Cinco Grandes Reserve

Country: Mozambique (Coordinates: -20.901507, 34.289213 )
Size: 250,000 Hectares
Ecoregion: Terrestrial - Tropical and subtropical grasslands, savannas and shrublands
Status: Audited

ON HOLD - Unfortunately, because of the security situation in the region and because the area’s management plans have still to be approved by the Council of Ministers, there were no substantive developments on the ground in the 2016. Once operations get underway, the area manager intends to begin reporting on its conservation actions through the VCA Registry.

Located in eastern Mozambique, Coutada 5 is the largest and most diverse of Mozambique’s hunting concessions. The 687, 000 ha Coutada is home to around 50, 000 people, mostly inhabiting the coastal towns. This leaves 85% of the Coutada sparsely populated and ready for conservation activities including establishing Cinco Grandes, a 250,000 restored wilderness conservancy.

Although many of the flora within the ecosystems within the Coutada are in excellent condition, and some species such as Hippo and Crocodile have stable populations, the debilitating civil war that took place in the 1980s and 1990s has deprived the area of much of its famous megafauna. Lost species include Elephant, Buffalo, Sable antelope, Lichtenstein’s hartebeest, Eland, Plains zebra, Blue wildebeest, Reedbuck and Waterbuck.

The overarching goal is to plan, develop and utilise the Cinco Grandes wilderness conservancy in a manner such that the seriously depleted biodiversity resources are rehabilitated over time. This ambitious plan will take place with a zoning policy so that large-scale wildlife reintroductions can occur in harmony with continued economic development in this remote area.

Coutada 5Coutada 5 was listed as Proposed VCA in early 2014. During the planning process, development of a Registered VCA focused on establishment of a 250,000 hectare restored wilderness conservancy. This is a major undertaking including the reintroduction of locally extinct species, establishing livelihood opportunities for marginalized rural communities and families, and developing a sustainable business model for the conservancy based on sustainable use and ecotourism.

The development of Cinco Grandes requires a dynamic public-private partnership of impact investors as will be set out in its VCA-compliant conservation management plan and associated business plan. The VCA Office is providing technical assistance in the development of these plans and will help to raise funds for the establishing the conservancy.

Please contact Earthmind ( to explore opportunities for supporting this initiative to restore a wilderness area in Mozambique in support of rural sustainable development. Suggestions on whom we should approach to invest in the conservancy area also most welcome.