Ver Angola


Deforestation in Serra da Leba will be combatted with Robusta coffee plantation

António de Assis, Minister of Agriculture and Forests, announced that the ministry under his supervision, in conjunction with the Ministry of the Environment and the government of the province of Namibe, will soon move forward with a reforestation strategy in Serra da Leba, through a project of Robusta coffee plantation.

:  Angola Image Bank
Angola Image Bank  

According to the head of Agriculture and Forestry, the reforestation strategy envisages the inclusion of citizens who produce charcoal to support themselves. In this way, he added, at an initial stage, citizens will be the target of awareness-raising actions, as well as being involved in the plantation of coffee on the slopes of the aforementioned mountain.

He said that they have already managed to "identify the people" who will work on preparing the seedlings: "We have already managed to identify the people who will work on preparing the seedlings. The very families who are here and who today destroy the forest, for charcoal, will be incorporated, as well as children and young people from schools. We will establish a strong environmental education program", he said, quoted by Angop.

According to the minister, by implementing a sustainable production method, we are not only alleviating the consequences of deforestation and climate change, but also promoting agribusiness and increasing citizens' income.

Furthermore, António de Assis also considered that the location has conditions for producing Robusta coffee, adding that a certain amount of seeds are already in Namibe for distribution with a view to manufacturing coffee seedlings.

The Minister of the Environment, Ana Paula de Carvalho, lamented the practice of felling trees for the manufacture of charcoal in Serra da Leba, the action of which has caused landslides and stones to slide, causing damage to the asphalt and preventing circulation between Huíla and Namibe.

Furthermore, the minister considered that trees, among other aspects, help to compact the soil. Soil degradation, as well as the increase in greenhouse gas emissions, were other negative points highlighted by the Environment Minister in relation to coal production.

Thus, cited by Angop, she added that the "Ministry of the Environment, in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, will develop an awareness program aimed at families who are dedicated to the manufacture of charcoal, in order to dedicate themselves to agriculture, with monitoring of the Agrarian Development Institute".

It should be noted that the Ministers of Environment and Agriculture and Forestry noted, this Wednesday, the degree of deforestation in Serra da Leba.

According to a statement from the Provincial Government of Namibe, to which VerAngola had access, "the existence of ravines is already well known, both in the Leba and Humbia mountains, which result from deforestation in the mountains caused by coal producers, which has been getting worse and the Provincial Government of Namibe is worried, as the circulation of traffic in those areas of EN 280 and 280-A is being jeopardized".

On the occasion, Archer Mangueira, governor of Namibe, said that this is an environmental crime, stating that "everything is being done to find alternative subsistence for families who live and dedicate themselves to the manufacture of charcoal on the slopes of Serra da Leba and Humbia".

The provincial governor also said that the government's visit "brought alternative results that reinforce the actions already outlined by the provincial government for the population to abandon the manufacture of charcoal".

"The transfer plan for families living on the slopes of the mountains will also involve the implementation of the Robusta Coffee Plantation Project, which will have the full support of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries", the statement reads.

The governor also left the guarantee that the process of removing families from risk areas to safe areas, located in the municipalities of Bibala and Humpata, is ongoing.

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