Ecosystems at Techobanine

Aug 26, 2012

MISSION 20 of 2012

Name of Mission: Ecosystems at Techobanine
Date of Mission: 27 August 2012
Aircraft used: Cessna 182
Pilot: Chris Rattray
Beneficiary: Miguel Goncalves of the Directorate of Conservation Areas, Mozambique

Intro for the Annual Report:

This mission in late August was requested by Dr Bartolomeu Soto, the National Director of Conservation Areas, Mozambique who wanted a flight to survey the southern coast of Mozambique, from Inhaca Island to Kosi Bay South Africa. Dr Soto wanted to obtain video footage to show the sensitivity of a coastal reserve area that will be permanently damaged by the creation of a deep water port.

The flight took place on the 27th August 2012 in a Cessna 182 flown by Chris Rattray..
The report presented below was prepared by Miguel Gonçalves, Marine Manager of the Reserva Marinha Parcial da Ponta do Ouro, who was accompanied on this flight by the National Director for EIA within the Ministry of the Environment, and the District Administrator.

Techo2 - A view of the coastline at Techobanine Mozambique 023
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Objective of the Flight

To obtain visual material of a coastal reserve area, that will be impacted by the proposed deep water port at Techobanine, Mozambique. This development would also have serious ramifications for an area which is already designated as a World Heritage site and tripartite Transfrontier Conservation Area.

Beneficiary report by Miguel Gonçalves

“As Marine Manager of Ponta do Ouro Partial Marine Reserve, this flight was a unique and very valuable opportunity. I have driven along this beach, on patrols, for the last four years, covering ± 12,000 kilometres per year, and every single patrol has been a blessing, i.e. having the opportunity to work in this amazing place is, in fact, a blessing. However, flying over this entire area is totally different. In fact, this was the first time that I had an opportunity to fly over the Matutuíne District. We flew over this amazing and unique area together with the National Director for EIA within the Ministry of Environmental as also with the District Administrator.

Techo3 - A view of Portuguese Island off Mozambique 040
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Besides the beauty of the place one had the opportunity to explain the importance and interactions between the different ecosystems in the area, including the lakes, dune forests, swamps and, of course, the ocean. In addition to the amazing Techobanine Reef, which was the object of this flight, we saw also many numbers of turtles, whales and dolphins.

Our pilot was also asked to fly over Kosi Bay, to show our guests how landscapes look when there is no development on the primary dunes. At stake, if the proposed deep water harbour proceeds, is the entire area we flew over, the proposed Lubombo Transfrontier Conservation Area (LTFCA) linking Mozambique, Swaziland and South Africa.

In the end just an enormous thank you to all who made this flight possible, and a very big thank you to our pilot for the pleasant and fascinating flight.”

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