there is an urgent need to expand and diversify PA financing mechanisms through tourism revenues, co-management models and public private partnerships so as to facilitate the revenue earning potential of protected areas and ensures long-term environmental conservation and economic development.
This three-day conference will share the lessons learned between countries and partners and enhance the understanding of challenges and opportunities of co-management models for Protected Areas. It will also provide an opportunity for the Government of Mozambique to promote private sector investments in conservation areas.