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Identifying Mozambique's most critical areas for plant conservation: An evaluation of protected areas and Important Plant Areas

Richards, Sophie L., Farooq, Harith, Matimele, Hermenegildo, Alves, Tereza, Datizua, Castigo, Langa, Clayton, Massingue, Alice, Osborne, Jo, Rokni, Saba, de Sousa, Camila, and others. (2023) Identifying Mozambique's most critical areas for plant conservation: An evaluation of protected areas and Important Plant Areas. Biotropica, 55 (6). pp. 1183-1194. ISSN 0006-3606. E-ISSN 1744-7429. (doi:10.1111/btp.13265) (KAR id:102904)


Successful protected area networks must represent biodiversity across taxonomic groups. However, too often plant species are overlooked in conservation planning, and the resulting protected areas may, as a result, fail to encompass the most important sites for plant diversity. The Mozambique Tropical Important Plant Areas project sought to promote the conservation of Mozambique's flora through the identification of Important Plant Areas (IPAs). Here, we use the Weighted Endemism including Global Endangerment (WEGE) index to identify the richest areas for rare and endemic plants in Mozambique and subsequently evaluate how well represented these hotspots are within the current protected area and IPA networks. We also examine the congruence between IPA and protected areas to identify opportunities for strengthening the conservation of plants in Mozambique. We found that high WEGE scores, representing areas rich in endemic/near‐endemic and threatened species, predict the presence of IPAs in Mozambique, but do not predict the presence of protected areas. We also find that there is limited overlap between IPAs and protected areas in Mozambique. We demonstrate how IPAs could be an important tool for ensuring priority sites for plant diversity are included within protected area network expansions, particularly following the adoption of the “30 by 30” target agreed within the post‐2020 Convention on Biological Diversity framework, with great potential for this method to be replicated elsewhere in the global tropics.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1111/btp.13265
Uncontrolled keywords: IPAs; biodiversity; conservation planning; WEGE; IUCN red list; protected areas; convention on biological diversity; botanical richness
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation
Funders: Global Biodiversity Information Facility (
SWORD Depositor: JISC Publications Router
Depositing User: JISC Publications Router
Date Deposited: 13 Oct 2023 15:28 UTC
Last Modified: 25 Mar 2024 16:07 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

Matimele, Hermenegildo.

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