Mozambique: Forest fires destroy 4 million hectares in 2007

21 January 2008

Beira, Mozambique, 21 Jan – forest fires in Mozambique destroyed 4 million hectares of forest in 2007, according to the minister for coordination of environmental action, Luciano de Castro.

Cited in Mozambican newspaper Diário de Moçambique, published in the city of Beira, the minister said that most of the fires were set deliberately in order to clear land for farming or in order to chase out animals for hunting.

The minister noted that these fires had caused huge damage and were a threat to forest resources and wildlife that should be preserved.

Castro said that it was necessary to instill in people the idea of protection of natural resources and said he was convinced that the legislation that determined that 20 percent of logging and tourism revenues would revert to local communities was beginning to have some positive effect. (macauhub)