3 October 2006

Angola: Forest Burning Damages Soil Fertility

Luanda — Forest Burning reduces and endangers fertility of the country's agricultural fields

The constant burning of forests, mainly for hunting, carried out by residents of rural areas is endangering the fertility of soils in some regions of the country, affirmed Monday, in Luanda, experts of the Forest Development Institute (IDF).

By denouncing the fact to ANGOP, the head of IDF's Brigade in the northern Kwanza-Norte province, Guilherme da Costa indicated that, lately, fires placed by the population for agriculture or through negligence, is reaching alarming levels and reducing the fertility of soils.

Guilherme da Costa explained that most of the population in rural areas place fire in order to hunt and burn dry grass in planting fields, adding that some fires are also caused by people who throw away cigarettes on the grass.

Foreseeing to eliminate this problem, above all burning for animal hunting, due to having reached uncontrollable levels, the expert said that IDF and the Ministry of Urbanisation and Environment (MINUA) will discourage the population from burning the flora through awareness campaigns.

On his turn, the director general of IDF in the eastern Moxico province, Isaac Víctor informed that the region has been registering high rates of deforestation cause by fires, for the manufacturing of wood and coal.

According to the director, his institution is incapable of eliminating, with strictness, the burning of the flora in various regions of the province, due to the shortage of forest guards and vehicles.

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