Mozambique loses over 219,000 hectares of forest every year

16 December 2015

Mozambique annually loses more than 219,000 hectares of forest due to illegal logging, a reality that particularly affects the provinces of Tete, Manica, Zambézia, Nampula and Cabo Delgado, said in Chimoio Minister Celso Correia.

The Minister of Land, Forestry and Rural Development said that this situation had been aggravating the deforestation problem in the country, which has 27 million hectares of forest with logging potential, according to Mozambican daily newspaper Notícias.

During the Second National Reflection Meeting on the Exploration and Export of Forest Resources, attended by forest operators, industry technicians and representatives of civil society, Correia cited a university study estimating that over 727,000 cubic metres of wood is annually explored in Mozambique, with a trend for growth.

This volume is above the allowable annual logging of between 515,700 and 640,500 cubic metres, according to Correia, who claims that targeted exploration of forest species, mainly for export, has caused forest degradation.

The Minister noted that it was therefore urgent to introduce reforms in the forestry sector, which include monitoring and assessment of forest operators, suspending new applications for forestry areas, review of the law the overvaluation rate of wood, a ban on exports of timber logs and finally the adoption of the “Standing Forest” project, which aims to promote rural development based on protection, conservation, presentation, creation and sustainable use of the forests. (macauhub/MZ)