NGO Wants to Restore 300 Hectares of Community Forests in Central Mozambique

Nearly 300 hectares of community forests, located in the regions of Lamego and Chirassicua, in the district of Nhamatanda, will be reforested as part of the environmental protection project promoted by two organizations in central Mozambique.

“This is an initiative of ADRA and Livanigo, in the fight against deforestation of community forests, which for years have been devastated by man’s action,” said Osório Belchior, representative of the non-governmental organization (NGO) Livaningo in Nhamatanda, in Sofala province, central Mozambique.

Osório Belchior, who is an environmental technician in the project, said that the initiative will cover five communities in the district of Nhamatanda, which in three years will reforest over 300 hectares of forest, with native trees and fruit trees.

“We are now working in two communities, Lamego and Chirassicua, where we have created a nursery with 6,500 plants of special protected and replanted in 12 hectares of forests. The forecast is to cover all the communities, but this year we will reforest 100 hectares”, he explained.

As is the case worldwide, the country still faces challenges for its conservation, with deforestation levels at the national level estimated at 219,000 hectares per year, where among other causes are shifting agriculture, urban expansion, illegal logging, mining, and the production of wood fuels.

“In addition to restoring forests, we are creating forests in Lamego, Halumua, Chirassicua, Bipito and Mutambarico, both are new communities to be covered by the project in an area of 100 hectares. In these areas we are going to create nurseries with a production capacity of 62 thousand plants”, he stated.

Therefore, so far 6,500 plants of native Chanfuta, Pangapanga and Ubau species have been planted in different community forests in the regions of Lamego and Chirassicua.

“This is the first batch of native plants, our plan is 6,500, so in the community of Nhandulo 200 plants were recently planted in the local community forest,” he said.

Samuel Bernado, xommunity leader of Biepie in Chirassicua, advanced that the reforestation will bring several benefits to his community, since due to man’s action, the areas were already almost deserted.

“It is a positive initiative, at least in my community more than 400 native plants of medicinal importance and different species have already been planted. As soon as the plants grow we are going to use them for many things, for medicine, shade, and firewood”, he declared.

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Luís Macutele, secretary of the committee of Nhandulo, administrative posts of Lamega, said that forests no longer existed in his area, and that with the project at least they have already managed to replant 200 new plants, thus creating a forest area in the region.

“The poachers had taken everything here, we had almost no forests left, but with help from the project we have already managed to have reforested areas. We will take wood, produce charcoal, as soon as the plants reach an acceptable age,” he said.

Data from the Ministry of Land and Environment indicate that in Mozambique, forests occupy about 32 million hectares, representing about 40 percent of the total area of the country, of which 17.2 million hectares have potential for timber production.

Illegal logging has cost the Mozambican state about 200 million dollars (about 196 million euros) a year, a significant amount to boost the country’s socio-economic development, with particular emphasis on rural areas.



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