Huambo, Angola, 22 March – The Angolan government plans to plant an average of 50 hectares of trees in each of the country’s 18 provinces every year and allow the use of an equivalent area for manufacturing biofuels, the deputy Agriculture minister for forests said in Huambo Friday.
André de Jesus Moda added that the ministry had established a pre-agreement with a multinational company specialised in producing energy from trees, as it is a renewable resource and a cheaper method of production.
“Energy is a key factor of development for any country. It is on this basis that our ministry has been cooperating with companies in the biofuel production sector to set themselves up in Angola, given the high cost of thermal and hyro energy,” he said.
Moda said that over the last five years (2004-2009) 153,000 hectares of forest were planted in the country on an experimental basis, an amount though insufficient overall that was enough to show the government’s interest in increasing forest areas.
He said that in Angola 53 million hectares of forest were under control, of which around 3.18 million hectares are in reserves to conserve species.
The deputy forest minister noted that in terms of deforestation the provinces of Luanda and Huambo have the greatest rates, and Cabinda has been the most successful in terms of protection and conservation.
The deputy minister also said that a biosphere conservation centre was being created in Cabinda province, in the north of the country, which will also serve to protect and conserve plants under threat of extinction.
Moda, who travelled to Huambo to celebrate world tree day (21 March), said that the project to set up the centre was progressing at a rapid rate, although he gave no date for its conclusion. (macauhub)