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Increasing Marine Taxonomic Knowledge in Mozambique: the Case of Two Neglected Taxa, part Two

Project: Research


Mozambique has the third largest coastline in mainland East Africa. This coastline is – Somalia excluded – taxonomically the least explored in Eastern Africa. This is regretful given that studies show that this is an extremely productive area due to difficult to characterize upwelling and eddy systems, making it one of the highest biodiverse regions in the Indian Ocean. The three recognised marine bioregions (basically the South, the centre and the North of the country) deserve detailed taxonomic study. The South of Mozambique received focused taxonomic study for macroalgae and echinoderms in 2018 thanks to support of the Belgian GTI, the King Leopold III Fund for Nature Exploration and Conservation, Research Foundation - Flanders, the Royal Belgian Institute for Natural Sciences and the Royal Museum for Central Africa. This project is the logical follow-up of the successful 2018 leg. It will again focus on the taxonomic characterisation of echinoderms and macroalgae, this time in the North of Mozambique (Pemba), which is thought to have closer affinities with the tropical Western Indian Ocean marine fauna and flora, in contrast to southern Mozambique where affinities with the Agulhas marine province prevail. This project will, as its 2018 antecedent, be instrumental in alleviating poverty in a country that is undergoing rapid demographic changes that put high pressure on its environment. In order to ensure capacity building and durability and return on investment of engaged resources, dedicated hands-on training will be foreseen for selected Mozambican partners, in caso formerly selected participants to the past MaTaMo1 expedition. Also, in order to have maximum outreach and leverage towards modern standards in taxonomy of this capacity building project, an invertebrate (incl. echinoderms) expert of the Florida Museum of Natural History (Prof. Dr. G. Paulay) is willing to deliver additional capacity building support (through auto-funding). Hands-on training will again be foreseen and resulting collections will again be fairly split upon participating institutions, ensuring durability in capacity building. Project results will be, as previously and as appropriately, be jointly presented at international conferences and published in international journals.
Effective start/end date1/10/1931/12/20
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