Over 100 people attended the central ceremony of World Rhino Day, which took place in the Mbacana Village, in the Administrative Post of Mapulanguene, Magude District, Maputo Province.
The event, held under the theme "We Are All Nature", aimed to deeply reflect on the need to raise awareness, inspire, and motivate Mozambican society, especially the younger generations, to actively engage in the conservation of wildlife in general and rhinoceros in particular, as well as to take measures to preserve biodiversity.
Jorge Lourenço Fernando, Coordinator of the General Directorate of the National Administration of Conservation Areas (ANAC), emphasized the vital role that communities living in Conservation Areas play in protecting biodiversity. He noted that these communities are traditionally at the forefront of conserving and protecting the country's rich biodiversity, given the increasing threats and species extinction in their ecosystems and thanked the support from various parties involved in conservation.
Teresinha Pascoal, the provincial director of the Provincial Environmental Service, urged the population to report poaching and uncontrolled wildfires. Rafael Alberto Manhique, the Permanent Secretary of the Magude District, encouraged the involvement of communities in decision-making while respecting their traditional knowledge, values, and conservation practices.
Rhinoceros play a crucial role in maintaining ecosystem balance, influencing biodiversity, and the health of these areas. The threat of rhinoceros extinction as a wildlife species, in Mozambique, is primarily due to poaching, driven by criminal syndicates catering to illicit markets, which has led to the death of over 90 percent of rhinoceroses in the last 40 years.
The celebration of World Rhino Day was organized by ANAC in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Mozambique, and the Mozambican Association for the Conservation of Wildlife (MWA), with the participation of the Environmental Protection Police, Provincial Directorate of Territorial Development and Environment of Maputo, Provincial Environmental Service of Maputo, AQUA - Maputo, Cooperation Partners, and local communities.