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President: “Defence of the Miombo Forest on the International Map”

President: “Defence of the Miombo Forest on the International Map”

The Mozambican President, Filipe Nyusi, said on Thursday (18) that the defence of the Miombo Forest, on which 300 million people in southern Africa depend, “has now entered the international map”, following this week’s International Conference in Washington.

“We are extremely positive about the work that has been done. We are creating bases; we are no longer just talking about the Amazon, the Miombo has also entered the international map,” he said.

Taking stock of the work, the statesman emphasised that the meetings held had yielded positive results, and that issues relating to the strategies that must be implemented to continue protecting nature had also been addressed.

On Wednesday (17), the head of state called on the more developed countries to be willing to convert the debt of African countries into investments in the climate, since these are the ones that pollute the least and face the most consequences.

“Mozambique, like many African countries, is on the list of those that have contributed the least to climate change, but at the same time is among those that suffer the most from its negative effects, such as frequent droughts, floods and cyclones that contribute to increased food insecurity, water scarcity and large-scale displacement of people,” warned the leader, quoted by Notícias ao Minuto.

Speaking during the closing ceremony of the International Conference on the Sustainable and Integrated Management of the Miombo Forest, which took place in Washington, USA, Filipe Nyusi said that, in the field of environmental conservation, the country has already mapped out 64 emission reduction projects and wants the private sector to actively participate in their development, and is looking for funding.

“Together with cooperation partners, we are now trying to raise awareness in different sectors about the fairest ways of transforming countries’ debt into climate finance, in order to free up resources that can be invested in environmental conservation programmes,” he said.

“We hope that this promising event has been a privileged space for open and in-depth discussion on issues related to the energy transition, water and forest resource management, payment for services and biodiversity conservation ecosystems and on the concrete solutions that have been identified to guarantee the sustainability of the Miombo forest and the socio-economic development of our peoples,” he said.

“We believe that this conference reflects that the Miombo forest is not only a priority for the signatory countries of the Maputo Declaration, but also for all the inhabitants of planet Earth,” he concluded.

The Maputo Declaration on the Miombo Forest, signed by Mozambique, Angola, Botswana, Malawi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Republic of Congo, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe, establishes priorities for the sustainable management and governance of the natural resources of the Miombo ecosystems.

The forest provides numerous goods and services that guarantee the livelihoods of more than 300 million inhabitants of these countries, including tropical and sub-tropical grasslands, thickets and savannahs, making it the largest tropical dry forest ecosystem in the world. It is responsible for maintaining the Great Zambezi, one of the most important transnational river basins.

“We are extremely positive about the work we have done. We’re creating bases; we’re no longer just talking about the Amazon, Miombo has also entered the international map”

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According to figures released in 2023 by the national director of Forestry, Cláudio Afonso, Mozambique loses 267,000 hectares of forest every year, and in the country they extend from the northern part of Inhambane to the provinces of Manica, Tete, Sofala and Zambézia, in the centre, and Nampula, Niassa and Cabo Delgado, in the north.

In July last year, the Global Environment Facilities (GEF) and the Italian Cooperation Agency announced that 17.6 million dollars would be made available to the country for the revitalisation of forest reserves, restoration, institutional support and the implementation of the country’s forest monitoring system.

The event organised by the International Conservation Caucus Foundation (ICCF) and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), in partnership with the Mozambican Government, is the result of an initiative implemented in August 2022 by the Mozambican President, Filipe Nyusi, during the signing of the Maputo Declaration on the Miombo Forest.


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