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Upscaling nature-based flood protection in Mozambique’s coastal cities


The objective of this activity is to support the Government of Mozambique in implementing nature-based solutions for urban flood risk management, particularly in coastal cities. The activity will also leverage the lessons learned in Mozambique to support the future application of similar solutions in the wider Africa region.


Many of Africa’s major cities are located in river deltas along the coast. These cities are highly prone to damaging floods due to the combination of climate extremes and rapid urbanization. Mozambique is one of the countries most exposed to coastal and river flooding in Africa. The World Bank has been active in providing emergency recovery after flooding in Mozambique, and is increasingly supporting the Government in preventive disaster risk management operations on the city and regional levels. While traditional infrastructure-based interventions still make up the majority of global financing to improve disaster risk management, the application of nature-based solutions is gaining momentum.

One of the first nature-based urban flood management projects supported by the World Bank is in the coastal city of Beira in Mozambique. To maximize results from such projects, it is important to clarify the exact benefits for urban flood risk management and how such approaches can be best adjusted and scaled up to other cities in Mozambique and other countries in Africa. More generally, nature-based urban flood risk management projects struggle to provide a structured and comprehensive assessment of grey and green infrastructure solutions and produce and communicate evidence on the cost effectiveness of such solutions compared to other priorities. 

PROFOR’s activity aims to enhance and upscale the green infrastructure pilot for urban flood risk management to other cities in Mozambique by building on lessons learned in Beira and using guidelines produced under PROFOR’s ongoing Harnessing Forests for Nature-Based Solutions to Disaster Risk Management funded under the DRM and Forestry Global Knowledge Management program.



The activity will conduct the following key tasks and outputs:

1.         Compile lessons learned from the green infrastructure pilot in Beira with a view to extend the knowledge base on green infrastructure development for urban flood management purposes in Africa.

2.         Assessment of relevant legal, regulatory, and institutional framework in Mozambique to identify gaps in the enabling environment to mainstream nature-based solutions into planning and implementation of urban drainage and flood risk management, considering climate change. The expected output will be a policy note providing a set of recommendations to improve the enabling environment.

3.         Urban Flood Risk Assessment for one other major delta city in Mozambique that is prone to flooding and erosion (potentially Nacala or Xai-Xai). Outputs from this assessment will include flood risk maps for different climate change and urban growth/expansion scenarios, identification of land-use typology and the potential for nature-based solutions, and a proposal on potential types of nature-based solutions that could be feasibly implemented in the specific setting. A workshop for representatives from national and local government, civil society, academia, and other donors will be conducted to validate the findings and define possible risk reduction strategies.

4.           Cost-benefit analysis of different investment scenarios for green and hybrid flood management solutions. Based on the urban flood risk assessment and stakeholder workshop, a range of investment scenarios for green and hybrid solutions for urban flood management will be generated and analyzed in terms of costs and benefits. A final dissemination workshop will be organized in Mozambique to present and discuss findings with key stakeholders from the national and local level.

The abovementioned outputs will utilize and contribute to the comprehensive guidance on nature-based solutions for flood management that the World Bank is currently preparing under the PROFOR-funded program on Disaster Risk Management and Forestry. Activities will also feed into the preparation of new investment lending operations in aiming to improve drainage and resilience of cities across Mozambique.


This activity is ongoing. Two key outputs have been finalized (report on lessons learned from Beira; report on enabling environment). The first outcomes were achieved with the reduction of the knowledge gap on the successful implementation of nature-based solutions in urban areas and the identification of recommendations to improve the enabling environment for these kind of projects in Mozambique. This will be discussed in more detail with the government in the next reporting period. Please check back in for more updates. 

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Last Updated : 06-07-2019