All tree felling and transport of logs or sawn wood were suspended at midnight on 31 January, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development said in a statement.
The Ministry warned licensed forestry operators that fail to comply with this decision will lead to the seizure and confiscation of the product and the means and equipment used in transportation, as well as the payment of fines and non-renewal of licenses.
The statement also said that the measure, put in place under Presidential Decree No. 274/17 of 10 November, which extends the 2017 forestry campaign until 31 January 2018, is based on forestry operators not complying with sustainable exploration of resources, “opting for practices that have negative impacts on the environment, as well as progressive degradation of flora.”
As of this year, Angola will have a new licensing model, based on forest exploration contracts, that will provide greater legal certainty and abolish current exploration licenses.
This model is intended to promote the highest possible degree of control and inspection of forest resources and, consequently, reduce the number of companies involved in forest exploration, Angolan news agency Angop reported. (macauhub)