Mozambique: Society Has Collective Responsibility for Environment

Maputo — Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi on Thursday urged all segments of Mozambican society to accept collective responsibility for the environment.

This responsibility, he declared, should be expressed in the country's land, forestry, wild life, and tourism policies "in a balance between economic interests and the need for a sustainable future for coming generations".

Nyusi was speaking in the Maputo Special Reserve, in Matutuine district in the far south of the country, at a ceremony marking the 60th anniversary of the creation of Mozambique's first three conservation areas - the Gorongosa National Park in Sofala province, the Marromeu National Reserve, on the south bank of the Zambezi, and the Maputo Special Reserve (originally known as the Maputo Elephant Reserve).

"The government will always be on the front line of the battle for the conservation of biodiversity in the country, opting for partnerships which bring added value, not only for the conservation of biodiversity, but also for the inclusion of the surrounding communities in the management of natural resources", said the President.

He noted that the ceremonies are happening 15 months after two violent cyclones, cyclones Idai and Kenneth, hit central and northern Mozambique, destroying property and livelihoods, and damaging infrastructures including those that are part of the Gorongosa National Park.

"These extreme phenomena are a warning for all of us about how we look at the environment and the conservation of biodiversity", said Nyusi.

He regarded the ceremonies as "a moment to praise the achievements of the Mozambican people in the sustainable use of natural resources and recognition of the role that the conservation areas play in the development of the national economy, poverty reduction and the consolidation of peace and democracy".

Nyusi encouraged citizens to denounce practices that damage the environment and reduce the potential of future generations to enjoy the country's biodiversity. Among those damaging practices were poaching and the illegal trade in wildlife products, the destruction of forests because of illegal logging and uncontrolled bush fires, soil erosion, and pollution of the rivers and of the sea.

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