(2015-11-17) The Mozambican authorities intend to impose a moratorium on new requests to exploit the country’s forestry resources, according to the Minister of Land, Environment and Rural Development, Celso Correia, cited in the Beira daily paper “Diario de Mocambique”.
The proposal to suspend all new logging licences and all new forestry concessions is part of a package of measures to protect Mozambique’s forests that will shortly be submitted for approval to the Council of Ministers (Cabinet), Correia said.
He said this is part of the government’s efforts to safeguard forestry resources, which are still under strong pressure from logging, despite the fall of timber prices on international markets. The central provinces of Tete and Zambezia, and Cabo Delgado in the north are under the strongest pressure, much of it from illegal loggers. Redoubled inspection efforts, Correia said, are therefore required to avoid the extinction of some species of hardwoods.
Ironwood (“pau-ferro”) is already at risk of disappearing and Correia’s ministry has ordered the suspension of all logging of this species, to allow the necessary replanting and recovery.
While recognizing the contribution of forestry operations and wood exports to the national economy, Correia condemned the devastation of forests that has occurred in various parts of the country. Matters have been made worse by the trend among operators holding logging licences to abuse them, by logging beyond the areas allocated to them.
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