April Update: A Test Tank, School Gardens, IUCN Report and a New Team Member

Diving license and tank completion
We are excited to announce the receipt of a national dive center licence, for our marine field station. The license enables us to conduct quality research underwater and broadens our goals in general, as we will now be able to train our staff and interns to dive in our 5* PADI Dive Center. The timing works perfectly, as March saw the completion of the test tank, used mainly to examine and service research gear on site. Another use of the tank will be for the scientific dive master internships which begin this month. All confined dive training will take place in the test tank for safety reasons.

Permaculture workshop and school garden project
On Saturday the 27th March, we kickstarted a Permaculture Workshop for the teachers from the local school and other community members, in collaboration with Bazaruto Archipelago National Park. The weekend was filled with permaculture theory and practical lectures from our permaculture manager Chloë Wallace and Tichafa Makovere, who has over 20 years of experience in the field. Afterwards, the community members built the local school’s food garden, in line with the practices they learned. The students are engaged in the project by helping plant seedlings and watering and monitoring the gardens. We are excited to see how the gardens will blossom through dry season. See some highlights of the week in the gallery below.

“The permaculture workshop was a great success; everyone was very excited to learn more about gardening sustainably and worked very hard. We hope that this week of lectures and practice will help them to grow food on the island, and that they will pass on their skills to the future generations of Benguerra Island .” – Chloë Wallace, Research Coordinator of Land-based Projects at BCSS

BCSS reports
In early 2019, we hosted a group of student researchers (Sara Forsberg, Laura Chiluvane, and Manuela Amone) and supported them in their field and laboratory work to conduct a study on coastal blue carbon. This resulted in an International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) report entitled “Coastal blue carbon stocks in Tanzania and Mozambique”, which can now be read on the IUCN Library system.

BCSS contributed to the compilation of a proposal for a new Environmental Protection Area, as part of a National Administration for Conservation Areas (ANAC)Conservation International, and African Parks initiative that would connect three conservation areas from the Save River to Pomene National Park. The report is currently being finalised to submit for approval to the council of Ministers.

A warm welcome to our newest team member Teodote
Meet Teodote Matimbe, the newest addition to the BCSS team! After being trained in Human Resource Management, Teo has experience in tourism and environmental management, working in various marine-focused businesses throughout Mozambique. As our HR Manager, Teo’s priorities are to make sure every staff member at the station is happy and that everything is running smoothly. He is also assisting Jason Morkel (Operations & Commercial Manager) on administrative and operational tasks and is excited to contribute to the BCSS mission.

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