Mozambique Forest Governance Learning Group report - Phase Two

In Mozambique, 10,823,000 people out of a total of 15,278,000 live in rural areas mostly in small communities within 40km of the coast where subsistence agriculture, forest resources and artisanal fisheries constitute the main options for income generation. Poverty in these rural areas and amolngst forest-dependent communities is widespread.

Deforestation within Mozambique was estimated at roughly 50,000 hectares per year between  2000 and 2005. New data from WWF suggests that this may have risen to 219,000 hectares per year. Increasing populations with a need for agricultural land are an important contributory factor. Selective logging may play an indirect role by opening up access to new areas. Despite the overall picture of deforestation in natural forests, there is an expanding plantation sector with 4,905 hectares of Eucalypts and Pines established between 2006-2007 by IFLOMA in Manica (61%) and MALOUNDA Foundation in Niassa (29%) province.

The broad principles of the Government of Mozambique’s development strategy are set out in the
Action Plan for the Reduction of Absolute Poverty (PARPA), which are further elaborated for
forestry and the rural sector in the National Agricultural Programme (PROAGRI, phases I and II).
The Government also recently signed the Yaounde Ministerial Declaration on African Forest Law
Enforcement and Governance, committing itself, internationally, to 30 intentions and 42 indicative
actions against illegal logging and hunting, their associated trade and corruption, and to promote
improved forest governance.

For land based natural resources the main legal frameworks are the 1997 Land Law and the 1999 Forestry and Wildlife Law – with the forest regulations only being approved in 2002. These provide the conceptual and legal frameworks for sustainable forest management and emphasising the requirement for processing in country, to promote job creation and the alleviation of poverty. While Mozambique’s land law allows communities land rights by dint of their historic occupation of the land (DUAT) the forest and wildlife law is much more restrictive – limiting commercial timber rights to two types of private concession described below