Mozambique’s Minister of Land, Environment and Rural Development, Celso Correia has spoken of the government’s intention to impose a moratorium on new requests to exploit forestry resources, APA learnt on Monday.Correia said the proposal to suspend all new logging licenses and all new forestry concessions is part of a package of measures to protect Mozambique’s forests that will shortly be submitted for approval by cabinet.
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 Correia was quoted saying by local media reports.
Redoubled inspection efforts, are therefore required to avoid the extinction of some species of hardwoods, he added.
Ironwood 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 destruction of forests in various parts of the country.
Matters have been made worse by the trend among operators holding licenses to abuse them, by logging beyond the areas allocated to them.