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Partnerships for enhanced engagement in research (PEER) SCIENCE
Cycle 2 (2012 Deadline)

Ecosystem carbon analytical laboratory

PI: Salomao Bandeira (Universidade Eduardo Mondlane)
U.S. Partner: Ilka C. Feller (Smithsonian Environmental Research Center)
Project Dates: August 2013 to November 2014

The proposal aims to develop an Ecosystem Carbon Analytical Laboratory (ECAL) at Universidade Eduardo Mondlane. The lab would allow for quantitative analyses of carbon content of vegetation, soil, and sediment, supporting therefore a range of complex issues associated with climate change, sustainable agriculture and forestry, and bioenergy. The ECAL is expected to enhance institutional capacity and provide also a facility for education and training, as well as enhance opportunities for collaboration. It is the intent that the ECAL will provide the foundation for subsequent work to assess fluxes of carbon in upland and wetland ecosystems in Mozambique and other east-African countries.
The laboratory is expected to contribute to the development of pilot Mangrove REDD+ projects in Mozambique, an initiative that would simultaneously address climate change mitigation and mangrove conservation. It will also be of use for other blue and green carbon-related initiatives, developed by various research institutions in the country and in the region (southern Africa and the western Indian Ocean). With the aid of this enhanced infrastructure, Mozambique will be able to produce more competitive research results on carbon issues at the regional level and beyond.
Summary of Recent Activities
From the start of the PEER project through the end of December 2013, the project team worked on acquiring the components for the new Ecosystem Carbon Analytical Laboratory (ECAL). The process involved PI Salamao Bandeira, colleague Célia Macamo, and Eduardo Tivane, a procurement officer from Universidade Eduardo Mondlane (UEM). They also decided to bring in U.S. partner Ilka Feller and Carl Trettin of the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) to help with the ongoing procurement issues. The team participated in a data gathering activity with World Wildlife Fund and USFS collaborators, using samples taken during a trip to the Zambezi Delta. The team made a poster presentation at the 8th Western Indian Ocean Marine Science Association (WIOMSA) Scientific Symposium in Maputo, Mozambique, which was held from October 28 through November 2, 2013.
Future plans for the project include the acquisition and installation of the items needed to build the ECAL. A lab manual will be produced for UEM students and staff, and technical staff will be trained. The research team also plans to conduct a training workshop comparing carbon stocks from several marine habitats in coastal Mozambique. These will include carbon samples from seagrass areas and mangrove forests.
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