Guinea Bissau to review natural resources exploration contracts

28 May 2014

The President-elect of Guinea Bissau, José Mário Vaz, has announced a review of all contracts for exploration of natural resources in the country, as soon as he takes office in June.

At a meeting of the headquarters of the PAIGC political party the president, who was speaking in creole, said that the heavy sands, oil, phosphates, fishing contracts and “all the others” we be re-assessed.

As well as natural resources exploration that ends up benefitting individuals rather than the country as a whole, the President mentioned logging for exports, which have been a cause for concern in Guinea Bissau over the last few months, according to Portuguese news agency Lusa.

Nélson Dias, the delegate of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in Guinea Bissau, warned in March in an interview with Lusa that an increasing number of “chain-saws in the forests and the number of containers” from the interior of the country, “that line up at the port of Bissau or cross the border.”

In the latest report on the country the United Nations requested assistance from the international community to prevent destruction of Guinea Bissau’s forests and natural reserves as it had reached “unprecedented levels” over the last “two years.” (macauhub/GW)