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Cities in Climate Change Initiative: The case study of Maputo

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Cities in Climate Change Initiative: The case study of Maputo
The City of Maputo (Mozambique), as are Kampala (Uganda), Sorsogon (Philippines) and Esmeraldas (Ecuador), is one of the four cities around the world where UN-HABITAT is providing capacity building and technical support to the implementation of the pilot phase of the Cities and Climate Change Initiative (CCCI). The main focus areas of the CCCI are: (i) Awareness, advocacy and policy dialogue; (ii) Tool development and tool application; (iii) Piloting climate change mitigation and adaptation measures and, (iv) Knowledge management and dissemination.
Maputo is the capital city of Mozambique, located at the extreme South of the country, along the coast. The city is highly vulnerable to the impacts related with climate change since it is facing the Indian Ocean and is the most densely populated urban area in Mozambique. According to the 2007 census (INE, 2008)i the population of the city has about 1.1 million inhabitants; however, the metropolitan area Maputo-Matola-Marracuene shows a fluctuating population between 2.5 and 3 million people. Maputo like other African cities is experiencing a rapid population growth equal to 1.2% causing an increasing demand for housing and infrastructures (UNFCCC, 2006)ii especially in the peri-urban slum areas. Consequently, the risk of severe impact on urban poor will increase against their incapacity to improve or move to safer areas.
Figure 1 Maputo City seen from satellite

Source: Google earth, 2009

A preliminary assessment on Climate Change impacts in the urban areas of Maputo City was carried out which identifies key vulnerable sectors and areas:

  • Coastal zones and ecosystems

  • Human settlements and infrastructure

  • Health, food security and waste management

  • Transportation system

  • Wetlands and urban agriculture

The main climate-related hazards with destructive consequences on these sectors are floods, droughts, rising sea level and storms (cyclones).

The predicted sea-level rise related to global warming may again result in flooding of the lowest topographical areas of Maputo, which are the most populated and where slum dwellers are concentrated. This prediction is also supported by the Mozambique National Adaptation Plan of Action to Climate Change (NAPA, 2007). Recently the National Institute for Disaster Management (INGC) produced an interesting study on the impacts of climate change in Mozambique showing that in the next 20-30 years most of the coastal area of Maputo, including its harbour and other important infrastructures will be affected by sea-level rise if nothing no adaptation/mitigation measures are adopted, bringing severe economic and social backlogsiii.

Figure 2 Map showing areas that can be affected by predicted sea level rise at 5 meters (INGC, 2009)

Source: INGC, 2009

The assessment also identifies the main steps to be followed for setting up a climate change adaptation strategy for Maputo city, namely:

  1. Actively involving key stakeholders from the public sector, private sector and academia, civil society and development partners in the process of awareness raising about the impacts of climate change at all levels.

  2. Establishing an appropriate institutional arrangement between the City and the central government through the Ministry of Coordination of Environmental Affairs (MICOA), the National Institute for Disasters Management (INGC) among others, to ensure proper management and implementation capacity of the CC issues;

  3. Establishing communication mechanisms to ensure a participatory and inclusive process in the identification and implementation of sustainable solutions, perhaps including the creation of a Natural Disasters Risk Reduction and/or Climate Change Unit at local level.

  4. Preparing a more in-depth assessment of the impacts of climate change in Maputo city, in order to determine the required adaptation and / or mitigation measures to be implemented.

  5. Developing methods and tools for the analysis of climate change effects in order to facilitate the financial planning and decision-making and preparation of a Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation Plan of Maputo City, which identifies priority interventions to be implemented in the short, medium and long term.

  6. Creating synergy and coordination mechanisms with new initiatives or ongoing projects, to jointly identify potential sources of funding to ensure continuity of operations.

Regarding the first point, a CCCI inception workshop has been carried out in Maputo on May 2009 with a great attendance of all stakeholders dealing with climate change impacts in Maputo: Ministry for Coordination of Environmental Affairs MICOA, INGC, National Institute of Meteorology (INAM), Maputo Municipal Council (MMC), representatives from the academia, private sector, civil society, NGO’s and development partners.

An important outcome from the workshop was a contribution related to the communication mechanism to ensure participatory and inclusive process of all stakeholders, leaving the ownership of the projects on the hands of the municipal authorities (see diagram below).

Regarding the need of implementing immediate and demonstrative adaptation/mitigation actions in priority areas of Maputo City the threatened mangroves surrounding the “Costa do Sol” neighbourhood were identified as a good target for a pilot project. The aim of these immediate interventions is to provide clear and physical delimitations of the mangrove area, and empower the legal binding of the recently approved Master Plan, which includes special provisions for the protection of endangered species.

Figure 3 Diagram showing the communication mechanism of the CCCI.

Figure 4 Threatened mangroves areas identified for immediate demonstrative adaptation/mitigation actions under CCCI

Source: Google earth, 2009


i INE – National Statistics Institute:

ii UNFCCC - United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (2006). Background paper on: Impacts, vulnerability and adaptation to climate change in Africa. African Workshop on Adaptation Implementation of Decision 1/CP.10 of the UNFCCC Convention. Accra, Ghana, 21 - 23 September.

iii INGC. 2009. Main report: INGC Climate Change Report: Study on the impact of climate change

on disaster risk in Mozambique. [Asante, K., Brito, R., Brundrit, G., Epstein, P., Fernandes, A., Marques, M.R., Mavume, A , Metzger, M., Patt, A., Queface, A., Sanchez del Valle, R., Tadross, M., Brito, R. (eds.)]. INGC, Mozambique.

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