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UN Highlights Mozambique Among Countries with Highest CO2 Emissions from Deforestation

UN Highlights Mozambique Among Countries with Highest CO2 Emissions from Deforestation

Mozambique is among the countries with the highest rates of tropical deforestation, and was singled out in a recent United Nations (UN) report as one of the territories that contributed the most to CO2 emissions resulting from deforestation.

The analysis, conducted by the UN-REDD partnership – which includes the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the UN Development Programme (UNDP) – highlights the lack of concrete plans by many countries to achieve the goal of reducing deforestation.

The report reveals that between 2019-23, Mozambique and other countries, including Brazil and Colombia, together emitted 5.6 billion tonnes of CO2 per year due to deforestation in their tropical forests.

“Mozambique’s forests are vital for maintaining biodiversity, water quality and providing habitat for pollinators, as well as being essential resources for local communities. Forests also play a crucial role in mitigating climate change by acting as carbon sinks. However, agriculture, especially due to the demand for commodities such as soya and beef, is one of the main causes of deforestation in the country,’ reads the study.

The document emphasises that although some countries have made progress, such as Brazil, which reduced deforestation by 22% between 2019 and 2022, Mozambique still faces significant challenges in reaching the global targets for reducing deforestation. The report ‘Raising Ambition, Accelerating Action: Towards Enhanced Nationally Determined Contributions for Forests’ points out that many countries, including Mozambique, ‘do not have sufficiently robust plans to fulfil the commitments set out in the Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration, which aims to reverse forest loss by 2030″.

To improve the situation, the report recommends that the country aligns its forestry measures mentioned in the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) with clearly defined national policies coordinated with other countries. It also suggests ‘increasing forest carbon prices on the global market and promoting the participation of local communities and indigenous peoples in forest protection, recognising their land and carbon rights’.

According to the report, the COP30 in Brazil is seen as a crucial opportunity to strengthen global ambition in forest protection. The UN emphasises the need for countries like Mozambique to include concrete and measurable targets on forests in their revised NDCs, aimed at effectively reducing deforestation and promoting sustainable development.

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