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USA: Defence of the Miombo Forest Debated at a Conference in Washington

USA: Defence of the Miombo Forest Debated at a Conference in Washington

The defence of the Miombo Forest will be the subject of debate at an international conference to be held on 16 and 17 April in Washington, United States of America (USA). 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.

“The main aim of the conference is to promote the potential of the Miombo forest and contribute to boosting global efforts to achieve the goals of climate change, biodiversity conservation and integrated sustainable development,” explained a document published by Semanário Económico.

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, bushlands and savannahs, constituting 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,” the publication emphasises.

The document warns that “a growing population and the consequent increase in demand for agricultural land, combined with the unsustainable use and over-extraction of natural resources in parts of the Miombo forests and the impacts of climate change, represent a serious threat to the products and services of the forests and the livelihoods that depend on them”.

According to figures released in 2023 by the national director of Forestry, Cláudio Afonso, Mozambique loses 267,000 hectares of forest every year, pointing out that in the country it extends 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 around 17.6 million dollars would be made available to Mozambique for the revitalisation of forest reserves, restoration, institutional support and the implementation of the country’s forest monitoring system.

What is the International Conservation Caucus Foundation (ICCF)?

The ICCF is a non-profit educational foundation located in Washington, DC, which acts as the secretariat for the leadership of the bipartisan US Congressional International Conservation Caucus, made up of more than 1/3 of that country’s Congress.

The organisation brings together a council of leading corporate partners and non-governmental organisations that educate policymakers on innovative solutions to conservation challenges.

The organisation has its own Board of Directors and coordinates with other non-profit organisations across Latin America, Africa, Europe and Asia so that the global operation runs as efficiently as possible.

What is the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS)?

See Also

The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) is a non-governmental organisation based in the Bronx Zoo, founded in 1895 as the New York Zoological Society (NYZS) and currently managing 200 square kilometres of wild reserves around the world, with more than 500 conservation projects in 69 countries and 200 scientists.

The institution also has five facilities in New York City: the Bronx Zoo, Central Park Zoo, New York Aquarium, Prospect Park Zoo and Queens Zoo, which together attract more than 4 million visitors a year.


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