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Estimating tourism’s contribution to conservation area financing in Mozambique

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Financial sustainability of conservation areas is one of the cornerstones for enabling effective conservation management. However, the current status of conservation area funding is widely detached from the need, and this disparity is intensified in developing countries. Therefore, identifying and valuing the revenue streams and finance needs of conservation areas is an important step in the process to become financial sustainable. This paper assesses the revenue potential of conservation areas in Mozambique national parks and reserves. The analysis describes the revenue generation of 93 conservation areas in Mozambique in 2013 to (i) the economy, (ii) the Government of Mozambique and conservation area management authorities, as well as (iii) respective communities bordering conservation areas. The analysis determined that the total annual revenue generation within the conservation area network was USD 24.4 million in 2013 from tourism-linked activities. The component of total revenue that accrued to either national Government of Mozambique or conservation area management was USD 3.33 million in 2013, and USD 606,500 of this accrued to communities surrounding conservation areas. The research has demonstrated that revenue generation of the conservation area network contributes approximately 10% to the tourism sector’s total contribution to the economy of Mozambique. In addition, this research highlights the difficulties of revenue generation from conservation areas in least developed countries and the effects of a lack of data on justifying the value of a conservation area network from an economic perspective.

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