Mozambique: Over 825,000 Seedlings Planted to Restore Native and Exotic Species

Maputo — The Mozambican Ministry of Land and Environment on Friday stated that 827,547 seedlings of both native and exotic species of plants were planted across the country between September 2020 and last June, covering 4,609 hectares, with the central province of Zambezia amounting to 36 per cent of the restored area.

Under the forestry management efforts, 45 National Resource Management Committees (CGRN) have been set up in the provinces of Tete and Nampula, and over 11 million meticais (about 173,000 US dollars, at the current exchange rate) channeled to 136 benefiting communities. The sum amounts to 20 per cent of the fees paid by forestry operators.

Addressing the opening session of a meeting of her Ministry's Coordinating Council in Maputo, the Minister of Land and Environment, Ivete Maibasse, said that, despite the government's push for a sustainable use of natural resources, there are challenges ahead to meet that goal.

"We are fully aware that the progress we have achieved is far from satisfying our ambition, therefore the meeting must generate and harmonise technical and administrative procedures for successful implementation of the decentralization package," Maibase said.

Regarding the inspection and quality of environmental control, she said the ministry has concluded establishing the provincial delegations of the National Agency for Environmental Quality Control (AQUA), across the country.

Those delegations will strengthen the capacity to inspect, audit and monitor environmental quality especially in the implementation of development projects intended to reduce vulnerability to climate risks and natural disasters, added Maibase.

The newly created provincial delegations have inspected 490 social and economic interests and imposed 70 fines amounting to over 77 million meticais (over 1.2 million US dollars).

Across the country, she added, 1,264 forestry inspections have been carried out which imposed 887 fines amounting to over 118 million meticais, and the seizure of 5.4 million cubic metres of illegally logged timber.

She also highlighted the return of 66 containers loaded with timber out of 76 which in December had been illegally exported to China from the Port of Pemba, in the northern province of Cabo Delgado.

After the incident, she said, Mozambican authorities launched diplomatic contacts, through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in a bid to have the remaining units returned to the country. "We believe that from this process, which ensured the return of 66 of the containers full of timber, the others will also be returned."

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